12 Affordable Ways To Good Health

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.

Consider vitamin supplementation.

If you’re not a good eater, you’ll be on your way to depleting your body of required vitamins and minerals. Supplements — especially the important ones — are a necessity to help replenish your body’s stores. Certain vitamins and minerals are important to prevent certain diseases from occurring and if you’re not getting them from your diet, consider taking a boost from other nutritional sources. But it’s not all just about pill popping either as you’ll get the most out of such a program if you are informed. I’ve gotten into debates about this with colleagues who believe that you should get all you need from the food you eat, and that would be true if you eat a healthy diet. Unfortunately, too many people I know don’t and no doubt have nutritional deficiencies. Supplements are there to hopefully help such people get back on track by addressing those gaps. Amazingly, some news stories are out there naming certain vitamins as keys to preventing major chronic or even life threatening diseases — I don’t know about you but I’ve paid attention. On the other hand, this advice is also controversial as vitamin use is prone to abuse and because various studies have uncovered the harm that supplementation misuse can bring. The key here is moderation and appropriate treatment.

Eat more vegetables, cut down on red meat, caffeine, sugar and salt.

Yeah, yeah, yeah….boring. You’ve heard this advice before I’m sure — maybe too often. And these are some of the hardest things to do, if I say so myself. But I am practicing what I’m preaching here. How many times have I heard that we should consume several servings of vegetables a day consistently? Yech. And reduce the amount of red meat we eat? Dang. What about my favorite foods: coffee, sweets, junk/processed food and french fries? Well, I am now reaching middle age and I’m beginning to see people in my life falling into the clutches of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Things are getting too close to home, so I’m changing my diet before I really pay for the junk I consume. It’s hard but I’m making it a gradual process and so far, I’m making some strides. Don’t forget too that by cutting out the junk, you’re saving money.

Never skip breakfast.

I used to be one of those breakfast skippers who would pile it on heavily in the evening. This is because I wasn’t hungry in the morning but terribly so at night. I thought it was just the way some of us were, that it was a natural cycle for some people. But in reality, these are bad habits that your body has become accustomed to doing and that needs to be broken. I look upon one of my co-workers as an example: he doesn’t have breakfast but eats non-stop when he gets home from work all the way till bedtime. Let’s just say this whacks out a body’s rhythm and does a number on glucose levels. Needless to say, the guy isn’t exactly in tip top shape nor healthy looking. But, I was surprised to learn how actually easy it is to retrain yourself into breaking those bad eating habits and found that my eating cycles are now better regulated resulting in less food consumed each day and overall improved health.

Never eat an incomplete meal.

I’ve actually made an investment in my health by seeing a nutritionist on occasion to correct my lifelong wrongs when it came to food and diet. Among the simplest, yet most valuable information I picked up (which I’m sure you can learn from other sources) is this: never eat an incomplete meal. What does this mean? This means that each meal we take should always contain all three basic food groups: carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein, because your body needs all three food elements to absorb properly and most efficiently in your body.

Don’t let yourself go hungry.

It’s weird but I also learned that if you can be proactive and anticipate when you’ll be hungry, and actually eat something before you do, you’ll eat less, and better. If you eat right after you find yourself starving, you’ll end up devouring more than you need to. By the same token, if you eat slowly and chew your food well, you’ll be able to control your food consumption better.

Exercise, and at the very least, just walk.

You need to move to burn those calories, to keep your body “oiled” and revving, and your metabolism humming just fine. 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, you’re in good shape.

Don’t stress out.

Those health experts keep saying it: toxins are all over our environment invading our systems, but some of these things are just not within our control. I’ll guarantee you’ll be breathing second hand smoke, car fumes and smog every time you go out of the house and enter a city. What about chemical agents in our hair spray, pesticide in our food or toxic materials hiding in old buildings where you work? You can’t escape these things. Well, one thing you can control is how stressed you are. Stress impacts your body in the same way terrible toxins do, so do your best to avoid it.

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.

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. Still, you know the drill. And one other sticking point is how much you could actually save by giving up these extras.

Think twice about joining weight loss programs.

They could be a waste of time AND money. How do I know? Well because there are cheaper alternatives and I also just read it here. Not to say that it couldn’t work for some people, especially if they’ve already tried everything.

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.

So just remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

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