It’s the start of a new year and a time of reflection on what went right, what went wrong last year. We take this information and make plans for the new year, we call these resolutions. Two of the most common new years resolution are to change our finances in a positive way, and to lose weight. Most people put these in two different categories and say that you can’t get healthier and save money at the same time. I on the other hand say that if you do both together than it will make it much easier in the long run. Here are some of the ways that I have found to do this, and how I intend to continue this year to finally get both financially and physically fit.
One of the most important part of getting health is to eat right. Every time I talk to a trainer they tell me this exact same thing “you could work out everyday for hours, but if you don’t eat right than it will all be for nothing”. What exactly is “eating right” well I’m not qualified to be the one to tell you that, you can easily google “best diet ever” and find a ton of good information. What we’re going to discuss here is how to live a healthy life without spending all of our money to do so.
Eat The Right Stuff For The Right Price
I’ve visited health food stores, as well as the health food restaurants and if I were to sell my kidney I may be able to afford these places. In the meantime, I’m just going to buy my groceries at the local produce stand and Aldi’s down the street that provides the best prices for everything you need. Only problem with this is that your going to have to make everything from scratch and make it healthy. This for me is a wonderful opportunity, I love cooking and trying out new recipes. By trying to make the healthiest food I can it gives me the opportunity to do just that. I look recipes up online (mostly at AllRecipes) and try them out. If my wife and I like them than they go into my regular menu as something we can eat that is healthy. For instance, I love sesame tuna steaks from a restaurant on the beach here. However, it costs about $29.99 plus a tip. This is healthy, but not very inexpensive. Instead I buy the frozen tuna steaks at Aldi’s ($4.99 for 3) which aren’t as large as the ones at the restaurant, but I could eat all three for less than going to the restaurant. After trial and error I’ve finally got it down to where I can make a tuna steak and enjoy it just as much as if I spent that $29.99.
The next thing to look at when getting health is of course exercise. Now if you walk into any gym today, the first week of the year I guarantee you that it is packed. People are trying to lose that “holiday weight” as well as live up to their new year resolution to lose weight. Some of them have been paying for this gym membership all year long and only use it the first two weeks of the year. Others have just purchases their membership and think they’ll use it all year and get in shape (most will not). The gym I used to go to charged $29.99 a month but I know of some that are as cheap as $10 a month. That doesn’t sound that bad (one of the gyms has a sign that says “less than the price of a pizza” which I think is pretty clever) but, you can get away with most everything for free.
Get The Gym Workout Without The Gym Price
When I would go the gym I often noticed that many people would come to the gym, get on the treadmill then leave. Leading me to ask this question “why don’t they just go for a walk at home?”. Most of us live in areas where we can easily go for a walk around our neighborhood giving us the same benefit as going to the gym and only use the treadmill. Or, you can even go for a jog if you want, I always see people around my apartment complex running, walking, and biking so I decided to join them. Most every morning I go out for a walk around the complex for about 30 minutes which costs me absolutely nothing.
Now, most people at this point are saying “But Tyler, I’m not going to the gym just for the treadmill”. Great, you are one of the few and are getting your moneys worth. However, I bet that if you think about it you can probably do most, if not all of those workouts at home.
I start off by doing some push-ups at home before my walk. No charge for my arms. I also do dips and sit ups and a whole list of other things in my living room that cost me nothing to do. A Google search will show you exactly the types of exercises you can do in your own home for no cost.
If you feel strongly about using weights than my recommendation would be wait until March and start looking on craigslist. By that time all the people who are trying to get fit at the start of the year have given up and are now trying to sell the items that remind them of their failure, as well as trying to recoup some of the money spent at the start of the year. If you don’t want to wait till March I would try a Play It Again Sports they have used weights you can buy for next to nothing.
The Benefits Of Being Healthy
By eating better and exercising more your going to become healthier, when this happens than the real money saving begins. Working in a pharmacy I see people every day picking up their blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes medications, etc. They all cost money, some more than others insurance covers some at no cost to the patient but just like free isn’t always free no cost isn’t always no cost. You still pay your premium every month and most insurance (especially medicare) will only pay so much before you become responsible for paying for your own medication. My point to this is that if you are healthier you don’t need to spend money on medications, you will be self medicating with healthy food and living.
By being healthy you will also live longer, and enjoy the life you have more. Working in the health field I have seen some people who are my age that can barely walk, that are so overweight that they have to use a scooter to get around and when they go to the grocery store they buy candy and soda. I always feel bad for them, what kind of life are they living really? Some of them have legitimate reasons for the life they live that are out of their control even still I feel as if they are missing out. They couldn’t climb a mountain and see the view from the top, they’ll never be able to enjoy the same things healthy people get to. On top of that they won’t live as long either. We all strive to live as long and as well as possible by being both financially and physically fit we can do just that.
Another part of being healthy is that you can actually work more. I know for most of us we are thinking of getting out of debt, retiring early or both not how much work we can do. The truth however is this, the harder we work the more we will be able to pay towards debt or invest to retire early. The other day I worked for about 14 hours (which with everything I’m doing is becoming my new norm) without doing some exercise in that time, eating healthy foods, amount of food, as well as a good amount of water. I wouldn’t be able to continue working 14 hour days, so by being healthy we can work more and reach our goals by being more productive and making more money.
I love making goals, I wouldn’t say I make resolutions. That being said this is the year that my life turns around I have only 2 goals to reach and I don’t think they are that far apart on how to attain them. I know that becoming financially fit and physically fit are something that is easier to do together than separate.
What about you, what goals did you set for this year? How would you get financially and physically fit at the same time? Do you think it’s possible to do both, or should you do one or the other? Let me know what you think in the comments.
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