Free Ways To Get in Shape
August 28, 2015 | Home and Family
Ready to lose weight—but don’t want to drain your bank account in the process? No worries! You can slim down for free with these apps, sites and other cool tools (no expensive personal trainers or pricey meal plans required).
1. Subscribe to the BeFIT channel on YouTube. You’ll be able to take full Jillian Michaels workouts, as well as a great mix of other calorie-burning classes (like Cardio Pilates and Bootcamp) without needing to purchase a single DVD.
2. Set Your Goals With The Body Weight Planner. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) created this tool using all the latest research to help study participants figure out how many calories they should eat to hit their goal weight (factoring in things like activity levels, age, current weight, etc.). They’ve now made it available to the public— for free!
3. Download MyFitnessPal. It’s a wonder that this food and fitness-tracking app is free. You can use it to log what you eat—their database of foods is enormous—and how much you exercise, so can you make sure you’re sticking to your goals.
4. Get Into The Sworkit Like Personal Trainer App. A recent University of Florida study named it the top-scoring fitness app, based on the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines for aerobic exercise, flexibility and strength or resistance (it was up against some steep competition, too).
5. Check Out The Dash Diet. Year after year it’s named the best diet by the US News & World Report, and you’ll find free recipes and tips on their site. And then if you’re into it, it might be worth getting the book.
6. Chart out your walk with MapMyWalk. Not sure how far you’re going on your daily walks? Figure out your mileage with this app—then try and extend your walk a little bit every day, or test out new routes, too.
7. Take advantage of free fitness streaming video trials. Fitness streaming sites like Yoga Today and AcaciaTV offer free trials (14 days and 10 days, respectively) when you sign up. And if you’re not ready to commit—you don’t have to carry on with them.
8. Get free expert help choosing a diet plan. Not sure how to choose a diet plan—and don’t want to waste money trying a bunch of different ones out? The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases offers free, solid advice for picking a healthy, manageable program.
9. Visit FitnessBlender.com. It almost seems too good to be true—you get access to hundreds of fitness videos (created and staring one cute, very in-shape couple), all without having to put your credit card down. You can also track your progress and “star” your favorite videos, also all for free.
10. Book a free consultation. Jenny Craig offers a free one-on-one: You’ll work with a consultant to talk about your goals and how to meet them. Then, you can decide if it’s the right weight loss route for you—and if it’s not, there are no strings attached.
11. Chill out with the Headspace app. The term “stress eat” exists for a reason: When we’re worked up, it makes it a lot easier chow down in a hurry, rather than mindfully eat and stop when full. But this free-to-sign up app can help bring some calmness and mindfulness into your life.
12. Snag a free gym guest pass. Most gyms want to get people in the door to check out their facilities, so they’re bound to offer some sort of free deal. Search if any local gyms offer free guest passes online (Gold’s Gym, for example, offers a free 7-day membership), or if you don’t see anything listed, ask in person.
13. Get free money by buying healthy stuff. Sure, you could use the free Ibotta app to get cash back on cookies, but you can also use it to get cash back when you buy nutritious stuff like milk, bananas and eggs. Then, use the money you get to buy more good-for-you food.
14. Brush up your nutrition knowledge. Take this fun quiz on Time.com that explains which foods are better for you—and why (For example, which is healthier: a half cup of ice cream or three scoops of sorbet?).
15. Follow your favorite healthy brands. Love a certain Greek yogurt brand or go crazy over a type of oatmeal? Follow them on social media—Twitter, Facebook, and the like—so you’ll be the first to snag any freebies they may offer to loyal fans.
LearnVest, Inc. is owned by NM Planning, LLC, a subsidiary of The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.