Cheap Ways To Keep Fit And Stay Healthy

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2012-03-0951

Doing simple, cost effective things to stay healthy today will keep you from spending more money down the line. The truth is, the cost of treating chronic disease can be debilitating enough to cause job loss; it’s cited as one of the top reasons why people go bankrupt. The high cost of poor health is a leading cause of bankruptcy in this country.

Let’s take a look at how big a bite our medical costs are taking from our savings. Get a load of this study that proclaims that the average U.S. family will be paying more in health care over time, thanks to rising prescription drug prices (among other things). The trend with medical insurance isn’t so encouraging either. It seems that employers will be pushing more of their employees’ heath insurance costs on their workers.

More employers are passing the cost of health and medical care to their employees. Have you noticed that premiums, out-pocket-costs, deductibles, coinsurance costs and copayments are rising? Some studies show that employers are paying around 60% of these costs while employees are covering 40%.

With so much money spent on health, the best way to counteract this assault on our budgets is to preserve our health and well-being as much as possible. You can keep your medical and insurance bills in check by becoming more fit. Here are some tips I have on the subject:

Spend Less on a Simpler Life

First things first: take the stress out of your life. We’re a workaholic nation where vacations are not as popular as they are in other countries ;) . We love chasing the Joneses and aspiring to fulfill the American Dream. All this results in our physical and mental exhaustion, and growing complexities in our lives, all for the greater glory of material wealth.

If your life is full to the brim and you are no longer able to stop and smell the roses, then you’re doing a number on your health. One of the first steps to better health is by gaining better control over your life. You can start by simplifying it. Doing so should bring down your stress levels and take some pressure off your system. Would you consider:

We are told by health experts that the environment contains toxins that relentlessly invade our bodies and systems, and unfortunately, it’s something we can’t always control. For instance, we can often find ourselves exposed to vehicle fumes, smog and even second hand smoke any time we leave the comfort of our homes. Just visit a large city and you’re inhaling less than fresh air! Then there are chemicals in pesticide, home and beauty products (e.g. hair spray and cosmetics) and food (especially the non-organic kind). If you work in an old building, you could be facing the assault of toxic materials as well. We can’t escape our environment but one thing we can possibly control is the amount of stress we subject ourselves to. Stress impacts your body in the same way terrible toxins do, so do your best to avoid it.

Keep Yourself In Tip Top Shape By Developing Simple Habits

Besides watching what we eat, there are other ways to make sure we stay healthy.

#1 Watch your hygiene: wash your hands often.
Avoid getting sick by washing your hands often. Unless you don’t mind catching a bout of the cold or flu once in a while, or being a little dirty, which is actually good for you. I’ve had interesting conversations with a co-worker who advocates germs and infections as the way to better health in the long run. That’s because your body builds up its defenses and immune system by falling ill. But as a parent of a school-aged child I still don’t like catching annoying colds, plus getting sick often doesn’t seem to have improved my health. Besides, for some of us, a sick day means no pay.

#2 Toss the vices.
The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. It’s something you just cannot “nag” someone to do, since many a time, they’d rather take the chance and possibly face the consequences of their long term habits at a later time. After all, the reasoning goes, you can just as easily get run over by a bus than pick up health problems from some random vice. Nevertheless, sticking with an unhealthy vice has its risks. One other sticking point is how much you could actually save by giving up these extras.

#3 Visit your doctor for annual tests.
Those annual tests are covered by your health insurance or can be performed through free or low cost programs. Routine tests can catch problems early on before they develop into real trouble later. Don’t let it grow into a big issue that costs a lot to deal with.

#4 Sleep earlier.
Those times when I stayed up late or even all night to try to cram even more stuff into an already hectic day are now over. The body just won’t let me do those things anymore! And here’s the reason for improving your sleeping habits: your body heals and repairs itself and does its regulatory job while you’re snoozing. So give it the rest it deserves to keep you chugging along well the next day. A lifetime of bad sleeping habits will no doubt take a toll on you and this is one easy way to avoid getting sick.

#5 Lose weight.
There are a lot of ways to tackle this challenge, and many articles have been written to discuss all those strategies. But here are some of my favorite tips on how to lose weight frugally. Simply adapt good eating habits and you’ll drop the pounds!

