berry eater

Yoga classes, wild Alaskan salmon, organic strawberries, fresh wheatgrass and natural dog food – healthy living can seem to really add up. While your health is an important priority that you don’t want to skimp on, there’s still plenty that you can do to be healthier–for free.

Even better than free, in the long run choosing to be healthier will save you money on medical costs. Don’t spend a dime trying the following health strategies.

  1. Take a walk everyday. Make it your morning, afternoon or evening ritual – or all three if you have a dog. Even a 15-minute walk outdoors can get your blood flowing and perk up your spirit.
  2. Eat smaller portions. If giving up butter, sugar and other not-so-healthy ingredients completely isn’t in your near future, at least try to cut back on portions when you indulge. Eat all the fresh green salad you want, and take one small slice of dessert.
  3. Stretch. Honor your body by warming it and cooling it down every day. Take a few minutes to stretch out your limbs and core muscles. Reach to the sky, roll your neck and try to touch your toes.
  4. Plan your meals. Take the time to plan out your meals before you hit the grocery store. You’re much likely to buy healthy items, plus you’ve actually save money on impulse buys and random ingredients that end up going to waste.
  5. Clean house. If you suffer from lung problems or any type of allergies, it pays to keep your home environment as clean as possible. Institute a regular schedule for dusting, vacuuming, laundry, etc. so that dust and dirty don’t pile up around your house. Bonus: housekeeping counts as exercise!
  6. Rent a free fitness DVD. Your local library is a treasure trove of all kinds of DVDs, including a variety of fitness tapes. Invite over interested friends and check out random fitness videos just for fun.
  7. Drink more (tap) water. Hydrate your body and keep toxins flushed out by making a vessel of water your constant sidekick. Add slices of citrus to keep things interesting.
  8. Try out a class. Many gyms, dance studios, yoga centers and martial arts schools let prospective students try out a class free of charge. That’s means there’s no risk to try something you might not like – and you just might discover a new passion!
  9. Start a health log. Do you get a cold the same week every year? Are your allergies worse in the spring or fall? How long has it been since your last vision test? You’ll know these answers for sure when you keep a health log. It doesn’t have to be fancy – a spiral notebook or word processing document will do. Write down any illnesses, doctor appointments, flare-ups and anything else pertaining to your overall health. Over time you’ll get a better idea of how your body system works and it will help you to be healthier.

Image: craig