3 Ways To Live A Healthy Lifestyle On The Cheap

Hi everyone. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and I’d also like to wish you a very happy New Year. Today’s article is from guest poster, Ally. Please welcome her to the blog ~ Melanie

Some people believe that to live a healthy life, you have to spend lots of money. Perhaps you think that organic food, for example, is always going to be unaffordable for your family.

Well, I’d like to show you just a few of ways you can start living a healthy lifestyle on the cheap.


1. Diet

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I remember when I was growing up, being told what I ate had nothing to do with my health. My acne was due to genetics. The fever I caught was because of a virus. And, eczema is incurable.

Nowadays, we know this isn’t the full truth, just like we know choosing organic over conventional food does make a difference. The problem is, how can you afford organic foods, when the economy isn’t doing so well?

Here are a few things I did to adopt a healthier lifestyle, despite living on just one income:

1. Build personal relationships with farmers
By buying direct from the source, not only are you getting fresher produce, you are also cutting profits the middlemen (like supermarkets) will make from you.

The easiest way to find your local farmer, is to visit a farmer’s market.

If you have the time, why not take two or three days off to WWOOF, and get to know where you are getting your food.

2. Buy in bulk
Another option is to buy fresh produce in bulk.

Perhaps you could organize the purchase with a group of friends to gain leverage when negotiating prices.

I personally love to preserve vegetables, for example drying tomatoes and pickling cucumbers, so I often buy these items in bulk.

The same is true for meat.  You can buy half a cow and save hundreds over each year.

It takes my family of four just under 3 months to finish half a cow. We even bought a freezer to store the meat, and were able to save more than what we spent on electricity, and the freezer in less than 18 months.

If you’re interested, check out this book, Whole Beast Butchery, for more information.

3. Grow your own
If you really want to take it to another level, you can grow your own food.

I have a reasonable sized backyard, which I converted into an edible garden. But, if you live in an apartment, you can still grow your own food.

Check out the open project, Window Farms.

2. Exercise

Unless you’re planning on serious body building, I suggest ditching your gym membership.

Not only will you save money, you will also save time and fuel driving to and from the gym.

As an alternative, do body weight exercises at home, to help sculpt your body. Exercises like lunges, push ups, pull ups, and squats are just some exercises you can do in the comfort of your own living room.

If body weight exercises aren’t your thing, go for a walk or a jog around town. A stroll for one hour a week could halve your chance of developing heart disease.

3. Mind

Your mental health has a huge impact on your physical health.

For example, research has actually shown that stress can affect your brain. Not only does stress restrict brain cell growth, it can even destroy cells. This is because when you are stressed, your brain produces a hormone called “cortisol.”

Cortisol’s primary function is to increase blood sugar and suppress the immune system. In the short term, that’s a good thing, because it acts to restore homeostasis (balance to your body).

In the long term, however, it causes physical harm, like damaging cells in the hippocampus — the part of the brain responsible for learning.

And yes, because it causes your blood sugar to increase, stress can also make you gain weight. No wonder people who are stressed are unable to lose weight!

So, what can you do to reduce your stress levels? Here are a few tips:

1. Get ample sleep
How much sleep you need only you can say. But, if you feel tried 4 hours after waking up, then you are likely to be sleep deprived.

2. Practice deep breathing
Deep breathing is another very effective way to improve your brain function. When you breath deeply, you relax and allow more oxygen into the blood, increasing blood flow to the brain, and therefore making your brain sharper and more active.

3. Exercise
Studies have shown that moving your body regularly also lowers stress, and can help to fight off depression.

And, the best thing is, all of these don’t cost a single penny!

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About Ally
Ally is part of the team that manages personal finance guides, based in Sydney, Australia, that provide tips on budgeting planner and saving money. Before joining the team, she was a Media Planner in McCann Worldgroup Philippines, Inc., with award-winning executions, including the Levi’s 501 “Live Unbuttoned” global campaign.


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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy in NZ January 3, 2012 at 6:11 am

agree…with most of the points; not that any of the points are beyond the pale. Just where I am right now.

I am on a fairly strict budget which has only a tiny bit of flexibility (created by me!)

Just lately in NZ, a lot of talk about how many people are overweight or even beyond that so Gyms have upped their advertisements to match it all…but even at$17.00 a week that is really beyond me.

Instead, I work with what I was taught back when I had a Gym membership and training etc…I also at the time bought quality exercise gear which I take care of etc. I like to wear totally different from what I usually wear and then when that gear is on…it’s exercise/walking time :-)

I eat as much organic as I can but I also have now a little garden area (will expand it when I can…) and am enjoying courgettes and chard at the moment. My spinach is a little slack on growth and the tomatoes are just getting into fruits! (It’s summertime here in New Zealand)

One of the other ideas that is missing from many peoples’ lives is “home cooking” a bit more time in the kitchen creating from scratch or as near as possible is probably the biggest key…then you know what is in your product.

My 3rd loaf of bread cooling on the bench…same recipe yet again, different problems getting it to “tin stage” but I still guess it will be nice…it is nowhere near the size of a regular loaf but I like that idea, plus I can slice it thinly as I want, absolutely in love with my own homemade bread!!!

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Melanie January 10, 2012 at 8:15 pm

I love your idea to wear something totally different when you work out, so that it helps you get into the mindset of exercising… great tip!

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Demarcus Naugle January 29, 2012 at 9:44 am

I think this is a real great blog post.Much thanks again. Really Great.

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This Site April 11, 2013 at 5:03 am

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Tanya Carlisle April 11, 2014 at 4:56 am

Not all people know that there are ways to get fit and have a healthy lifestyle without spending a lot of money. You can plant and harvest vegetables and fruit on your own backyard, work out using various areas of your home, etc. So the lack of money is not an excuse for you to not do some physical activities and get in shape.

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