People around the country are making adjustments in their daily lives and spending habits in efforts to remain stable during this challenging economy. Some of these changes include reduced spending on groceries and less eating out, which may be a good thing! However, it also may include discontinuing gym memberships or […]
People around the country are making adjustments in their daily lives and spending habits in efforts to remain stable during this challenging economy. Some of these changes include reduced spending on groceries and less eating out, which may be a good thing! However, it also may include discontinuing gym memberships or other expensive recreational activities. Now more than ever it is very important to stay healthy. So how we eat healthy and get the necessary amount of exercise while maintaining our budget?
In order to maintain or create a healthy diet, examine your grocery list and start planning meals ahead of time. Despite the common misconception that eating healthy is expensive, junk food and other processed or pre-packaged foods can really increase your grocery bills. It is very possible to eat healthy, balanced meals on a budget. For example, chicken breast often goes on sale for $1.99 per pound (and sometimes less). That’s only 75 cents for a 6oz serving. Brown rice can be purchased for $2.00-3.00 a box or bag, which usually contains multiple servings, and one large bag of frozen vegetables is around $3.00. So if you are feeding a family of four, its $3.00 for chicken, $1.50 for rice and $3.00 for vegetables, bringing your total to $7.50 or $1.87 per person. And there are plenty more budget friendly healthy meal options to choose from. Be creative and plan your meals ahead of time so you can shop accordingly.
For the active part of your life, it is important to know that you do not need a gym to get in the recommended amount of daily exercise. If you are able to continue your gym membership, that’s great but be sure you are using it! Many gyms offer group classes at no additional charge. These classes are not only a great way to get your exercise but they can be fun and entertaining and a good way to meet new people. If you can not afford a gym membership, there are plenty of options for you. Spring is just around the corner and that means nicer weather – go for a walk around the neighborhood or at a local park. And for rainy or cold days, you can get a great workout with your couch (and no, I don’t mean you get the day off). Here are a few exercises you can do in your living rooms with no equipment and very little space:
- Couch Squats: stand in front of your couch or a chair. Sit back until you just brush the couch and then immediately stand up.
- Push-ups: these can be done on the floor with legs extended or knees bent on the floor, or, you can do them against the wall. Place your hands at shoulder height with elbows bent at 90 degrees. Lower your chest to the floor or towards the wall as far a possible and then push up to the starting position.
- Bridge: lying on your back, bend your knees and place your feet on floor. Press the hips up towards the ceiling as far as you can and then lower to the ground. To make this more challenging, you can place your feet on your couch or you can lower your hips almost to the ground without letting them touch before raising again.
- Repeat all the exercises 10 times to complete 1 set. Do 2-3 sets.
While we’ll all be glad when this economy picks up, these tough times may actually be good for our health. This is a great opportunity to see where you may have been consuming unnecessary or unhealthy foods because you could “afford” it or paying for a gym membership you weren’t using. Make the most of the opportunity and use what you do have.
Rebekah Fedrowitz is the founder of Short Pump-based Tailor Made Health & Fitness.