How to be healthy and active on a budget!

So you want to be more active and eat more whole foods but also have to keep a budget in mind. That's great! It's still absolutely possible to live a healthier lifestyle without breaking the bank and I want to show you a few ways to get you started! 

Often, there is a misconception that you need to spend a decent chunk of money to be healthier and while there might be some things that cost you more than they used too, a lot of it doesn't have too! Living a healthy lifestyle isn't all $15 green juices and expensive gym memberships so let go of that notion (unless that's your jam, then by all means enjoy!) 

When you invest in your health on the front end then you end up spending less on the back end! When your body is operating in its ideal state you get sick less, have more energy to enjoy life and tend to continue investing and doing more of the things that make you feel great which continues to have a ripple effect throughout your whole life! Wouldn't you rather make a few adjustments on the front end rather than needing medications later in life? At least that's how I feel! Obviously, there are some things out of our control but in general taking care of your body now allows you to get more out of it in the long term! 

When you stop looking at your health and lifestyle as a burden but instead a priority you are more excited to invest in it! No one wants to spend money on something they don't care about, so caring about your body, mind, and health is the FIRST priority. Then it makes the spending a little more enjoyable! 

Movement & Active Lifestyle: 

Taking care of your body does not mean needing to go to the gym 5 days a week! It means moving your body and appreciating the things it can do! When you let go of weight loss and aim to create a lifestyle you look for any and all small or big opportunities to move it! Moving becomes more of a pleasure and second nature rather than a to-do list task! 

If a gym is not in your budget at this time then you have two courses of action!

  1. Make a little at home gym! This can mean one set of weights, some bands, and a mat! All of which can definitely cost under $50 and last years! Get these items from stores like Play it Again Sports or TJ Maxx to cut down even more on costs! This is a small investment (much less than a gym) but allows you to get in simple workouts at home at your convenience! 
  2. Embrace nature! Walking outside is FREE and easy! Learn to utilize park benches, sidewalks and stairs to make your outdoor sweat seshes a little more intense if you're feeling it! But honestly, just start with an outdoor walk! Moving your body in a way you actually enjoy is so important and walking still counts! Don't discount this movement just because it seems too easy, our bodies still love it and we can still get all the benefits like we would in a class!

A third (but you should do this anyway) option is to create a more active life in general! This means things like: 

  • Taking the stairs
  • Parking further from the store
  • Taking your dog out and running around with it
  • Dancing with your kids
  • Cleaning your own house
  • Doing your own yard work
  • Taking the long walk home rather than the shortcut

These simple little things add up and help balance out the sedentary lives most of us lead! Living an active lifestyle is not all about the workouts, it's about moving your body consistently in creative and fun ways! If working out doesn't feel like your jam right now, just start with simple ways to become more active! Or even try and do things in 10-minute increments! You need to find what works for you because that will be the only way you keep doing it! 

Healthy Eating: 

The way we fuel our bodies is so important and really is the foundation of our gut, energy and overall well being! This does not mean it has to be whole foods organic all the time! Trust me, I eat yummy delish fries, pizza, and wine on the regular! But, I do also eat a lot of whole wonderful foods that give me lots of energy, nutrients, and fuel! 

Most people when they want to start being more healthy go all in and end up getting overwhelmed and burnt out! This is why we think it's so hard because we function in these unsustainable extremes. If you love cupcakes do not tell yourself you can only have 1 a month when you typically have 5 a week. This will feel restrictive and cause you to obsess about a food that should be a lovely aspect of your diet but not the thing you worry and survive off of. Stop worrying so much about all the things you need to remove or limit and focus on all that you can add it! 

  • If you have a desire to buy organic but can't buy all organic focus on buying organic foods off the Dirty Dozen list or buy organic if you are going to eat the skin! This is a simple and easy place to start without feeling like everything needs to be organic. 
  • Buy frozen fruits and veggies instead of fresh! If you are making smoothies or want to wait a week for the veggies don't worry about buying frozen! This is a great way to cut costs up front but also limit waste from things going bad! 
  • Focus on crockpot meals! There are so many healthy, simple, and delicious crockpot recipes that allow you to easily feed your whole family or have a few days of leftovers! I love doing this, especially in the winter with big batches of veggie stew! 
  • Try to just add vegetables to lunch and dinner! Even if you are grabbing a pizza from your work cafeteria, just do a small salad or some veggies on the side! Try to eat a few of those first and then dig into the pizza! It isn't about saying you can't eat something anymore but it's great to start adding in things that are really nutritionally beneficial! Then you get to feel good and enjoy what you are eating too! 
  •  Shop seasonally! Often there are great farmers markets or seasonal fruits and vegetables that will be cheaper than going into the store. This is a simple way to get outside, learn about the seasonality of foods and try new things without spending too much! 
  • Make a smoothie! If you are always on the run in the morning but feel like that blueberry muffin causes you to crash a few hours later, try making a protein smoothie (add some fruit and spinach) and you will have energy and nutrients galore! I have lots of recipes on my Pinterest board if you want some ideas to get you started! 

I hope you found some of these ideas helpful! Living a life you love from the inside out may take a little more effort at first if you haven't been doing so but hopefully, the benefits make it worth it! Give yourself time to learn what works best for you and realize that you can still make a huge impact even with small changes!