Emily Gaines - BBB

Emily Gaines, Class of 2018, is a Public Relations Coordinator for the Better Business Bureau serving the Heart of Texas.

The new year, and semester, are here! These new beginnings provide a fresh start and an opportunity for people to assess what they’d like to do better in the coming months. Becoming healthier is often one of the most popular resolutions each year, and there are many ways of accomplishing this. The American Psychological Association (APA) says unaccomplished resolutions can quickly bring anxiety and suggests starting small and asking for support.

Your Better Business Bureau is here with these tips to support you on your journey to a happy, healthy 2020:

  • Get fit with the right gym. New gym memberships increase at the beginning of January, when consumers decide to invest in a gym and their health. There can be many benefits to working out at a public gym: classes, equipment, accountability and more. However, you want to be sure you’re at the place that’s right for you. Knowing your fitness goals and setting priorities can help you determine where to start looking. Always take a tour of facilities and read the contract closely to determine how much a membership costs each month. You can also check the gym’s business profile on bbb.org. If you’re looking for a more cost-effective option, you can work out at the campus rec center.

  • Watch for free trial scams. Some health and fitness goals, like quitting smoking or losing weight, can be a slow process. You may even feel like you aren’t making much progress, which is when turning to “miracle” products begins to seem like a good idea. First and foremost, you should always be careful when taking products for your health and should consult with your doctor first. Products advertised by influencers on social media probably aren’t beneficial to your health. Second, businesses using big claims and celebrity endorsements may be attempting to lure you into a free trial scam. This is when a company claims it’ll send you a sample of its product for free, you just need to give your credit card information to pay shipping and handling. Later, you find a charge for the full cost of the product. If this is the direction you decide to go when working on your New Year’s resolutions, always read the terms and conditions carefully before placing your order and use your credit card for extra protections.

  • Care for your mental health, too. Caring for your health extends beyond your physical health. Helpguide.org emphasizes the importance of social connection when caring for your mental health. In fact, a report released by Better Business Bureau at the end of September showed social isolation to be a factor in increasing scam risk. Those with fewer people in their lives to discuss potential scam offers with were more likely to become victims of fraud and lose money. Take time this year to try new organizations, connect with old friends during study breaks and care for yourself.

Have a happy and healthy New Year, and good luck this semester from everyone here at BBB serving the Heart of Texas!

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