Your Ultimate List Of 20 Health, Wellness And Fitness Freebies
Here are some amazing ways to save.
The Girlfriend is celebrating its 100th issue today! And we couldn't have done it without you. So we're rolling out 100 things you can get for free in 2019. Enjoy! Because everybody needs a Girlfriend.
Here's a roundup of 20 freebies to help you down the path towards better health.
1. Trying to lose weight? You can tap a support system to cheer you on — for free — by joining one of the literally thousands of weight-loss support groups that can be found online. For example, Shape magazine's Goal Crushers is a Facebook group that has attracted more than 9,500 members. Or maybe your gym offers a social-media component for support? If you prefer face-to-face motivation, go on Meetup to locate a Weight Loss Support group near you.
2. Planet Fitness has invited high schoolers age 15 to 18 to work out for free this summer at any of its locations throughout the United States. The initiative, which runs through Sept. 1, is part of the nationwide Teen Summer Challenge initiative. The program will include free fitness classes specifically for teenagers taught by certified trainers every weekday.
3. For adults, a gym membership can set you back a pretty penny. But a site called GymTicket offers a directory of more than 20,000 gyms across the country. You can find out which gyms give out free guest passes or are offering deals and promotions. Some gyms, such as Anytime Fitness and 24 Hour Fitness, will give you a free seven-day pass to try it out.
4. Are you traveling any time soon? Many hotels boast free fitness perks — everything from yoga mats to personal training. At Miami Beach's Canyon Ranch, guests have access to a free rock-climbing wall. At Westin Hotels, guests have 24/7 access to fitness equipment and can even borrow shoes, socks and other workout clothes they might have forgotten. Chicago's Radisson Blue Aqua Hotel offers a running track and an 8,000-square-foot fitness center with a basketball court. Some hotels offer free daily yoga classes; others offer free bikes.
5. Don't know much about mindfulness? Get a taste of it by trying a free guided meditation that you can practice on your own. The UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center offers several meditations you can stream or download both in English and Spanish. When it comes to free mindfulness apps, you might want to check out Insight Timer, Headspace and Stop, Breathe & Think.
6. For those who have trouble sleeping at night, find out the science behind a sounder sleep. It's a bit of free info that could help you stop tossing and turning at night.
7. Few things are better than free items, and if you want to find free samples of health-, fitness- and wellness-related products, there are several sites to peruse. For starters, have a look at MySavings.com, JustFreeStuff and Freaky Freddie's.
8. Are you keeping your brain in a box? Work those mind muscles by playing a variety of brain games, from AARP. There's everything from Sudoku to Mahjongg to crosswords.
9. Even if you're not a member, Costco pharmacies that are open to the general public offer various free health screenings to both members and non-members. These screenings include heart, diabetes and osteoporosis checks. To find out what your local Costco offers, go to Costco.com and click on "Pharmacy" in the main menu.
10. There's a plethora of free fitness apps to get you in shape with a little help from your phone. One of the most widely used apps is RunKeeper, which makes it easy to set up a running routine and to stick with it by tracking your progress. You can also use the app to track cycling and even ice skating. Avid cyclists might also want to try Strava, which not only plots out your trips on a map, but also compares your abilities to others who have traveled the same route. For those who prefer an in-home workout, try out the free Sworkit Fitness app.
11. For those focused mostly on walking, there are plenty of free apps that can track your workouts by revealing your route, speed and distance. Others are geared more toward tracking your daily steps and activity. And some do all of the above. Free apps include Map My Walk, Endomondo and the Fitbit App MobileTracker (which doesn't require a Fitbit).
12. With your own mat in tow, you can usually find free yoga classes at cities across America, especially when the weather's warmer and outdoor events are held. Just google "free yoga" and your city, and you're bound to find something. Or do the same on Eventbrite to find free classes near you.
13. For motivation, check out a variety of free fitness and workout playlists on Spotify.
14. Run by the American Council on Exercise, the ACE Exercise Library offers a treasure trove of total-body exercises or movements that target specific areas of the body — for free. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned exerciser, there's plenty here. And each comes with photos to ensure proper form.
15. Ever tried a free food app? Going out to eat on a regular basis can really cost you. But you can score some complimentary grub with a few food apps. For example, download the Quiznos Toasty Points loyalty app and you can get a free sub. (Hopefully you can find a healthy one.) You can get a free appetizer after signing up on the TGI Fridays app. And you can get a free small plate after downloading the California Pizza Kitchen app. Other places that offer something similar include Schlotzsky's, Auntie Anne's, and Taco Cabana.
16. Perhaps some of the easiest freebies around to access are all the free healthy recipes on the internet that are just waiting for you to try them. There are lots of healthy recipes on the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's website. Other good sources include the Eat Yourself Skinny site, which offers a wide range of healthy recipes that are gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, low-carb and paleo. You can also access a whole free e-cookbook from Delicious Meets Healthy.
17. Kroger offers heart-healthy recipes and food choices on its site, as well as free cholesterol screenings throughout the year.
18. Sam's Club often offers free health screenings for members, including blood glucose. Cholesterol screenings are typically available to members for a small fee. Go here to find out more.
19. CVS' Project Health initiative offers free annual health screenings at select pharmacy locations across the country. Screenings include Body Mass Index (BMI), glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol. For a full calendar of Project Health events, go here. Or, go here if you prefer the information in Spanish.
20. Finally, for older adults, there's Medicare. And while Medicare isn't free, of course, there are services with no out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries. To help you determine what items and services are covered, check out Medicare's relatively new free app called "What's Covered," which is available on both the App Store and Google Play. Just search for "What's covered" or "Medicare," and download the app to your phone.
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