Six ways to get healthier, for free!
Keeping fit and looking fab need not cost an arm and a leg this year. In fact, with just a bit of effort, you could do it for free. Frances Largeman-Roth, senior editor at Health magazine, fills us in.
Get a free skin checkup
The Skin Cancer foundation will be providing free screenings during its annual Road to Healthy Skin Tour from April to September. Check Skincancer.org for availability. "Caught in the early stages, skin cancer is almost always curable,” said Ritu Saini, a foundation spokesperson.
Strike a (free) pose
Thinking of taking up yoga? Now you can for free (or really cheap). Check out yogatoday.com, a site that streams a free, hour-long yoga class once a week. Don't expect low-budget visuals, either. “These are high-quality, professional videos, set in beautiful landscapes,” said Largeman-Roth. Love what you see? Download it for $3.99, as opposed to paying $18 or $20 per class at your local yoga center.
Create a medical family tree
Ask relatives about their health history, as well as that of ancestors. Then check out familyhistory.hhs.gov to create a free Family Health Portrait that reveals your risks. Largeman-Roth suggests starting out by adding your mom, dad, husband and wife. “Your information is stored and protected and you can add over time,” she said. It's also a great tool for those thinking aboot starting a family, she pointed out.
Sign up for a free pedometer
As New Yorkers, we’re always on the go, but why not keep track of our steps with a free pedometer? JustKeepMoving.com, a healthy-lifestyle site run by Tylenol, will send you a free pedometer and DVD while supplies last simply for signing up. “It’s a great tool that can spark the feeling of being competitive with yourself,” Largeman-Roth said. And, with a pedometer, it's easy to aim for 10,000 steps per day — the amount that's been shown to keep weight off.
Talk it out
There’s a free self-help group out there for whatever problem you’re dealing with, whether it's acne, obesity, being a workaholic or something more obscure. Simply visit MentalHelp.net/selfhelp, a searchable database of more than 1,000 support groups. “This site hooks you into local groups dealing with [your] specific issue,” Largeman-Roth said.
Borrow don’t buy
“At the library, you’ll have access to not only fitness DVDs but also books,” said Largeman-Roth, who points out that borrowing different types of DVDs — from yoga to cardio to pilates — is a great way to mix up your routine and prevent getting bogged down by boredom.