Do you want to live healthier, but you think it’s too expensive? According to a recent survey, finances are a major obstacle for many adults trying to shape up. Almost 60% of Americans say that the high cost of health and wellness is a major barrier to living a healthy lifestyle, according to OnePoll, a marketing research company.
The figure rises to 68% for those who live in cities. Smart home gym equipment and meal subscription boxes could cost you thousands of dollars a year. However, there are many smart choices that are free or nearly free.
Try these ideas for protecting your waistline and your budget…
AFFORDABLE WAYS TO EAT HEALTHY
1. Dine in.
Preparing meals at home can save a lot of money and give you more control over the ingredients. You’re likely to use much less sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats compared to most restaurants.
2. Consume more plants.
A plant-based diet can help the planet as well as your health, and it’s often cheaper than eating meat and other animal products. Load up on vegetables, fruits, lentils, beans, nuts, and seeds.
3. Grow your food.
You can garden even with limited time and space. Maybe you can use your backyard, balcony, or roof. Maybe you can grow herbs on your kitchen windowsill and hang a vertical garden on an outside wall.
4. Shop the freezer aisle.
Is your favorite produce out of season or rarely on sale? You may be able to use frozen spinach or berries in some recipes.
5. Cut down on waste.
Between 30 to 40% of the food supply goes to waste in the US. Do your part by buying only what you need and using up leftovers.
AFFORDABLE WAYS TO WORK OUT
6. Take a walk.
It’s convenient, free, and suitable for any fitness level. Head outdoors or jump on a treadmill at lunchtime or after work.
7. Do body weight exercises.
You can start your home gym with just a mat for doing pushups and crunches. Gradually pick up other low cost gear, like jump ropes and resistance bands.
8. Play outdoors.
Exercising feels like less work when you’re enjoying fresh air. Your nearby parks may have running trails and chin up bars.
9. Check community resources.
The website for your local recreation department may provide more fitness programs and facilities that cost less than
commercial gyms. Try your neighborhood library too.
10. Attend classes online.
One upside to the pandemic was the surge in virtual fitness classes. Some are free, and most cost much less than studio sessions. They’re also available whenever you have time in your schedule.
MORE FREE WAYS TO LIVE HEALTHY
11. Sleep well.
Go to bed and wake up at a consistent time. Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
12. Manage stress.
Chronic tension causes inflammation and aggravates many medical conditions. Start a daily relaxation practice and practice deep breathing.
13. Adjust your posture.
Boost your circulation and maintain a healthy spine. Sit up straight when you’re working on your computer or watching TV.
14. Weigh yourself.
Average lifetime weight gains are 22 pounds for women and 19 for men. Stop extra pounds from creeping up on you. Step on the scale at least once a week.
15. Wash your hands.
You can lower your risk for respiratory infections by 20% just by washing your hands frequently with soap and water. Do it before and after eating food and using the bathroom.
USING THESE TIPS
You can enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle without having to hire a private chef or a personal trainer. Develop daily habits that support your fitness goals and work within your budget.