Spend Less on Affordable Exercise

Get yourself moving with exercise. Who says we can’t lose weight or become healthier without the help of professional trainers or gym memberships? A lot of people find the extra motivation by signing up for classes, whether it be for dancing, weight training, yoga, tae-kwon-do or other forms of sport. And why not? Exercise can certainly be much more enjoyable in the company of others.

However, I’m one of those people who would rather do the requisite physical activity in the comfort and privacy of my home, where I’m also happy not to spend a dime. I’ve invested in a trusty stationary bike, which I’ve had over a decade and which functions as good as new despite the heavy use it gets ;) . I’ve also personally invested in some other home gym equipment (weights, yoga mat, videos). But you should weigh the costs of buying exercise equipment against how much use and value you get out of them. Don’t waste your money on things you don’t use!

What’s nice about exercise is that most activities are pretty affordable. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to keep yourself active. Treat your body like a well-oiled machine and keep your metabolism humming and revved up by burning excess calories. You also don’t need to pay up to get moving. Even a brisk walk is considered quite healthy so if you can manage a regular exercise regimen comprised of sustained activity for 30 minutes a day, at least three times a week, then you should be in good shape.

Created May 28, 2007. Updated March 9, 2012. Copyright © 2012 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

sJ June 4, 2007 at 2:18 pm

Excellent post. I can definitely relate to your points. People tend to fit-in many things in a day, by cutting on their sleep. This eventually turns out to be detrimental.

RC@ThinkYourWayToWealth July 2, 2008 at 9:29 pm

Great article and tips. I recently switched to an HSA plan at work and it appears to be working well (knock on wood), but as you describe, prevention and living a healthy lifestyle really is the key to avoiding skyrocketing health care costs.

Lysh July 3, 2008 at 10:22 pm

Great post! In fact, my husband and I are now on a quest to simplify our lives. And to do so, we aren’t just considering downsizing our U.S. home or decluttering it. We are thinking about moving to another country in search of a more relaxed, simpler, and less stressful way of life. It may not be the answer, but it’s a place to start.

Asia September 5, 2008 at 10:19 am

Cool tips! I love the -spend less on affordable exercises- part. Truly, you can have a great exercise without emptying your pocket. Exercise really is fun. You can also play twister, hola hoop, IT, or any game that requires physical movements with your love ones. Not only that you have time to be with them, you are also making your heart and body healthy buy exercising, and by being happy! Though a recumbent bike is a good way of losing weight, and inexpensive too. Home gym machine such as resistance machine is another tool great for weight loss. Inexpensive like bikes,will also give your whole body a total body workout without giving you strains and shocks, disallowing your back to recline for the whole workout regimen.

Local Gym Lover September 12, 2008 at 1:05 am

Cutting down on the vices is a good one. Another way of putting this is develop a fitness habit. If you’re bored, go for a run.

One Healthy Lifestyle October 8, 2008 at 5:39 am

Those are all great tips. Goes to show that the real secret to healthy living starts with the individual and their desire to be healthy – make smart choices and enjoy the rewards :)

everclense October 26, 2008 at 12:22 pm

These ways are very healthy and efficient ways of staying in shape and staying healthy. Me and my friends have done a number of these things and have had great healthy results!

evercleanse October 26, 2008 at 8:35 pm

I agree completely with the steps you’ve written about staying healthy and fit. I’ve heard that by just keeping your body healthy and cleansing it from time to time (detoxing), you can stay in the best shape of your life.

scott December 8, 2008 at 8:32 pm

I like your plan — it’s all good common sense and a good long term approach to health. Now if I could just get those sleep and stress tips down…

Cabe December 9, 2008 at 12:17 pm

I cut meats out of my diet about a year ago and I love it. It is nice to feel great all the time and I really enjoy finding new foods. These are all great tips to stay healthy.

Elizabeth January 14, 2009 at 3:05 pm

Excellent post. I only wish I had seen it earlier. I was just diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and I’m trying to get educated on the disease. I know it’s due to my former bad eating habits. Eat whatever, whenever and how much you want to eat, and there will be consequences. But great post and I’ve seriously cleaned up my lifestyle.

Harish January 31, 2009 at 11:39 pm

This is a good site to get health tips. As they say, if you want to earn money or be happy, first of all we should stay healthy. Thank you for this article.

