With the start of another new year, thoughts of how to keep your resolutions this time around pervade your mind. The top two resolutions in the U.S. for 2018 are to save money and to lose weight. Why not kill two birds with one stone and link these goals together? Being healthy doesn’t have to be expensive!
You don’t have to hibernate all winter to save money and stay healthy. Resist the temptation to become a couch potato! Besides, sticking around the house lessens your motivation to keep your goals and, in turn, weakens your immune system. Whether you venture out or stay at home, follow these five tips to keep your bank balance and health in check.
1. Get Quality Sleep and Skip the Starbucks
The foundation of good health is a restful sleep of seven to eight hours. While you sleep, your body conducts repairs and helps you feel well-rested for the next day. When you’re short on sleep, you’re more likely to fuel up on Starbucks and junk food from the vending machine to get through a day of work. Not only is that Triple-Venti-Caramel Macchiato going to short you $5 a day – it’s adding 310 calories and 42 grams of sugar to your day!
If you must start your day with Starbucks – stick to a hot green tea. It will save you nearly $3, is calorie and sugar free, and provides a gentle jolt of caffeine and a calming dose of l-theanine to help you focus.
2. Take a Short Walk – It’s Free
Seasonal affective disorder challenges 14 million Americans annually, especially in the colder months between November and April. The shorter days and feeling boxed in encourage winter blues to set in.
Staying active is a helpful remedy. Your body still needs Vitamin D and access to nature. Take a short daily walk to cope with the winter blues and stay fit. You’ll also save money since a walk is free. Let your feet take you down a new neighborhood sidewalk, downtown or around a labyrinth.
3. Invest in Free Fitness Apps
Developed a fitness routine yet? Stay on top of your health goals by maintaining a routine and tracking your progress as you go.
Fitness apps, such as RunKeeper or Sworkit, help you track your health goals, whether that’s keeping up with steps, counting calories or finding new yoga moves to practice. Select your work level and get to stepping. Many of these apps are free or low cost, helping you to save money and remain accountable without hiring an expensive personal trainer. This free technology will allow you to keep track of your health goals when you don’t feel like going to the gym in the cold.
4. Avoid Markup While Eating Out
A great money saving tip while eating out and staying healthy is to avoid anything with an insane markup. Pasta is one of the cheapest meals at home, yet one of the most expensive when eating out. Save some cash and calories by opting for something high protein with some green veggies on the side.
If you must have that $15 fettuccine alfredo, consider splitting it with a friend, but be aware that some restaurants charge a small fee when you share a meal. You may feel tempted by the large portions but think of eating out as investing in two meals. Ask for a to-go box, and that way you don’t have to worry about spending money on tomorrow’s lunch.
5. Breakfast is Your Best Friend
When you eat a hearty breakfast, you can focus on eating smaller, healthy meals throughout the day to avoid binge eating and spending extra money. If you want to eat out, breakfast is typically your cheapest meal option. Skip the avocado toast while dining out – as it will be nearly double the cost than if you made it yourself at home.
Save money and stay healthy this winter by following these five tips. Skip the Starbucks and get some shuteye, increase your likelihood of keeping health goals by taking short walks and investing in free fitness apps, avoid the unhealthy and expensive meals while dining out, and if you MUST dine out – opt for breakfast.
Don’t let winter blues get the best of you. Instead, maintain your best health and save a little money while you’re at it. Soon, the warmth of spring will arrive, with endless outdoor adventures ahead.
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