Job loss, economic crisis, soaring prices … is it possible to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the midst of all this financial chaos? Of course it is and it’s easier than you think. Being healthy doesn’t have to cost a fortune. In light of this economic downturn, I’ve produced a list of my favorite ways to stay healthy and still have money in the bank. Check it out!
Girl Healthy’s Ten Ways Save Money and Be Healthy
1. Walk. It’s free exercise. You’ll lower your blood pressure, boost your (healthy) HDL cholesterol, improve your mood, decrease your heart attack risk, and manage your weight. Just a thirty-minute brisk walk fulfills your exercise requirement for the entire day.
2. Plant a garden. Homegrown organic vegetables can be healthier and safer than conventional produce because you don’t have to use dangerous chemicals and pesticides. You’ll maximize your nutrient intake by eating your veggies at the peak of freshness. Weeding and working the soil is gentle exercise that’s also a nice stress reliever.
3. Weekly menu planning. Sit down once a week and plan your meals for the week. You’ll drive to the grocery store only once to get exactly what you need rather than impulse buying, thus saving more money and gas. You’ll eat healthier because you’re cutting out take-out for planning a balanced meal. You’re more likely to include fresh fruits and veggies when you plan for it. You’ll also save money by actually using all the food you buy rather than letting it spoil.
4. Buy groceries according to what’s on special. You’ll save money and maybe even try some new foods you’ve never had before.
5. Join a free online nutrition or dieting site like The Daily Plate or SparkPeople. These Web sites do all the hard work for you—they calculate your daily calorie and exercise needs based on your weight and height. All you have to do is record what you eat and how much you exercise. Easy and free.
6. Ride your bike to work, school, or for running errands. Commuting by cycling is functional fitness—you’re getting your cardio while reaching a destination and saving money on gas. Once you arrive at work or school, you’ll be more productive and alert. In the long run, you’ll build your immune system, reduce back pain, reduce your risk for arthritis, and improve your circulation. One added bonus: you’re helping the environment by reducing pollution.
7. Rent exercise DVDs from the library. It’s a free way to experiment with different workouts without paying for a gym membership.
8. Go meatless at least once or twice a week. You’ll consume more nutrients and fewer calories by eating fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans. Meat holds a hefty price tag, so by going meatless you’ll definitely stretch your grocery dollar while reducing your intake of saturated fats and cholesterol. Check out these meatless recipes from Meatless Mondays.
9. Shop farmers markets where prices may be cheaper. You’ll be supporting local agriculture while enjoying the freshest produce available. Consider joining a CSA and splitting shares with a friend to save money.
10. Take a few minutes each day to clear your head. Turn off the TV. Be still. Close your eyes and meditate. Focus on your breathing. Visualize a healthy body and a healthy life. As you relax, you’ll reduce your blood pressure, enhance your immune system, relieve muscle tension, and relieve anxiety.