FAQs - mayathon


We’ve tried to think of every question you may have about mayathon, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for below, please get in touch with us via support@mayathon.com

Top questions

If you are having difficulties using the buddy-invite during registration, it might be easier to do it via the ‘Invites and info’ page. Once you and your friend have both downloaded the app, one of you can use the big ’add buddy’ button in ‘Invites and info’ to send the other person a buddy request. You just need to know which email address they used to set up their account.

This shouldn’t happen, but occasionally it does. In the ‘Invites and info’ screen,  one of you should press the “cancel” option that is next to the “awaiting buddy approval”.  This should then allow whoever pressed ‘cancel’ to now see a buddy request from the other person, which they can accept by pressing the orange text.

If this happens, go in to the ‘Invites and info’ part of the app and pull the screen downwards to refresh the app. It should either then tell you who your buddy is or ask you to accept their request.    

Yes. However, it is a better experience on a handheld device. We would advise that you should register and invite a buddy using a handheld device, rather than an iPad, to avoid any difficulties.

The app is only available in Europe. As mayathon follows a daily calendar and is linked to the GMT/BST time zone, we decided not to make the current version available elsewhere. If you are in a country that has a big time difference from the UK, the calendar would change during the middle of a day rather than at midnight, which would be confusing. If mayathon is as successful as we hope, the next version may have a roaming time-zone format for all countries.

General mayathon
Yes. The essence of mayathon is to remain active, even if stuck indoors, and to maintain a virtual relationship with your buddy. This is all explained below, and we have paid special attention to the public health advice to ensure that we are keeping everyone safe and supported.
mayathon is a new, free app and website to help people feel healthier, happier and more connected to a friend, family member or colleague.

It’s never been more important to stay physically active, mentally well and to support our friends than during the current coronavirus crisis – and mayathon will help you do that.

The app helps you log your activity and mood, build up a calendar and support your buddy.
There are 2 reasons mayathon focuses on 26 minutes. The first is that the UK’s Chief Medical Officer recommends that we should do 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 minutes.

The second reason that 26 is important is to do with habit-forming. A number of studies show that it takes at least 21 repetitions of something in a concentrated period before you are well on the way to forming a habit. Even for regular exercisers, doing mayathon may encourage you to try new things and mix it up a bit, which may help your overall conditioning.
The buddy system is at the very 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.

It’s always been the case that doing some physical activity, ideally every day, can help to improve our overall wellbeing and mood. Studies have shown that physical activity can boost our immune systems and reduce anxiety and stress. We include some information in our ‘Public health’ tab.

These benefits are probably even more important now during the coronavirus crisis. In fact, official advice is for people to stay active, stay connected and to develop some routines whilst they are spending much more time at home and indoors.

However, we must all follow the government’s advice on social distancing, keeping at least 2 metres away from others and maintaining good hygiene by washing our hands regularly for 20 seconds. The advice may change and so the best way to stay safe and do the right thing is to keep an eye on the most recent guidance. You can do that via this link on social distancing which also contains advice on how to help those self-isolating and how to look after our mental wellbeing at this time.

Also, if you aren’t feeling well, you must always check the latest government advice on self-isolation. Click here for the latest advice on self-isolation.

Signing up
It’s easy, just download the free mayathon app from the App Store or Google Play. You’ll be asked for your email address and to answer two simple questions relating to how active you are and how you generally feel.

As part of the registration process, once you enter your email address an email will be sent to you from noreply@mayathon.com containing a 6-digit one time passcode (OTP). Please note we have done our best to ensure this OTP email can pass through most filters, but please check your spam or junk files in case it has been diverted by your email filter.
Yes. The calendar is open all the time. We may run date-specific “challenges” from time to time – but these can also be joined part of the way through.

With children off school and other activities limited, mayathon is a great way for you to be active together. Daily active family time will help add structure to your day and help create a routine, which, as you probably have worked out, is really important at the moment.

Stay in the house and do a dance routine, get into the garden and do an activity together, or (if the government advice allows it) go out for a walk or find a quiet corner of your local park to kick a ball around. You can find the most recent guidance on social distancing in the Public health section of the app and website

mayathon’s goal is to help as many people as possible to feel healthier and happier. So that we can understand whether or not mayathon is working, it’s important for us to get an indication of how active and how happy people are when they sign-up.

Ultimately, we want to help public health bodies develop better strategies for increasing physical and mental wellbeing.
mayathon will look after any personal information you share with us. This is central to our values as an organisation. We want you to feel confident about how any personal information you share with us will be looked after or used. Our privacy policy and terms of use can be found on the mayathon app and website, and explain how we process, store and use personal data.

