If you made a New Year's resolution to lose weight or get fit in 2014, you are not alone.
Losing weight was the number one resolution made in the early hours of January 1, 2014, according to statistics released by the University of Scranton this year.
As January approaches its end and your New Year's resolutions turn one month old, you may find staying on top of your fitness goals is harder than you expected.
Resolution enthusiasm wanes for many people within the first six weeks of the New Year, leaving good intentions in the dust as giving up and moving on becomes a more and more attractive option.
However, it's important to keep on top of fitness goals, as losing weight and exercising more can have significant long-term benefits on health and your lifestyle.
So, if you find your enthusiasm and drive beginning to falter, it may be worth seeking outside help to encourage you forward on your journey to better health.
Be wary of scams
At this point, many people turn to the internet for affordable and convenient assistance. There is a vast range of websites and programs offered that promise extraordinary results with minimal effort.
However, it is important to stay cautious when looking online for weight-loss and fitness programs.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has discovered a large number of scammers are operating online, ready to take advantage of those hoping to improve their fitness this year.
"Scammers are experts at preying upon people's vulnerabilities and try to take advantage of people's good intentions to improve their health in the New Year," ACC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper said in a January 10 media release.
"Unfortunately if you fall for this scam, the only place you will feel lighter is your wallet."
Consumers are warned to be cautious of programs or supplements that offer results that seem too good to be true, such as 'lose 30 kilograms in 30 days' schemes or 'lose weight while you sleep' pills and patches.
"These scams suggest that you can achieve amazing results without having to do any extra exercise or even modify your diet. They lack any scientific evidence or demonstrated links between the program, food, supplement, gadget or process being promoted – and the result," said Dr Schaper.
Affordable and honest options
Fortunately, if you are serious about losing weight or getting fit in 2014, there are trustworthy and official options available.
Joining a gym, speaking with a nutritionist and enlisting the services of a personal trainer are all effective and simple ways to take the first steps on your weight-loss journey.
Unfortunately, the expense of a 12-month gym membership or the cost of an official health care program can put a number of people off this option.
If you're worried about the expense of these official channels, did you know your health insurance policy could help you save money on fitness programs and gym memberships?
Many major private health insurance providers offer rebates as a reward for healthy lifestyle choices.
Remember, it is in the best interests of your health fund to keep you fit and out of hospital so you spend less on medical bills, and exercise is one of the best ways to support this.
The offered rebates can be used towards the cost of gym memberships, fitness classes, weight-loss management programs and even swimming lessons.
However, not every health fund offers these rebates, and those who do are often bound by different rules and regulations.
It is therefore important to conduct a thorough health insurance comparison to ensure you choose the cover best for your needs.
If you would like more information on the benefits available or need help comparing health insurance policies, contact the team at HICA today.