If you have lived on a low-income, then you will know just how challenging it can be to eat healthy and keep fit without overspending. However, having a less than glamorous bank account isn’t an excuse to eat junk and never exercise.
Some healthy foods are expensive; there is no doubting that. But, there are still many ways you can eat healthily and exercise regularly, without breaking the bank.
If you want to change your unhealthy ways this January, check out the 10 life hacks below. These tips are not a complete guide; they are simply a starting point to help you get on the right track.
1. Drink lots of water
The human body is made up of 90 percent water and needs lots of water to function properly. Not only can drinking lots of water help to relieve headaches and other pains, it also has many other benefits.
Drinking water can increase your energy, aid weight loss, and help to improve your complexion. It can also help to boost your immune system and flush nasty toxins out of your body. For a healthier and more energetic you, make sure to increase your water intake.
Remember, drinking water will save you money because it is free!
2. Go for long walks
Walking is an excellent form of exercise – it’s free, not too strenuous, and can be very enjoyable. Make sure that when you go out walking you don’t just potter along. You must walk briskly!
A brisk walk is much more beneficial than a slow stroll. Try to go on nature walks to the fields and open countryside. Walking on uneven country paths, etc. will burn more calories than walking on smooth terrain.
3. Eat lots of fruit
Fruit is packed full of vitamins and minerals, that can help to protect you from viruses and diseases. However, fruit doesn’t always come cheap, which can be a problem if you are living on a tight budget.
Instead of buying supermarket produce, shop at local farmers markets as fruit tends to be cheaper. Another way to save money on your fruit costs is to grow it yourself. If you don’t have enough room in your garden, why not ask a friend or relative to borrow a patch of theirs? As long as you share the produce with them, they are unlikely to mind. Alternatively, you could always apply for an allotment space.
4. Eat healthy meals
Many people make the excuse that they can’t afford to eat healthy. However, this is total nonsense. Many of the healthiest vegetables and foods can be bought at low prices.
Sure, good quality meat is expensive, but vegetables are not. Big salads and hearty soups are two examples of low-cost meals that are extremely healthy.
5. Take time out to meditate
Put aside half an hour each day to meditate and clear your mind. During meditation, make sure to turn off all electronic devices. A few minutes of calm can go a long way to helping you feel healthier, calmer, and more balanced.
If you struggle to meditate at home, why not sign up for a low-cost yoga or Pilates class instead? Regular participation in yoga or Pilates classes is an excellent way to improve your health and create a more calm and peaceful mindset.
6. Eat between meals
So often we are told that snacking is bad for our health, but by opting for healthy snacks, you can eat between meals and stay healthy.
To help stabilize your blood sugar levels and balance your weight, eat healthy, low-fat snacks like almonds, hummus, and whole-grain pita breads. While snacking, make sure to steer clear of anything too sugary.
7. Exercise a few times a week
Exercising and keeping fit is an important part of keeping your body healthy. Make sure to find time to exercise for 30 minutes four or five times a week. Don’t make the excuse that you can’t afford to pay for the gym or to attend a class – you don’t need a gym to exercise.
A good fitness regime should consist of cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility training. So, it is important that you find ways to combine all of these aspects into your daily workouts. Running, dancing, and cycling are all excellent examples of cardiovascular exercise that can all be done for free. Strength training should be incorporated into your exercise regime two to three times a week and should consist of a mix of weight training and resistance training. Flexibility training should consist of stretches, yoga and Pilates. You can find awesome stuff online for free about stretches and exercising ideas.
Instead of buying weights, you could fill old water bottles with sand and use them as DIY dumbbells. Instead of buying resistance training bands, you could use a pair of old tights. These may not sound like the most glamorous of ideas, but they are cheap, work well, and won’t break the bank.
8. Swap to natural products
Whilst you may think that swapping from regular products to natural ones would be more expensive, this isn’t always the case. Home, beauty, and even products aimed at children are full of so many different chemicals, it is important to look for alternative options to use.
Do you really want to wash your clothes, home, and body in chemicals? Do you feel comfortable washing your little ones with a soap filled with chemicals? Have a think about it and start looking for the cheapest ways to buy natural and chemical-free products for your family.
9. Save money with vouchers
10. Be friendly
Improve your mental health by being kind, generous, and social. Put aside time each week to spend with friends and family members – have coffee, go for a swim, do something exciting. It is often the case that the happier we are, the healthier we feel, so make time to do the things that make you happy.