How to Live a Healthy Lifestyle Without Breaking the Bank
Date: September 27, 2016
Americans find lots of excuses for not getting healthy, and cost is one of them. While it's true that it can cost you a bundle to eat at that new vegan restaurant every night and work out daily with a personal trainer, it's also possible to build a healthy, happy lifestyle without spending a fortune. Here are some tips to get you heading down the healthy path.
The Low-Down on Costs of a Healthy Lifestyle
What does the term "healthy lifestyle" mean to you? To many, it includes three categories: the food you eat; your exercise routine; and finding the right work-life balance.
Eating healthy foods, getting your body moving and achieving a good balance between work time and play time are not necessarily expensive. That's not to say that you can make health a priority without making a serious investment of time and energy. Planning and organization are key.
Healthy Eating on a Budget
If you are what you eat, you can't have a healthy lifestyle without focusing on food. Good-for-you, nutritious food is cheap if you buy it at the grocery store and prepare it yourself at home, according to AARP savings expert Jeff Yeager, as quoted in the WebMD article "Live Healthy on a Retirement Budget." Yeager says that the foods we should be eating are those that are inexpensive per pound, such as whole grains, beans, veggies and fruits.
In order to develop a habit of healthy eating, you'll need to make a meal plan each week before you go shopping. Buy just the foods you'll need for the meals you've chosen; having a weekly plan prevents fast food urges from taking over.
Choose a Cheap Workout and Just Do It
No, you don't need a gym membership in order to exercise. You can get your aerobic fix by walking, running or biking. Although you'll need appropriate shoes and perhaps a decent bike, the ongoing costs are small for the benefits your body will experience.
If you just can't get moving without the motivation of organized classes or gym buddies, be picky about where you sign up. Skip the swanky options and try YMCA facilities or community centers. Your body won't know the difference, but your bank account will thank you.
Juggling Job and Life
Who doesn't have a smart phone these days? A tablet? A computer? The increasing prominence of all this technology means that work concerns follow us home and invade our leisure time.
A healthy lifestyle is one where work doesn't override family and fun. This means you must set — and enforce — limits. Build downtime into your schedule in the same way you build veggies into your meals. Committing to relaxation and intimate time with family members isn't easy in a busy life, but it won't cost you a dime to develop healthy habits that will pay off in a big way.