About - mayathon

About mayathon

mayathon buddies
How it works

Buddy-up (virtually) with up to 5 friends, family members or work colleagues and support each other to do 26 minutes of exercise a day. Here’s how to buddy-up

It can be any activity and it’s not competitive. It’s not about how far or how fast you go, just that you do your 26 minutes and help your buddy or buddies to do theirs.

Why it’s called mayathon

The buddy system is at the heart of mayathon and the ‘may’ of mayathon stands for ‘me and you’. The ‘athon’ part of the name refers to a marathon – although in mayathon you only do 26 minutes rather than 26 miles.

Why 26?

You’re probably asking ‘what’s so great about the number 26?’ And it’s a good question.

Well, it’s all about helping you to achieve the UK’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) recommendation of doing at least 150 minutes of moderate activity a week. If you do mayathon every day, you’ll clock up 182 minutes a week and, even if you were to miss a day, you’d still be up at 156.

It’s also less than 30 minutes. That 4 minute difference may not look much, but our research shows that 26 minutes feels easier to squeeze into a busy day and more achievable for people who aren’t used to exercising much.

If you’re interested in finding out more, the CMO’s activity guidelines can be read here. This report also explains the link between physical activity and improved mental wellbeing.

How to join in

Download the free mayathon app to your phone from either the Apple or Android app stores. It’s easy to register and then you can invite up to 5 buddies to join your group. The app helps you to log your daily activity & mood and to see how your buddies are getting on.

Why being active is important

There’s a lot of science which shows that people who do some sort of physical activity most days improve their overall wellbeing. Our May 2020 mayathon challenge proved this, with people’s mood increasing by an average of 25% once they’d done their 26 minutes of exercise compared to the mood-score they gave when first registering on the app.


Each week there are about 10 million people in the UK who say that their mental health isn’t great. So, the need to stay active and close to our friends has never been greater.

Supporting a buddy

Having a buddy is at the heart of mayathon because supporting each other is a great way to keep you motivated and make sure that you do your 26 minutes of activity each day.

Although you (probably) won’t be doing your 26 minutes of activity with your buddies physically alongside you, their mayathon app will be linked to yours, so you’ll be able to use it to support and encourage each other without having to meet up. You can check the Buddies page on the app to see what your buddy group has been up to and to send each other boosts as well. Here’s how to buddy-up

Download the free app now

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