There are several reasons why some of us neglect our health. From busy schedules to a preference for a sedentary lifestyle, people can quickly lose fitness. Expense should not be one of the reasons for letting health slip, though. There are countless economic ways to improve your health. All it takes is a little planning, which ends up adding additional benefits to your life.
Begin Your Healthy Lifestyle in the Kitchen
The best place to start when embarking on healthy living is with the food you eat. Everyone eats, every day. Your diet is the most impactful health decision because the eating rules you live add up daily. No other human activity is so evenly spread throughout the day to cause sustainable change, which is vital for good health.
A healthy diet does not have to add to your grocery budget. In fact, if handled correctly, it can significantly reduce what you pay on food each month. The first step is gathering as much information as you can about what you eat and how much money you spend on food. Years ago, this was easier to calculate, as you would just figure out your grocery bill. Today, we consume food differently since our schedules are more hectic and we have more options. So write down a budget based on your total food purchases last month. Include everything from trips to the supermarket to stops at the coffee shop. Once you have that figure, you will know your current food expenses.
For savings and health benefits, make a goal to reduce your dining out, such as lunches and coffee shop stops. Online budgeting tools can analyze your debit or credit card activity and sort it by spending category to help. You don’t have to eliminate these stops, but make sure you are aware of how much money you spend and determine if it makes sense to reduce.
Once you’ve curbed your extraneous food spending, focus on your most significant food bill, which, for most people, is what they spend each week at the market. Think about how much food you throw away each week. Food waste is pervasive today, so it is crucial to buy only what you need and use real, fresh ingredients to craft healthy meals. Inexpensive, healthy ingredients include:
– Hearty veggies such as cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, and sweet potatoes.
– Apples, oranges, and bananas.
– Brown rice, which is filling and fiber-rich.
– Dried beans and lentils.
– Eggs, as they add flavor and protein and can be used in any meal.
– Whole chickens, which you can easily breakdown yourself to use for different meals.
– Cheaper cuts of meat, such as pork shoulder or stew beef, which are delicious in stews.
Try to focus your shopping to the outer aisle as much as possible so you’ll avoid buying snacks and heavily processed foods. Invest in some good storage containers so you can fully embrace leftovers.
Embrace Inexpensive Fitness Routines
Working out can and should be a free activity. You do not need to join an expensive gym, seek out personal trainers, or invest in pricey equipment. One of the most impactful workouts is walking. It’s an approachable and sustainable activity because all you need is a pair of sneakers and injuries are highly unlikely. Look for walking paths near your home and strive to add steps to each day.
To exercise other parts of your body, invest a small amount of money into a home gym, and you will reap the benefits all year long. A simple home gym requires modest, inexpensive equipment such as small free weights, dumbbells, kettlebells, a balance ball, and a yoga mat. With just a handful of equipment, you can increase muscle strength, balance, and flexibility. As a bonus, you are more likely to use equipment that is in your home rather than a drive away at a gym. As you progress in your home workouts, you may want to invest in some additional equipment, such as a treadmill. Do some online research about the right treadmill for your body shape and desired activity level, as these can be expensive. And remember, equipment is only useful if you put it to work.
Fitness is not a luxury. It only requires good habits.