8 economical paths to good health

July 28, 2015

Between diets and fitness regimes, a healthy lifestyle can seem expensive. But the basics, good food and regular exercise, are actually very affordable and easy to do. Here's how to save more and live better:

8 economical paths to good health

1. Healthy food can be cheaper

A diet beneficial to your health can also be good for your bank balance. Fresh fruit, vegetables, pasta and legumes are all much cheaper than convenience foods, which tend to be high in unhealthy salt, fat, sugars and starches.

2. Buy fresh

This is a rule worth learning to live by. The longer your food has been stored, the less nutritional value it has and the worse it tastes.

3. Use healthy ingredients

  • Consider natural alternatives to store-bought remedies.
  • Add vegetables and legumes to meals to make them healthier.

4. Hydrate more

The average adult needs to drink two litres (two quarts) of liquid a day. This can be made up of water, juice, tea and coffee, but doctors recommend minimizing the number of cups of tea or coffee you drink daily.

5. Use your freezer

If you buy and cook your own fresh food, you don't have to give up the convenience of an instant meal altogether. Make soups and stews in batches and freeze for occasions when you don't have the time to cook a full meal.

6. Think before joining a gym

Never join a gym without considering the alternatives. Gyms aren't for everyone and they are expensive — consider walking, swimming, gentle stretching or cycling instead.

7. Set realistic goals

  • Be sensible and tailor your fitness regime to your lifestyle.
  • Aim for five 30-minute exercise sessions a week. Each individual session can be split up too, like doing three, 10-minute sessions throughout the day.
  • If necessary, tailor your exercise into a form that fits into your ordinary activities. For example, vigorous housework, gardening or a brisk walk to the store.

8. Don't be a fitness fashion victim

  • Avoid the temptation to buy unnecessary equipment and clothes. You don't need a $200 pair of running shoes to find out if jogging is for you.
  • If looking fashionable is an urge you can't resist, then check if any sports outlet stores are located near you. Or wait for post-Christmas sales.

Investing in your long-term health need not be an expensive option. Instead, take a balanced approach to diet and exercise, and stay up-to-date with what conventional and alternative medicine have to offer. You'll reap the benefits.

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