Once you start living healthy, you’ll begin to get addicted to feeling strong and powerful in your body. In fact, if you’re not careful, your whole life might improve for the better because you’ll be more positive and proactive. You’ll discover for yourself the meaning of mens sana in corpore sano, the Latin aphorism for “a healthy mind in a healthy body.” In time, by exercising regularly, staying hydrated, and eating healthy, you’ll begin to look more like an ancient Greek athlete than what often passes for normal in an increasingly obese society.
Unfortunately, there’s a price to pay for adopting this lifestyle. No, not the “no pain, no gain,” type of price, the dollar kind of price. An unfortunate aspect of the modern world is that living healthy and being fit can become really expensive if you aren’t careful. Since the results are worth the price, you have to figure out how to live healthy on a budget. Without realizing it, you may be responding to ubiquitous advertising that encourages you to spend too much on healthy living.
Here are some tips on how to follow a fitness lifestyle and pay far less for the benefit of looking and feeling great all the time:
- Don’t join a gym.
Instead of joining a gym and paying monthly fees, keep the money in your pocket and exercise at home.
The benefits of lifting weights
If you want to sculpt a perfect body, lift weights. You don’t really need to use the sophisticated exercise machines at a gym to build muscle. You can do the same thing by buying a barbell and dumbbell set for less than the cost of the monthly cable bill. By following a total body routine three times a week, you can completely transform your strength and endurance and look like a fitness model. Later on, when you get really strong, you might want to switch to a split training routine.
The benefits of spinning
Perhaps one reason you might have joined a gym is because of high-intensity classes, like a spin class. Well, you can buy a stationary bike; and get a spin class video to simulate a class in your own living room. Moreover, you can even buy a used stationary bike if you don’t want to spend money on a brand new bike.
“To spin or not to spin?” That is a question that Hamlet should have asked. It would have pulled him out of his existential angst and given him a whole new perspective on the meaning of life.
Why hop on your bicycle and peddle furiously for 45 minutes? Well, you’ll increase your energy as you push yourself, and each session will increase your endurance. Connected with the music, the team spirit, and a sense of purpose, you’ll begin to feel euphoric. And, of course, you’ll get all the benefits associated with a full workout, including beautiful, shapely legs.
- Plan your meals.
You might be surprised to discover how much you’re spending on meals. With the cost of living on the rise, you get fewer groceries for the same price you used to pay a few years ago. Moreover, when you’re at work, you might be tempted to eat out because you didn’t prepare a packed lunch.
Although you might agree, in principle, that you can save money if you plan your meals, you might also be reluctant to follow this advice for some good reasons: it’s complicated and it takes time.
However, here is a meal planning system from Emmie Martin and Samantha Lee that is simple to use and will save you both time and money:
- Make a two column chart.
- One column should consist of the day of the week, followed by blanks for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- The other column should have space for a shopping list.
- Now fill in all your meals. As you go through the week, depleting the foods you’ve bought, add it to the shopping list side.
This system forces you to think through everything you buy and eliminates impulse buying, getting extra food, or letting perishable foods go to waste. Additionally, through experience on what you like to eat, you’ll get very efficient at shopping and meal planning, not wasting time on trying to figure out what you need to buy at the grocery store or what meals you should prepare during the week.
Other strategies the authors suggest for reducing your food bill is to “swap beans for meat, cook in batches, bulk up meals with carbs.”
- Add outdoor exercises.
Outdoor fitness activities are free or low cost. Besides working out in your home, you can also get some fresh air and sunshine by walking, running, or biking on the streets or in a park. Do the intensive exercises at home and the more relaxed exercise outdoors. For example, spin at home for 45 minutes since it’s harder to race on the streets without coming to a halt at a stop sign every block and use a bike trail when you peddle outdoors.