Do you have a Fitbit activity tracker? If so, the Department of Veterans Affairs has a free program for you. The VA and Fitbit have hooked up to provide one year of free membership to eligible veterans who have the device. This couldn’t have come at a better time, when we need more exercise, less stress and better sleep.
Up to 10,000 veterans (including caregivers and VA staff) can get one free year of Fitbit Premium, which includes a health metrics dashboard, guided programs and more. Plus, you’ll have access to coaching. Check healthsolutions.fitbit.com.
Eligibility will depend on a few things, such as whether you already use Fitbit and where you are. A bonus for veterans who already use VA healthcare: You might qualify for a Fitbit Sense, which is the Fitbit health smartwatch.
If for some reason you can’t get into the Fitbit program, you have other options for exercise and working out. Step one is to call the gyms closest to you and ask if they offer anything for veterans. CrossFit, Gold’s Gym, 24 Hour Fitness, OrangeTheory and numerous others offer discounts and special deals for veterans. If you’re eligible for Medicare, check into the Silver Sneakers program at local gyms; many Medicare plans will pay for that.
Near a base? If you’re retired, are a MOH recipient or have a disability rating of 100%, you can qualify to use the gym on base.
For at-home equipment, if you’re a Veterans Canteen Service (shopvcs.va.gov) member, check out the prices on equipment such as rowing machines and exercise bikes. Look online for a FreeCycle group in your area (freecycle.org), an online listing of items people are giving away. Finally, don’t forget CraigsList.org for people selling equipment near you.