People with a limited budget are often concerned about the potential costs of making changes in their life that will improve their overall health. However, there are many small changes that you can take at a limited cost and some may actually even save you money.
Some of them are:
One of the major causes of low levels of fitness and poor health is not getting enough exercise. People often argue that they do not have the money to start a new exercise regime as a gym membership is usually expensive. However, there are plenty of ways that you can exercise for free and the easiest one of these is walking.
The benefits of walking include maintaining a healthy weight, strengthening bones and muscles, managing existing health conditions and improving mood, balance, and coordination. Start walking to work or the shops instead of taking the car and try to include a short walk during your lunch break. Go for a longer walk once or twice a week and make this an enjoyable experience by taking along a friend to a local beauty spot.
2. Make Homemade Meals
There are several benefits to making homemade meals. The first is that it is likely to cost significantly less than buying ready meals. Secondly, you have complete control over what does and does not go into the food. Therefore, there are no hidden surprises of a meal that is surprisingly high in fat, salt or sugar.
Finally, you can cook large quantities of food at a time, portion it out and then freeze for meals at a later date.
To ensure your homemade meals are healthy, try planning them in advance and write a shopping list so you are not tempted to buy unhealthy items you do not need. Another tip is to avoid grocery shopping when you are hungry as this may encourage you to buy snacks.
3. Switch to Whole Grains
Switching to whole grains is one of the simplest changes you can make as part of your new healthy living plan. Whole grains are really cheap, especially if you buy them in bulk. Food products such as rice, pasta, and cereals can be bought in large quantities and kept to a long period of time in your store cupboard.
Switching to whole grains has several benefits to your health. Whole grains are full of fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Furthermore, they can help to maintain a healthy weight, they are digested slowly and they lower your blood pressure.
Furthermore, eating whole grains can reduce the risk of you suffering a number of diseases in the future, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke and some cancers.
4. Eat Seasonal Fruit and Vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are an essential part of a healthy, nutritious and balanced diet. By eating a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, you are providing your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to work effectively.
Buying seasonal fruit and vegetables will save you money as they cost significantly less than when they are not in season. A great tip is to buy excess seasonal products and then freeze them to use at a later date, rather than spending more buying the food items you love when they are no longer seasonal.
5. Choose Snacks Wisely
There are many times throughout the day when hunger strikes between meals. This is often the case while you are working. Grazing throughout the day is not necessarily a bad thing, just so long as you choose your snacks carefully. The mistake that many people make is to buy packages snacks and these are often high in unhealthy fats, refined sugars, and salt.
It is much better to either make your own snacks to eat while you are work or to buy whole foods. Some good examples of healthy snacks that can contribute to a balanced diet are nuts, seeds, and fruit. Rather than having a detrimental effect on your health, these snacks will provide you with many of the vitamins and minerals you need for good overall health.
6. Reduce Portion Sizes
Large portions are one the major contributing factors that lead to weight gain. A healthy weight is important as obesity can lead to many long-term health problems. Therefore, it makes sense to reduce portion sizes as a simple way of controlling your weight.
This does not necessarily mean that you need to start the time-consuming task of weighing out all your food. Instead, simply visualize the amount you put on your plate and just start serving yourself less food. If you are finding this tricky, using smaller plates means your plate looks full even though you are eating less than usual.
7. Educate Yourself
Often, people are not unhealthy because they are deliberately making unhealthy choices. Rather, it is because they are not educated or because they lack the knowledge about what constitutes a healthy and balanced diet. They do not know what proportion of each food group should make up their meals and are unsure of which food contain the vitamins and minerals they need.
You do not need to buy expensive healthy living books to learn more about this subject. The Internet is a free learning tool, and it's very rich in information. Taking the time to learn more about healthy living will allow you to make informed decisions about your diet and lifestyle.
By understanding what your body does or does not need, you can choose what to include in your diet. You will also have a clearer understanding of the benefits of each of the food you choose to eat or the potential harm that unhealthy foods can have on your body.
Healthy living is not just something for those that can afford expensive gym memberships and costly dietary programs. It is something that anyone can strive towards regardless of their budget.