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Can a Healthy Lifestyle Be Healthy For Your Wallet Too?

Eating healthy, exercising and fitness all come with an extremely costly connotation.  Consider these:

  • Organic Food (eek! That’s pricey!)
  • Gym Membership ($60 a month!)
  • Personal Training (Don’t even get me started!)

Those are just a few examples of the many things people think when they consider getting healthy, but as I’ve theorized, and begun to realize, it doesn’t have to be expensive, and in the long run will probably end up far cheaper.

Food

Let’s start with food.  Notice that I’ve highlighted organic food.  Organic food is more of a social choice than a health related choice.  This isn’t to say that organic food doesn’t have added health benefits, but the additional cost is really due to the social responsibility involved in producing organic food.

You don’t have to eat organic food in order to eat healthily.  Regular fruits and vegetables from your grocer will be perfectly fine, and if you purchase in-season produce, they can be gotten relatively cheaply.  You might pay more per calorie, but you’ll get the essential vitamins that your body needs.

Yes, you get a lot more calories from a cheap bag of Doritos than you do from Broccoli, but see how much it costs to get your daily vitamin values.  On one 10 oz bag at $3.00 a bag, these are the numbers.

  • 14 servings to get 2,000 calories (~1.5 Bags or about $4.5). Not too bad!
  • 50 servings to get the RDV (recommended daily values) of calcium, iron, Vitamin B3 (5 bags or $15.00). That looks expensive!

Of course, Doritos is a snack food meant to be eaten in moderation, but this is to highlight how expensive a junk food diet can be.

Exercise

When people think of exercise, they generally think of gyms and personal trainers. While these might be what you need, often people don’t think of the free or cheap alternatives.  What are some of these alternatives?

  • The office gym.  Some office buildings (including mine) have a free 24-hour gym for employees.
  • The club house gym.  Do you pay an HOA fee?  Does your HOA have a club house?  That clubhouse may have a free gym as well.
  • Cheap at home exercise equipment.  Don’t get a one trick pony like a treadmill; get versatile equipment like a doorway gym which allows you to do pull ups, push-ups and sit-ups.  Another inexpensive piece of equipment I’ve discovered is resistance bands.  You don’t need a lot of space at all, and you can simulate nearly every machine in a gym with them if you’re creative!
  • If you don’t want to buy anything, then use what you’ve been given.  Do push-ups, sit-ups, squats, run, and jog.  If those bore you, then check out this site which has a lot of great exercises that use no, or minimal equipment: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/fitness/fitness-workouts-tone-slim

Health as a whole

I mentioned that being healthy will probably be far cheaper in the long run.  What I’m referring to is the lowered amount of risk for illness, and disease.  You will most likely visit doctors far less, and enjoy a better quality of life.

Weight can affect something as simple as back pain!  How terrible is back pain?  Yet many cases can be avoided by losing weight.  Pair those advantages with the fact that you will most likely eat less food, and eat out less and you set yourself up with a lifetime of savings.

A few years ago, if you had told me eating healthy and exercising would save me money, I would have been skeptical.  Now, I can see the value and the savings in a healthier lifestyle.

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