| Odds & Ends

You’ve said it in years past, but this time you really mean it: THIS is the year you’re going to get in shape! But while your intentions may be good and your resolve strong, the thought of forking over several hundred dollars for a year-long gym membership makes you start sweating without even going near a treadmill. Plus, you don’t have any workout equipment at home and it’s difficult to find the time for a full-on workout during a busy week.

Don’t worry! You don’t need a membership to an upscale gym to burn calories this year. Save your money and use these tips to get fitter without setting foot in a gym.

Watch the Pros

You’ve heard the phrase, “No Pain, No Gain,” right? Well, if you’re doing even the most basic exercises with incorrect form, your “pain” won’t lead to any “gain.” Worse yet, the wrong technique could lead to an injury! If you’re embarking on the road to fitness on your own, watching free fitness videos online can be a great way to get ideas and help keep your form on point. To get the facts (and some great workout routines), check out YouTube channels like BeFIT for tons of free videos that show you how to do your favorite moves with the right form so you’ll get the most out of your workout every time.

Work Out at Home

Want to take up yoga? All you need is a space measuring 71″ x 24″—that’s the size of the average yoga mat! Looking for a weight workout? Rely on your bodyweight for exercises like squats, crunches, wall sits, push-ups, and planks. If you need some fat-burning cardio, try running in place, pretending to jump rope, scaling your stairs, or doing jumping jacks.

If you live in an apartment that has a fitness center, you’re looking at access to unlimited free workouts! What a perk of apartment living! Even if it’s a simple treadmill and some free weights, you can take your workout to the next level with a few enhancements. Plus, you won’t have much of an excuse for not going to the gym—it’s as close to home as it gets!

Join a Fitness Group

Being part of a team can help keep you accountable, learn new things, and gain a support group. Check out free opportunities in your community that will help you get moving toward your new fitness goal. If you have friends who have similar goals, work out together or check in with each other about your goals. Not sure where to start? Look for groups in your area on meetup.com, where you can find everything from running groups to hiking trips.

Walk It Off

Strolling around the neighborhood, taking the stairs whenever you can, going for a walk with the kids, taking Fido out to play at the park—all of these are deceptively simple ways to get in a good walk. It’s not always practical to fit a full workout into your schedule, but doing a little bit every day can help make a difference in the long run. According to the CDC, a brisk walk (about 3.5 mph) burns about 140 calories per half hour on average.

Connect with Direct

How have you jumpstarted your New Year’s resolution for cheap? Do you have issues like staying healthy and accounting for your future with term life insurance on your mind? How are you improving your health this year? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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