Developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle does not need to involve tightening your budget.
Staying healthy does not need to be a financial strain. Get outside and go for a run or walk. Do jumping jacks, stretching and relay races with your kids. You can improve your fitness without spending a penny.
Here are some ways to get and stay healthy without breaking the bank:
• Purchase fresh fruits and vegetables that are currently in season.
You will get the best tasting food for your money and the widest selection. Opt for products that are the most bountiful at your local farmer’s market or grocery store. Also, look to see what in-season fruits and veggies are on sale. Incorporate those into your weekly meal plans.
• Exercise with a friend instead of joining a fitness club. Your friend will make you accountable for working out, will cheer you on to succeed and will be with you as you make strides towards your fitness goals. If you do not have a human companion to work out with, walk or run with your dog on a regular basis.
• Look for healthy bargains in your grocery store.
This may be as simple as choosing oatmeal instead of sugary, expensive cereals for breakfast; buying beans or portabella mushrooms instead of red meat; or drinking orange juice instead of soda with sugar added.
• Do not smoke.
A pack of cigarettes is expensive (and can be much more in major metropolitan cities). If you quit, you will save on the cost of cigarettes and even more in medical bills, as you will be healthier without engaging in this habit.
• Plan your meals before you shop.
Knowing what meals you plan to prepare for the week will prevent you from buying unnecessary food items. The most expensive food is that which you throw away.
• Spring for a pedometer.
Walking a specific number of steps per day can help motivate you to reach your fitness goals. Though you will have to invest in the pedometer, your health will improve and you will reduce your health costs in the end.
While purchasing something off the fast food menu may seem inexpensive and enticing, the costs to you will be far greater, as grease-filled foods may contribute to health problems that will cost you in medical bills and time away from work, family and friends.