Jodie O'Toole February 16, 2009 at 6:53 pm

I can relate to your post. Since I have been diagnosed with diabetes type ll several months ago I have been reading how to keep diabetes in check with food control and exercise. Thanks for sharing such great and inspiring information.

winner April 19, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Excellent, I’ll try to follow these tips and will hope for great results!

Warren P. Bonds May 27, 2009 at 2:20 pm

I walk or bike everywhere I go, I don’t even own a car (too expensive). Although I guess it doesn’t help that I’m eating a pizza while reading this.

Christina July 31, 2009 at 9:22 am

This is a great post, I once thought that going to the gym would help me get back in shape…but all I felt was broke and tired of being hit on. Cheap exercise like walking the dog or in my case jogging around the neighborhood are far better on the wallet and mind. Maybe it’s just me but I hate going to the gym or the yoga studio because I am very self-conscious about what I have on while working out. I’d rather bend a certain way and not have to worry about my butt crack showing.

Beltmann August 13, 2009 at 7:08 am

Great article.

Most people don’t realize that the reason you lose weight from exercise is NOT because of the calories you burn while exercising (A 30 minute bike ride at 20 mph will only burn around 350 calories). You lose weight because exercising causes your metabolism to speed up. As such, exercising for 15-20 minutes every day is much better for weight loss than spending 45 minutes every other day.

Ali September 2, 2009 at 3:10 am

Thanks for the excellent information. I will endeavor to follow it and try to get results.

Kamala Kannan September 14, 2009 at 7:38 am

Hi friends don’t be upset ya. Be happy… reducing our body is not a big problem. It is a simple problem, you just walk for one hour daily. And avoid extra meals etc., it is more than enough to be happy and to try to make others happy. Avoid chewing gum, going in dust, drinking unclean water, etc.,

Healthy Foods September 27, 2009 at 11:22 pm

Eating a balance of healthy foods that contain carbohydrate, protein, and fat every day will help your blood glucose stay in balance and keep your weight where you want it to be. Today most people are to accept as a fact that “to be healthy” a well-balanced diet is required. They want what’s best for their live. Healthy foods are an important issue because healthy eating is important to good health.

scarlet hurrell-wills September 29, 2009 at 10:21 am

Hi I used this information for my science homework. In my science home work i had to produce a leaflet about keeping fit and I got a A* due to amazing facts which this site helped me on ! cheers!

Silicon Valley Blogger September 29, 2009 at 10:47 am

@Scarlet,
That’s awesome! I’m glad the information I’ve presented here has helped you out! :) Your story just made my day! Thanks for coming by and letting me know. Congrats on the top grade!

Brandi November 18, 2009 at 7:57 pm

I want to say congratulations to all of you guys with the weight loss goals and you succeeded. Job well done and you have inspired me to try to go for my weight loss goal. Thank you so much for all your help.

Dimes 2 Vines November 30, 2009 at 10:12 am

Well Done!
I am a firm believer in healthy eating and regular exercise. As the mother of 10 children, exercise helps keep me sane!

Sean, A Yoga Mom December 16, 2009 at 3:18 pm

I think one of the essential elements of my weight control plan is the low cost exercise you mention. I practice yoga. What do you need to practice yoga….nothing. Maybe a nice mat, but that pretty much is it. Yoga is very much an individual endeavor but provides mental, spiritual and physical benefits. Just wanted to share my experience.

Darmsanierung February 7, 2010 at 12:18 pm

What I do is this… Once a week I do a fruit day. The only things I will eat that day are fresh fruits and drink water. I have a very stressful job and not a whole lot of time to exercise so this is the ideal way to stay healthy and keep my weight.

Thanks for the article lots of value in there!

rickkgoh March 10, 2010 at 11:17 am

No doubt about that — these ways to keep fit and stay healthy will definitely help our general health. With today’s hectic lifestyles, everyone should follow the guidelines or as much as you can for their own benefit.

James April 8, 2010 at 1:59 am

It doesn’t cost a lot to eat healthy and get some exercise. I think it is the only way to stay healthy for a long time. Health supplements can also help with dealing with deficiency of any minerals or elements.

Baric April 8, 2010 at 9:04 am

Great post. But did you know, that child’s heart is about the size of a clenched fist, an adult’s heart is about the size of two fists.

