Why should a healthy body and mind only be attainable for people with enough disposable income to spend on a gym membership or personal trainer? There are actually plenty of ways to up your exercise, clean your diet and clear your mind without going out of your way to spend money – some of them might even save you some cash. Here’s a run down of our favourites:
Back to nature
A ramble through the countryside is good for your body and your mind: depending on your current level of fitness, you could go jogging through the forest, run along a country trail or even try to tackle a peak (although make sure you’re prepared!). You’ll benefit from the cleaner air, the chance to get away from your electronic devices, and the physical activity – especially if you make it a regular occurrence.
Start a journal
Okay, so you don’t shed pounds by journaling, but it can help you to clarify your thoughts and keep track of your habits. Writing down your worries or even just summarising your day has been found to give your mental health a boost. And tracking hygiene, fitness and nutrition habits is a really important step towards sticking to your goals or identifying areas for improvement. For instance, keeping an accurate record of your diet might be surprising: a lot of people find that they consume more than they realised once they start actively writing it down.
Building a home gym sounds pricey – are you expected to kit out your living room with an exercise bike, running machine and lifting area? Realistically, there are lots of exercises you can do at home that require no investment at all, and even if you do feel like you need some equipment to get real results, shopping smart can still mean you spend a lot less than the cost of a monthly membership.
Cook from scratch
We all know that eating out to often can hurt our bank balance, but it can hurt your waistline too. The same goes for ready meals or sauces that come in jars: they are often full of sugar and not so full of veg. You can use basic ingredients to cook healthy, budget-friendly meals that fit your dietary requirements.
Walk to work
If you can walk to your office in an hour or less, then you should seriously consider walking or cycling. If it seems like too much to do two trips a day, then you could also consider walking there and taking public transport back (or vice versa). Again, this is actually a money-saving tip since you’ll spend less on petrol or tickets. Even making the switch one day a week injects a little bit of extra exercise into your routine, and that can only be a good thing!
Ultimately, a healthier lifestyle comes down to eating better, moving more and making sure that you take care of your mind. These are all things that can be done without a gym membership or the latest fitness clothes – and the changes that you make part of your regular routine are easier to stick to, too!