12 Jan 10 Cheap Ways to Boost Your Health
It’s easy to buy (see what we did there?) into the idea of expensive solutions to improve your health: from a shiny new piece of exercise equipment, to a wearable that gives you health readings, to paying for health apps on your phone, it can seem like getting healthier can cost a small fortune. While you certainly can spend a lot to improve your health, you don’t have to – and here are ten things that are definitely cheap and often even free that can carry a big impact on your health…
Get More Sleep: Aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Research has shown that you can’t really ‘catch up’ on missed sleep by sleeping in on the weekend, so it’s better to make sure you get your rest as often as possible. Work on improving sleep hygiene to improve sleep quality and quantity.
Plan and Pack Your Lunch: It’s called fast food for a reason – it isn’t called ‘health’ food, though. It’s easy to hit a drive-thru when you’re starving at lunch time and didn’t bring your lunch. Try to plan and pack your lunch so you can incorporate colorful veggies, seasonal goodies, and try out new recipes in advance. Even a few days a week can make a difference!
Get Outside!: Yes, even in winter. We’ve written numerous times about the benefits of fresh air, nature, and sunlight. Whether you take your dog for a walk, or go for a hike on the weekend, find a way to enjoy time outside.
Start Stretching: Whether you have a desk job, or you’re more active, everyone could benefit from loosening up. Pick a time – either the beginning or end of the day – and gently stretch your shoulders, spine, hips, and legs. Not only does it just feel good to stretch; it can also help you spot some issues you need to address.
Exercise 3-5 Days a Week, for 30-60 minutes: You’ve probably heard this before, but it’s easy – especially in the short, dark, cold winter days – to end up hibernating as one day moves into the next. Set aside your workout time as self-care; put your phone on silent, make sure you won’t be disturbed, and commit to your workout. If you’re already a pro at staying active, challenge yourself by setting new goals and tracking metrics like blood pressure, weight, achievements, etc.
Tackle Your Core: Everyone can benefit by improving core strength. To truly have pain-free, ideal posture and spinal function, you must have lower abdominal, pelvic floor, and low back/buttock strength. (Want to know more about pelvic health and how PT can help? Click here! Body One PT offers pelvic health care!)
Reduce Your Screen Time: Many of us go right from staring at a screen all day at work, to coming home and ‘relaxing’ with more screen time. Unplug! Call a friend, go for a walk, read a book, or meditate. Turn off the screens and tune in to what’s going on in real life. It’s good for your mental health and your relationships.
Set attainable goals: Even marathon great Meb Keflegizhi sets goals that he knows are reachable, before moving on and setting new goals. There’s nothing wrong with setting big, audacious goals – but it can often feel discouraging if you’re not seeing progress. Instead, set ‘fun-sized’ goals that you can work toward on your way to the bigger goals.
No More Excuses: We always find reasons we can’t: Reasons we can’t work out. Reasons we can’t change our diets. Reasons we can’t try something we’ve always been interested in. Give up excuses, and find reasons you can do it. Don’t have the right clothes? Find out what you do have that works. Don’t know how to cook? Look up recipes online. You’re embarrassed how you might look when you Zumba around your living room? Kick everyone out and dance like no one is watching!
Limit Sitting: If you sit at work all day, and then come home only to take a seat in your favorite chair or the couch, that really adds up! Our bodies are designed to move and be active. You’re not a tree, so don’t plant yourself in one spot without moving! Set a timer to get up every 30 minutes and move, until it becomes a habit. Stretch. Walk to the restroom or grab a drink of water. At home, if you normally sit while you watch the news, try stretching or standing instead.
*Bonus Free Tip: Drink More Water! It should be obvious by now, sucking down high-calorie or artificially-sweetened drinks all day isn’t healthy. Both can affect your metabolism, make you feel sluggish, affect your teeth, and even trigger headaches if you’re sensitive to ingredients in artificial sweeteners. You know what won’t? Water! Most of us walk around in a state of semi-dehydration and wonder why we don’t feel that great. Try trading your lunch time soda for a water with lemon and see if you notice a difference!
These are all ways that you can work toward better health, day by day – and for little to no money! Taking care of your health is the best investment you can make in your future. You’ll thank yourself later for the changes you make today. Body One Physical Therapy is here to help you succeed in reaching your goals – both small and audacious. We’re locally owned and operated, with three locations serving Central Indianapolis: North Indy/Carmel, Fishers, and Zionsville. Our team of caring, expert Physical Therapists works with clients of all ages and activity levels, and we can’t wait to help get you on the right track. Find out what makes us the best PT team in Indy, call or click today!