These days we’re all watching what we spend, cutting back (or out) where we can. Luckily you can cut back on the costs of staying healthy without going back on your intentions to live well with these tips for healthy living.best health living tips
Eating healthily, being physically active and getting regular healthcare are all still possible and affordable even on today’s smaller, tighter budgets according to experts.
A spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, Bethany Thayer, herself a registered dietician, points out that eating healthy can be done on a budget. You just need to plan carefully and shop smart. Here are some superb savings tips:
– Make as much of your own food as you can from scratch – prepackaged foods always cost more.
– Plan your trip to the supermarket armed with a detailed list and a full stomach – never go in hungry or in a hurry.
– Enjoy seasonal foods when you can – but only buy as much as you know you can eat before it spoils.
– Frozen or canned fruits and veggies last longer than the ones in the crisper in your fridge so you can take advantage of sales and larger sizes to stock up… and they taste yummy too.
– Use coupons – this can save you from 10-15% on your grocery bill.
– Think about portions, especially when it comes to meats. Your servings should be the size of a deck of playing cards, so a package of chicken breasts could be prepared at one time but used for two meals.
– Put leftovers away promptly so that there’s no question they’re safe to eat again, and you won’t be tempted to go back for seconds.
– Try less expensive foods for the nutrients you need. Beans are an affordable source of protein and fiber, what’s more there are many varieties and you can use them lots of ways, hot or cold. Popcorn and oatmeal are inexpensive grains, while nonfat dry milk is an affordable source of dairy.
Exercise is another healthy lifestyle choice that can be done on a budget.
While gym memberships might not be affordable anymore, you can still be physically fit and active… you just need to be more creative.
Any activity or body movement that causes you to expend energy is good – running the stairs, gardening, a game of hoops in the driveway – everyday things can do wonders to keep your body in shape.
According to Michael Esco, an exercise physiology instructor at Auburn University Montgomery, other ways to stay physically fit without spending a fortune include…
– Use what you have – a jumprope, a bike, even a dog can all be great ways to get yourself up and moving on a regular basis. You don’t have to spend money. Use cans of veggies, bottles or jugs of water for your strength training program.
– Buy a pedometer, as simply owning this under $20 device can have you being more active. Studies found that subjects who wore them walked an extra mile or two a day. Another option is a physioball (less than $40) to help you do exercises like push ups, crunches and squats. If you’d like a stationary bike, consider a bicycle trainer (about $100) to turn your regular bike into stationery one.
– Simple exercises that use your own body weight – push-ups, sit-ups and squats can be very effective.
Now that we’ve covered eating and exercising, we’ll talk about the one you think you can live without… regular health care.
The good news is that you can save on health care, but it’s not by skipping checkups and standard screenings.
Doctor’s will tell you that it’s easier, and cheaper, to treat a health problem earlier as opposed to later. These checkups, that do often carry co-pays, are the time for your doctor to find, and be able to nip in the bud some costly and potentially dangerous conditions. Screenings too allow things to be caught early, before they become serious.
Here are some smart tips from Dr. Thomas J. Weida of the Penn State College of Medicine’s Department of Family and Community Medicine to help you safely reduce what you spend on healthcare…
– Look at prescription medications and discuss with your doctor switching to cheaper, but equally effective alternatives, or larger doses that you can then tailor to your needs.
– Buy over the counter medications in bulk if you can, but be sure you’ll use them before the expiration date.
– Staying out of the emergency room makes sense on lots of levels, cost certainly being one of them. In these situations you often end up having (and paying for) tests your own doctor might not have ordered since he/she can follow you more closely.
– Treat at home if you can, especially when it’s a routine illness like a cold or flu that’s progressing as it has for you in the past. Call your doctor if you feel worse or something different happens.
– Call the doctor’s office with a question, as often the doctor of his/her staff can help you over the phone, directing you to a good product to use or what to do to help yourself feel better.
The encouraging news for anyone who wants tips for healthy living is that no matter how tight your money is, there are always ways to stick to your goals… to keep your body strong and healthy. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!