How to Improve Your Health on a Budget

Are you ready to make a lifestyle change but you’re worried
about breaking the bank while trying to make healthier changes? The good news
is that you don’t have to worry about spending a ton of money to become
healthier, but rather make small lifestyle
changes
that will make a big impact on your overall health. Here are a few
ways you can improve your health on a budget.

#1 Stop Eating Out

Stop eating out. Not just at fast-food restaurants, stop
eating out at any restaurants. Eating out at restaurants is an easy way to
consume extra calories, because food cooked at restaurants often has higher
salt and sugar content to make it taste better. Restaurant food is often
prepared in batches for mass consumption, so it’s hard to modify your dish to
remove excess salt and sugar. Additionally, restaurants serve 1.5 to 2x the
normal portions of, enticing you to consume much more than necessary.

A good way to eliminate these extra calories is to cook
food at home
. There are several other ways of enjoying time with friends in
a social environment that doesn’t revolve around food. Grab a coffee at a
coffee shop with friends in the morning, meet friends for a mid-day tea, or
grab a glass of red wine at a board game bar at night.

You don’t always have to follow this rule, especially if you
have a special occasion coming up, but for the most part try eliminating eating
out from your lifestyle. If you do go out for a meal, order wisely. Ask for a
menu with a calorie count if they have one available or ask for ways you can
make your meal healthier by ordering unmarinated meats, salads with a simple
vinegar and oil dressing, and food cooked in olive oil rather than butter.
You’ll be surprised at how much better you look and feel just by making this
simple change. Also, you save tons of money by doing this. This tip will not
only make you healthier but will help you keep more of your money in your
pocket to spend on things that make you happy.

#2 Eat Whole Foods

Eating whole foods is one of the only proven ways of
sticking to a long-term health change. Fad diets, diet pills, and restrictive
diets are destined to fail and can even have adverse effects. Shortly after
stopping the short-term diet, you will likely gain back any of the weight you
have lost plus some due to eating large portions, rewarding yourself for
dieting, and losing only water weight.

Eating whole
foods
consists of only eating foods how they are found in nature. Sticking
to this rule helps eliminate processed foods, fried foods, canned and frozen foods,
and overall unhealthy foods from your diet. Filling your plate with primarily
produce and small portions of protein, legumes, nuts, and good fats is low in
calories and allows your body to easily break down your meal as these foods are
well-known to your digestive system.

Contrary to popular belief, eating mainly produce can be
more budget-friendly than you might think. Obviously, this depends on your
location, but for the most part you can find produce inexpensively depending on
where you shop. Shop around to not just supermarket chains, but also to small
independently owned grocers, produce stands, and farmers markets for the best
deals on produce. Once you find where you can find the cheapest produce, make
it part of your weekly grocery trip.

In addition to being well-priced, produce is easy to make
mix-and-match meals with. This gets you more bang for your buck as well as cuts
down on food waste. Because the
average U.S. household wastes almost $1,000 in food each year
, it’s
important to buy foods you will eat all of to avoid leaving money on the table,
or rather, in the trash can.

#3 Get GOOD Sleep

Often people underestimate the effect sleep has on overall
health. We spend about 1/3 of our lives sleeping. Therefore, we should focus on
getting GOOD sleep to avoid spending our days feeling groggy. Not getting good
sleep has several detrimental effects on our health.

So, how do we get GOOD sleep? Well, there is a large list of
things that contributes to getting a lack of sleep. Not getting enough
exercise, too much exposure to artificial light at night, drinking caffeine too
close to bedtime, and many other factors can be responsible for one not getting
enough restful sleep at night. It’s important to know how many hours of sleep
you need
in accordance with your age.

There are many natural ways to promote sleep health before
bed. Creating healthy nighttime routines are a great way to create good
nighttime habits. Try stretching for 30 minutes before bed, reading instead of
looking at your phone, and crawling into bed with a cup of chamomile tea which
naturally aids sleep. Getting into the habit of doing repetitive relaxing
actions before bed can help prepare your body for sleep and allow you to get
GOOD sleep.

Getting good sleep will help to promote
healthy brain function
allowing you to have a more productive next day. Getting
adequate sleep each night requires you to dish out no extra cash and can be a
nice way for you to create good habits as well as take the time before bed to
focus on your health, rather than your phone, work, or other sleep disturbing
actions.

#4 Don’t Go to the Gym

Improving your health on a budget can feel overwhelming when
you see the price of a gym membership. Before shelling out hundreds if not
thousands of dollars each year on a gym membership, remember that you already
have all the tools to exercise at your disposal.

In today’s world it’s incredibly easy to work out for free.
Instead of joining a gym, decide what exercise you’d like to do. If you like
running, get outside and explore your neighborhood on a run. You can even look
online for running trails around your city to enjoy more scenic routes. If you
like yoga,
search YouTube for a free, online instructor. You can find almost any kind of
yoga on YouTube whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced yogi. If
you prefer strength training, search YouTube for at home strength training
workouts. If you don’t have a set of weights at home and don’t want to invest
in a set, use full water bottles to add weight to your workout.

If you don’t want to feel pressured to purchase a gym
membership, calculate how much it would cost you per day if you don’t use your
gym. This will quickly make you realize how much money you’d be wasting by only
using your gym a few times a week. This can really put things into perspective
for you when planning
your fitness goals
.

Outro:

There are many ways to improve your health that cost a ton
of money without a doubt. However, you can almost always find a similar
alternative, if not the same thing, for free or cheap. When trying to improve
your health on a budget, remember to avoid eating out, always shop around to
find the best prices on produce, create healthy nighttime habits in order to
get the best sleep, and exercise at home or outside. By following these four
simple tips you’ll be on your way to improving your health in no time!


Samantha Rupp holds a BS in Business Administration and is a contributing editor for 365BusinessTips.com as well as a marketing expert for an event insurance company. She lives in San Diego, California and enjoys traveling, spending time on the beach and reading up on business industry trends. Feel free to connect with her on LinkedIn.


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