Please note that as set out in our privacy policy, we will not use your information for marketing purposes.
Buddying up & messaging your buddy
No. You don’t have to have a buddy, but it’s more fun if you do. You’re also more likely to stick to doing activity as you’ll feel that sense of accountability to your buddy.

The great thing about mayathon is that your buddy doesn’t need to be physically there with you when you do your activity – it’s more about supporting and encouraging each other. Social distancing may be impacting a lot of things, but not the mayathon buddy system.
Once you’ve downloaded the app, you can invite a friend to be your mayathon buddy. When they download the app and sign-up, your two accounts are then linked together. Just pull down the screen to refresh the app and you’ll see your buddy’s name in the ‘Settings’ page.
On your app, you are always the Bear and your buddy is always the Turtle. On their App, however, they see themselves as the Bear and you as the Turtle.

On your homepage, the Bear will light up if you have done your activity and the Turtle will light up if your buddy has done theirs. So, if they’ve done their activity first, you’ll know that it’s time to do yours.

No, unfortunately you can only have one buddy within the app. However, there’s nothing to stop you and all your friends who are also doing mayathon from creating a bigger WhatsApp group.

We have included this in the ‘Buddy boosts’ button, so that people can easily send a message to their buddy or share a mayathon related message with a bigger WhatsApp group.
You will first need to set this up in WhatsApp before you try to send a message from the Buddy boosts feature in the app. You can do this by pressing “new group” on the top right of the “Chats” screen and adding those people in your address book. Give the group a name, e.g. “mayathon tigers,” and start supporting each other to get those mayathon minutes done each day.
No, only your results will count towards your mayathon streak. Ultimately this is about your health and happiness, but we know that the buddy relationship is important to help us stick at something, keep us connected and have a bit more fun.
We’re sorry. For the first release of the app, we were only able to use the standard Unicode emoji API with the neutral, yellow emojis. This is something we will address in the next build of the app.
Exercise/activity & logging in the app
As some of the normal ways we use to get active are not available to us at the moment, let’s get creative! Lots of gyms, for example, are offering online workouts, there’s loads of activity you can follow online including videos on YouTube. By using the app’s ‘discover’ section you will find lots of tips and hints, including videos to inspire you! All this can be found on the website too.

But remember, it’s not competitive and any sort of activity that gets you out of breath will do – even walking up and down the stairs several times or walking back from the supermarket with a couple of heavy shopping bags.
The great thing about mayathon is that you can do any kind of exercise and at any time you like, as long as it’s for at least 26 minutes during that day. If you are a key-worker, you will be super busy, but taking a break to do a bit of exercise should help your mood and stress levels too.

If you can only fit in a brisk walk during the day at work, that’s just as good as doing a fitness video in your living room or going for a jog. Whatever fits in best with your schedule and the new way we are all having to live. There are lots of suggestions via the ‘discover’ section of the mayathon app and on the website.
There’s no need to do more than 26 minutes (but of course you can if you want to) – and you don’t even have to do them all in one go. The timer on the app has a pause function, so you could do 10 minutes in the morning and finish the rest in the evening.

Just remember, it’s not about how fast, how far or how many calories. It is simply about you and your buddy doing the 26 minutes of activity each day and what impact the exercise has on your mood and your overall health.
Occasionally it won’t be possible to do your 26 minutes – your day gets too hectic or something else crops up – don’t worry. Your target over the week should be to exceed the 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week that is recommended by the Chief Medical Officer – and you can actually hit this by doing 6 out of 7 days a week.
As you only need to do 6 days out of 7 to hit your 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week and there are lots of elderly and isolated people out there who need help at the moment, we’ve included a ‘good deed’ icon for you to use on that 7th day. You could do someone’s shopping for them, give them a call or cook a meal for them to have at home. And if you want to do more than one good deed a week, please do. It’s possibly more important now than it was before coronavirus hit that we are kind and generous to everyone.
Ideally you should log your activity on the day itself. The main reason for this is so that your buddy knows you have done your 26 minutes. The other reason is for you to see your streak building up day-by-day. You’ll also get to enjoy the daily celebration the App shares with you!

However, if you do forget, then you are able to log your activity and mood retrospectively by pressing the relevant day on the calendar.
So long as your doctor has approved you taking light exercise, there’s no reason why you can’t take part. Remember, it’s not about how fast or hard you exercise, it’s about being active for 26 minutes a day. If your health issues are directly related to coronavirus you should not be taking part in mayathon. Visit 111 online and follow the guidance. Above all be sensible and be safe.

You can join the online mayathon community via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to share your personal progress and feel supported by endless amounts of encouragement. 

Share your thoughts, ask a question or simply say hello by emailing us at support@mayathon.com – the emails are checked regularly during Monday to Friday and we do our best to respond within 48 hours.

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