Most people have a misconception that it is expensive to sustain a healthy lifestyle. This might be the case if you opt for high-end healthy food or enroll yourself into pricey fitness classes.
This is not the case all the time since you have a choice to live a healthy lifestyle without breaking the bank. Here are some of my tips which I have personally done and found effective:
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1. Champion your breakfast.
Our diet makes up 80% of our fitness and it is not necessary for you to starve your way to fitness. That would in fact be a situation where you would starve yourself to malnutrition. There are a lot of expensive supplements or fancy foods in the “eating healthy” section of grocery stores that can be heavy on the wallet. I propose that you eat what you like with limits and structure your meals correctly. A lot of people don’t eat breakfast as they may be late for work or take something on the go as they are traveling to work. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it starts you off and is the source of your day’s energy. Have a heavy breakfast followed by a light lunch and a light dinner. This will keep yourself from slipping from the diet and have you /using the nutrients to be burned during the day.
2. Have 30 minutes of mandatory exercise everyday.
Most of the time, we get so involved in our day that we forget to take care of our own needs. If you can give yourself 30 minutes and dedicate yourself to exercise, that will lead to a higher metabolic activity and will make you lose the extra kilos. This will also allow you to eat what you like.
There are a lot of gym options which can get expensive. Consider a sport: swimming, running, or any outdoor activity that enables you to exercise and have fun with it without spending a bomb. Yoga is another technique of exercising that takes the mind, body, and soul. This connects it all together in a harmonious fashion. Once you start your 30-minute regime, it will become like a drug that you need and a natural go-to place when you need a break.
3. Avoid sugar intake as much as you can.
Sugar in natural form is healthy for the body; however, in today’s environment, it is very hard to escape sugar as it is everywhere and in all our food products. I tried to remove sugar from my diet even though I have a sugar tooth.
I gave it up for 21 days. After that, when I have anything sweet, my pallet immediately caught the extra sweetness and my senses disliked the flavor. We are so used to sugar that we don’t even realize the true flavor of it anymore. Try ditching sugar for 21 days and I bet when you try anything sweet you will feel overpowered by the amount of sugar in the food products these days.
4. Be smart on what to drink during happy hour.
One of the worst things to have is alcohol. Most of us drink alcohol to get a buzz. This buzz may feel good at a social event. It also makes it easier to talk to people as it has the tendency to make us more friendly than we actually are. However, alcohol settles in our body very fast and is the hardest to burn when doing your exercise. If you are the type that likes hard liquor, then moving to gin-based drinks is better as they have the lowest of calories. If you prefer wine, then that is better than a beer or other hard liquors like whiskey and rum.
5. Quit the bud.
Cigarettes have been known to numb the palette, reduce your stamina, and give you a nicotine rush. In the long run, smokers face more difficulties than non-smokers on the health front.
Think of the one thing you like eating the most which could be fruits, a dish made by your mother, or anything else but a cigarette. The next time you go for a “smoke break,” ask yourself if that favorite dish of yours would hold you back. If the answer is yes, then quitting the bud is easier than you think because you already like something else and can substitute it for yourself.
I was a smoker before and I asked myself if I would prefer a ripe mango or watermelon instead of a smoke. The answer was yes. I still went for the smoke thinking of a ripe mango or a slice of watermelon. Thinking of the fruits made me realize what a bad taste cigarettes have. Over the course of a week, every time I would smoke, I would ask myself after each drag if I enjoyed the last drag. For my first 2-3 drags, the answer was yes. For the rest of the drags, I was simply finishing what I had bought. That one Friday was when I had my last cigarette. I felt more healthy and even more efficient in doing my work without a nicotine rush.
At the end of the day, staying healthy shouldn’t not be an expensive experience as it is more of a lifestyle that needs to be inculcated and a habit that needs time to be built. It is a behavior and not a task which is not impossible to attain.
With a goal to help Filipinos lead healthier financial lives, Moneymax regularly publishes tips and tricks on personal finance and lifestyle, among many other topics. For more finance-related news and articles, follow Moneymax on Linkedin.