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Still looking for ways to amp up your health routine this year? Follow these familiar tips and a few unique ones to inspire your healthy lifestyle on a budget.
A few extra steps today could be the start of lifelong, healthy journey. Walking in everyday situations like taking the back parking spot walking during lunch are easy. You can also walk the mall in bad weather (leave your credit card at home though) or the beach on vacation. It’s easy and can set the tone if you’re just starting a health routine.
2. Download an App
From workouts led by professional athletes to running from a zombie apocalypse, the number of free fitness apps is vast. You can find something for every skill level, apps tailored for women, those short on time, the outdoor enthusiast, and more.
3. Use Your Bodyweight
You don’t need a gym membership to tone up 3-6 minutes on each muscle group for an hour will suffice and you can easily do that with bodyweight. Modifications can be made to most exercise and easily searchable on the internet. You can even find schedules to help you plan your routine.
4. Make an at-Home Gym
If you do like the feel of a gym you can make one at home for pretty cheap. Start out with three sets of dumbbells in weights (like 5, 10, and 15lbs,) resistance bands, sliders, and a kettlebell. Don’t go overboard, you can get a ton of exercises out of one piece of equipment.
5. Watch Youtube
There are more than just cat videos on YouTube. Fitness professionals make a living posting free videos of HIIT, yoga, and Pilates for all skill levels.
6. Search Groupon
This site’s known for savings on restaurants and getaways but they also offer savings that benefit your health too! You can find discounts on teeth cleanings, chiropractic exams, massage, and fitness classes.
7. Drink Tea
Way cheaper than a latte, tea has health benefits that not only make it more budget friendly but health friendly too. Tea contains antioxidants, boosts your immune system, can help with sleep, and has a number of other health perks. Take that coffee!
8. Join a Recreation Club
Most cities have social running, biking, or walking clubs. These are more for socializing than competing so you’ll find every skill level. Check local running and biking stores or Meetup groups to see what’s available in your area.
Also Read: 10 Free Activities for Couples
9. Eat at Home
There’s no question that you consume more food and more calories at a restaurant then you do at home. Heck if I have the opportunity to not cook or do dishes I’m getting the most complex thing on the menu, not a salad. Plan your weekly menus to make eating at home easy and convenient while allowing yourself a “cheat” meal 2-3 times per month. Your waistline will thank you.
10. Plan and Meal Prep
The key to make eating at home affordable and convenient is planning. Deciding your meals ahead of time, sticking to your grocery list and prepping what you can beforehand will keep you from eating out after a long day.
Also Read: How to Start Meal Planning
11. Eat More Eggs
Eggs are a great source of protein and extremely filling. Reheat egg cups for a quick breakfast or whipping up a hearty frittata for dinner is an inexpensive meal that packs a healthy punch.
12. Eat Your beans
The average for ground beef, the cheapest albeit most unhealthy choice in the meat family, is around $3 p/lb, Chicken averages at $3.41 p/lb. Dried beans and lentils come in at $1 per pound. And considering you get the same amount of protein in a cup of beans as a ½ burger that’s a lot of protein for a third of the price and way healthier.
13. Try Tofu
The same argument can be made for tofu, which costs an average of $2 per pound. It’s not my favorite protein substitute but it has far less cholesterol, fat, and fewer calories than meat.
14. Get Whole Grains
Including whole grains with your meal keeps you fuller longer. Replace the old refined white flour products with inexpensive whole grains like brown rice, oats, and whole wheat pasta.
15. Buy What’s in Season
I’m known for not looking at a fresh fruit or vegetable unless it’s on sale. Fresh produce offers you the highest nutritional content but isn’t always the most affordable. You can usually tell what’s in season by what’s on sale but find a Seasonality Chart online so you can plan your meals accordingly.
16. Buy Off Season Veggies Frozen
Everyone’s guilty of tossing a few vegetables because they went bad “too quickly.” Frozen veggies keep much longer and are more affordable when you want something that’s off-season. And they’re hands down healthier than their canned counterparts.
17. Shop at Ethnic Markets
Mexican and Indian rely heavily on low-cost ingredients in their cuisine. You don’t have to be eating international to shop at these hidden gems though. In addition to their native offerings, ethnic markets carry many items you’d find at traditional grocery stores at cheaper prices.
18. Leftovers for Lunch
Eating out for lunch every day, or even a few times a week can add up. Make enough for dinner that you can easily package it up for lunch the next day and avoid the temptation of going out.
19. Go to Farmer’s Market at the End of the Day
If you’re looking to save at a farmer’s market go at the end of the day. Vendors would rather discount their products to sell rather than load them back in the truck. You need to ask for it to get it but it’s much less crowded at the end of the day so negotiating is easier. You’ll get even deeper discounts for buying in bulk or going in bad weather. Some markets don’t allow end-of-day discounts so check your local market for details.
Take time out of your day to sit and rest. Meditation reduces stress, anxiety, chronic pain, and boosts your immune system. There are quite a few free apps available to help guide beginners and Buddhas alike.