It seems like new, expensive fitness crazes come out every other week. While the desire to stay healthy
is admirable, the need to live on a budget is a reality for many. Thankfully, there are ways to do both without spending money on dietary supplements, new exercise equipment, and other money consuming get-fit concepts.
The most effective way to stay fit is to make lifestyle changes. Temporary solutions that pinch pennies or quickly help shed a few pounds won’t last in the long run. However, making sensible adjustments to the way you live will benefit your health and your wallet. Below are a few ideas to help you do both at once. Just be sure to consult your doctor first before trying any new fitness or dietary regimens.
Eat Out and Enjoy It
It’s nice to go to a restaurant with delicious entrees, sides, and desserts. It can be a disappointment, however, when your diet won’t allow you to eat all the delicious things you’ve been craving. Try eating out only on special occasions. Cook meals as often as possible. When you go shopping, buy affordable, healthy foods in bulk that will lead to healthy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. When you go out to eat for a celebration, indulge a bit. It’s okay to have a “cheat day,” just live in a way that ensures every day isn’t one. You’ll save money by eating at home, and stay fit by preparing healthy foods. Best of all: when you go out for dinner, you can eat exactly what you want.
Sleep, A Lot.
People need 7-8 hours of sleep every night. If you’re like many folks out there, you’re not getting enough. Sleep is imperative for fitness – it keeps your metabolism regulated, repairs muscles, and gives you the energy you need to live your life. One of the biggest side effects from lack of sleep is stress. No matter what habit, system, or process you use to alleviate stress, you’d probably agree that eliminating the source of stress would be a big help. Sleep more and you’ll feel better and have a little more energy for the fun things in your life.
This is a tough one… Do your friends have the same fitness and budgetary concerns as you? If not, try to make some new friends. Hanging out with people who are like-minded can make a big difference to your health and your bank account. Friends who are into healthy eating and trying new activities can have a lasting effect on your own goals. Are your current friends less in sync with your ideals than you’d like? Talk to them. Make goals together and encourage one another to make good decisions. You can do this – all of you!
The Little Things
Elevator or the stairs? Drive down the street or walk? These small decisions add up in a big way. As you move through your day, try to note the times you choose ease over activity. Take your bike to work. Walk the dogs on a new, longer route. Go out to dinner at a restaurant within walking distance. All of these small decisions can add up to big results for your health. Not to mention that driving the car less, or using less energy whenever possible may save you big bucks.
Sure, there are quick and easy ways to shed a few pounds quickly or save a dollar or two per grocery store trip, but the best way to live a healthier, budgeted life is through lasting change. The kind of change that makes a difference every single day. It may not be easy at first, but once you form positive habits, you’ll be wondering why you ever thought it was hard at all. Take small steps toward lasting changes in your life. You’ll be glad you did.