Living healthier doesn’t need to be expensive. Start small by adding simple healthy lifestyle habits one at a time such as taking the stairs instead of the lift, swapping sodas for water, and reaching for more fruits and vegetables than processed foods. Be consistent and you’ll be living healthier all the time without even realising it.
Here’s how to not spend a fortune in your quest for a healthier lifestyle:
1. Focus on the long term
An important step in improving your health is to eat healthy food. Eating a salad or fried foods may seem boring and bland, but they are so much better than you! Resist the temptation to eat out all the time and opt for home cooked food if possible. Unfortunately, choosing healthier foods tend to be more expensive than junk in the short term, but starting healthy habits now may save you from expensive medical bills down the road.
2. Stop buying junk food
Don’t be worried about the cost of fresh food. Instead, think about how much you’re saving by removing junk food and sugary snacks from your grocery list. Likewise, try to limit your intake of processed foods like pasta, bread, and cookies because they are high in sugar or carbs, making you feel tired after eating them. Instead, opt for buying fresh vegetables and fruits instead of frozen or canned ones, and go for whole grains instead of refined ones.
3. An expensive gym membership doesn’t translate to healthy habits
Exercise doesn’t have to mean a big monthly expense. Start by taking a brisk nature walk with friends, doing some yoga or going for a swim.
If you don’t have the discipline for independent exercise, then you can certainly opt for classes at a gym or a boutique studio. But remember that memberships can be expensive. If you seldom use them, think about investing in some essential equipment to build a simple home gym in a small corner of your own home. Combined with online workout videos, you can sweat it out without feeling guilty about not fully utilising your gym membership.
4. Reduce your alcohol intake
Alcohol has no nutritional value; it is simply empty calories and could significantly contribute to extra belly weight, so try to limit yourself to one or two drinks a week (you’ll save money this way too!). Just be mindful about the amount of alcohol you are drinking, and opt for low-calorie white alcohol like vodka and swap out the sugary mixers for water or soda instead.
5. Drink water and green tea
Drink water instead of sodas and juices to keep yourself hydrated. Water also helps fight food cravings and can speed up your metabolism and help fight cravings. Likewise, green tea has antioxidants that can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, in addition to boosting your immune system.
6. Positive mental health is huge
Neglecting mental health will keep you from achieving the balanced healthy lifestyle you need, and it’s vital to have people in your life that genuinely support and encourage you. If you find yourself worrying a lot, take a deep breath and make it a habit to be more optimistic.
This healthy lifestyle habit causes better sleep, higher self-esteem, and a more relaxed mindset to deal with anything that does come up. And if you have hobbies or a passion, follow them for a healthier mindset and an overall sense of happiness. Equally important is asking for emotional support when you need it. There is no shame in asking for help, so if you’re struggling with depression or anxiety, don’t hide it.
7. Stop smoking
Quitting smoking can be a challenge, but think about all the money that you will save by quitting this expensive addiction! Plus, it’s one of the healthiest lifestyle habits that you could adopt.
Smoking damages your cardiovascular health and weakens your lungs by damaging their cells, compromising how they work to distribute oxygen throughout your body. In addition to lung cancer, smoking also increases your risk for mouth cancer, urinary tract infections (in women), reduced fertility rates, and increases the chances of heart disease and stroke.
8. Sleep is underrated
Prioritise quality shut-eye because your body rejuvenates and repairs when you sleep for at least six-eight hours a night. And it’s free! Getting an adequate amount of sleep each night might seem like a luxury instead of something you need to do to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but ignoring a healthy sleep schedule can have severe long-term effects. Being tired and irritable is just a tiny part of it.
Poor sleep quality links to several chronic diseases and conditions, ranging from weight gain and obesity to diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and even Alzheimer’s.