How to Start Your Journey To Better Health

Eliminate cost and schedule barriers that keep you from committing

Are you thinking of ways to improve your health as this year comes to an end? Perhaps you’re interested in improving your health but worried about budget constraints and how you’ll fit it into your busy schedule. Each of these may seem like obstacles that can keep you from committing to a healthier lifestyle, but let’s look at some ways you can overcome them to start your journey to better health.

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Strength Training

Want to add an activity that burns calories and builds strong muscles and healthy bones? Look no further than strength training. Those aren’t the only benefits from weight-bearing exercise. Building up strength allows your body to recover better, which can equate to a longer life.

 

Method and Cost: You can do strength training in the comfort of your own home with a pair of $10 dumbbells or a gallon of milk. Here’s a simple plan to get you started:

  • 20 squats
  • 10 push-ups
  • 20 walking lunges
  • 10 dumbbell lifts
  • 1 15-second plank
  • Start with one repetition a day, gradually increasing to three

 

Schedule: Consider doing this while watching your favorite TV show or as a way to get your morning started three days a week.

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Aerobic Exercise

One of the most crucial benefits of aerobic exercise is its ability to strengthen your heart. And a heart that isn’t working as hard leads to less risk for heart attack and stroke. But the benefits of aerobic activity don’t stop there. Incorporating physical fitness that increases your heart rate will help you burn calories, build up your immune system and lower your blood pressure and cholesterol rates.

 

Method and Cost: Examples of cardiovascular/aerobic activities include walking, hiking, aerobics classes, biking and kickboxing. So for as little as $10 a month you can join a popular fitness gym that is stocked with plenty of treadmills and elliptical machines, or you can hit the great outdoors and start walking. Plan to incorporate 30-60 minutes of aerobic activity three to five times a week. You can also consider Dr. Oz’s recommendation of a pedometer ($15-$35) and set a goal of 10,000 steps a day.

 

Schedule: Schedule aerobic activity when you have free time or work it into everyday activities. You can even break it up into short blocks throughout the day.

Alternative Natural Therapies

If you’re in addiction recovery , you’ll want to consider adding some restorative mind and body physical fitness activities like meditation, yoga and swimming. Each of these is linked to successful sobriety maintenance. This is because these activities allow you to focus your mind and can relieve stress and anxiety, both of which are triggers for relapse in many individuals who are in recovery.

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Method and Cost: With the exception of swimming, which may require a membership to your local YMCA, meditation and yoga can be free. Try free guided meditation and various free online yoga classes.

 

Schedule: Choose specific days to incorporate this into your routine. Maybe on a day when you aren’t planning to strength train.

 

Healthy Eating

Proper nutrition is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, as it works to build strong muscles and promote fat loss. Consuming more protein will help you build and maintain muscle mass, and carbohydrates will help you with improved energy. Throw in some fruits and vegetables for critical vitamins and minerals, and add some healthy fats to help with weight loss.

 

Method and Cost: Eating healthy can be expensive, so you’ll have to consider some budgeting tips to save money:

  • Avoid high-cost processed food, essentially anything that comes in a box.
  • Buy cheaper proteins like eggs, canned tuna, ground beef and milk.
  • Buy generic brands.
  • Try to buy protein on sale before its expiration date.
  • Frozen fruits and veggies are less expensive than fresh.

 

Schedule: Eating healthy can become part of your daily routine.

 

So we’ve looked at costs and found plenty of free or low-cost options to add fitness and nutrition to your daily routine. And about your busy schedule? There’s virtually no excuse for not finding some time at home to get moving. Set the clock a half hour early for a quick walk around the block and a little dumbbell work, or plan to include some activity each night while your dinner cooks. There’s no time like today to start your journey to better health!

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