Miss Platnum April 29, 2010 at 6:45 am

Eating healthy and being fit are my priorities since last year and I have to say that I feel great! I never miss my meals, but I do a lot of exercise! I have a lot of energy and I am happier than ever. Good luck!

Jane May 10, 2010 at 5:10 am

This is some really good advice, i think it is important to look at the long term and to change your habits for good otherwise it is very easy to start gaining weight again.

Alex May 19, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Great info! It’s amazing how cheap it really is to stay healthy and fit. So many weight loss scams out there taking advantage of people.

bob September 2, 2010 at 1:44 pm

These are all LIES!

Silicon Valley Blogger September 2, 2010 at 2:05 pm

@Bob, you’ll feel better if you try the tips above. :-)

Marla September 8, 2010 at 7:32 pm

Reading that made me wish I had better willpower. My vices contribute to my weight gain and I have a horrible time managing my stress. On top of that, I’m a class A stress eater. Other people’s stories and before/after pics always give me hope though.

jacinta October 22, 2010 at 3:44 am

I would like u to send me information on how to keep fit via the email please!

haleemah hassan October 31, 2010 at 8:09 am

I want to see how a 14 year old girl loses weight in 20 days. Send it to me via email please.

JB December 30, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Great post! Thanks for the tips. You make some really excellent points. Sometimes easier said than done, but if someone can turn these tips into a lifestyle change, then they’ll be on their way towards good health.

JB

Selina February 22, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Looks like these tips are so easy. But to keep them every day is so hard for me. However, I’d like not to suffer extreme hunger when I diet.

libby May 9, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Actually, you should have told us to stay away from electronics and video games as they are addicting and can make you lazy and fat!

Satu June 26, 2011 at 9:27 am

Very useful!

Frank January 7, 2012 at 9:27 am

Holding an optimistic attitude toward life and maintaining a good mood is also important for us to keep fit.

suzan February 5, 2012 at 5:29 am

Where’s the need for water. Water is the most important element which helps in keeping ourselves healthy, am I right?

Brian Yang March 9, 2012 at 7:44 pm

You know, one of the things I really started doing that made the biggest difference was sleeping earlier.

It actually help clear up my acne, which was one of the first things I noticed.

Silicon Valley Blogger March 9, 2012 at 7:48 pm

I think people underestimate the power of making a few simple adjustments in their lives to possibly enhance their health. On the subject of sleep — I am prone to messing up my sleep schedule but since I work from home, it’s easy for me to make it up by taking a mid-day nap! It’s just one of the benefits of working at home (a lifestyle that also helps control my stress levels).

catherine turley March 10, 2012 at 10:46 am

i cannot say enough about a healthy, vegan diet. i am naturally active, but have never been able to maintain an exercise routine. however, i weigh exactly the same as i did when i started college. i don’t miss anything now because most of my eating habits were actually addictions. i’ve even been able to cut out sugar and i truly have no cravings at this point. of course, i’m going to keep trying to squeeze in exercise. i don’t think you can be completely healthy without it.

krantcents March 11, 2012 at 4:16 pm

I have a home gym and ride a bicycle a lot. I find just moving around or just not sitting down is enough to maintain fitness.

Tyler S. March 11, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Exercising at home is a great way to save money AND improve your health, thus saving More money! It’s possible to get a great workout in without having any weight set or expensive equipment with just plain bodyweight exercises!

Silicon Valley Blogger March 20, 2012 at 11:45 am

I think of exercising to keep myself well-tuned and healthy, but a lot of people only think of exercise as a way to lose weight. The truth is, we all need physical activity to keep ourselves “well-oiled”. In fact, I can admit to feeling more and more achy the more sedentary I am — arthritis starts to creep up over time and one way to minimize that is exercise!

If you want to dispel all the maladies and chronic conditions that beset us (especially in developed worlds), then we need to start and keep moving!

Financial Management Blog March 30, 2012 at 8:00 am

Lately, I’m creating a habit of at least 5-minute exercise after waking up in the morning. I use weights when doing my exercise and do some push ups.

Mike May 12, 2012 at 6:38 am

Hey without exercise, you would not be able to do a lot in life. Do not forget that before the internet, we used to run and play, so there were fewer fat people around. :)

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