Not only can these healthy lifestyle tips lead to saving money and a healthy budget, but they’ll add years to your life
I feel like we’ve had a singular focus for the last few weeks. Last week, we talked about how regular check-ups and a little preventative care can save you thousands in medical costs. The week before that, we looked at some frugal ideas to save money on groceries and eat healthier.
It’s just that, as I get older and the medical bills start piling up, I’m increasingly seeing the importance of a healthy lifestyle. In fact, it may be the most important idea in creating your long-term healthy budget.
Besides having to shell out thousands a year in health insurance, the additional costs of medical care in retirement can break decades of frugal living and saving. For those 65 years and older, annual spending on healthcare jumps 36% compared to people in younger age groups. How you take care of your body before this time can mean the difference between financial freedom and financial sacrifice forever.
After eating right and seeing the doctor regularly, there’s no better way to turn that healthy lifestyle into a healthy budget than regular exercise.
Keeping your healthy budget while you exercise
I’m all about saving money and not just about spending it at the gym instead of spending it on medical bills. Paying for an expensive gym membership would defeat the purpose of turning a healthy lifestyle into a healthy budget.
Even the discount gyms that charge $15 a month can add up and the overall cost can be as high as $800 a year when you include initiation and annual fees. We’ll talk about the exercises you can do without a gym membership in this post. If you really need some of the equipment, consider a pay-as-you-go plan and using the gym once a week along with other exercises.
Your own fitness goals will determine what kind of equipment you need. Most people aren’t looking to be in the next Terminator movie and don’t need anything more than stairs and a good pair of running shoes.
Even if it sets your healthy budget back a little, don’t skimp too much on a good pair of running shoes. Your healthy lifestyle will do no good if you destroy your knees or other joints.
How much is enough for my healthy lifestyle?
The Surgeon General recommends that adults get 30 minutes of physical activity between three and four days a week. The Center for Disease Control recommends 10,000 steps per day or approximately five miles. Five miles can be a tough goal for many, especially if you’re not used to exercising, so start out with a mile or two and work up from there.
The most important part of a healthy lifestyle is just to set specific and realistic goals for your exercise. Instead of a goal being ¨walk every day¨ your goal should be something like, ¨walk # number of steps today.¨
Don´t worry about what the scale says. Despite what people may say, a healthy lifestyle is about how you feel and not about what the scale says. You should aim for an appropriate weight but it’s more about having the energy to enjoy a healthy and fit lifestyle.
Healthy budget exercises at work
Climb the stair instead of taking the elevator at work. If you work on the fourth floor or higher, this might be some intense exercise so start out slowly. Balance it out with an easier walk around the park during lunch.
There are lots of exercises you can do at work over the course of your day that require no equipment and are great for getting the heart pumping. Try taking a break every two or three hours to do five minutes of exercise and stretching. It’s a great alternative to coffee for waking you up and staying alert.
Healthy budget exercises at work
I do a lot of my exercises during TV commercial breaks. It takes a little practice to remember to get up and do some kind of activity every few commercial breaks but it is really time you would lose otherwise.
The average hour of TV includes more than 14 minutes of commercials. Doing some lunges, push-ups and stretching exercises during just one hour of TV is half of my whole exercise program. Beyond this, I only have to do about 15 minutes of walking or stairs to get all my needed exercise.
I know the weekends are your days to relax and get things done you don´t have time for during the week. Staying healthy is just as important. Sitting around all weekend makes it really difficult to get back into your routine each week.
Look to your city´s Chamber of Commerce for events that can get you out of the house. Most are going to be free and you’ll be able to enjoy the fresh air while you get some exercise. You can also just go to the park, have a picnic, go to the zoo or just a walk through the neighborhood.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on your healthy lifestyle. A healthy budget and fitness can go hand-in-hand. Frugal Grandma
About the Author
Joseph Hogue is a financial expert and investment analyst. After serving in the Marine Corps, he started his career investing in real estate before becoming an investment analyst for some of the largest private investors. He's appeared on Bloomberg and on CNBC as an investment expert and has published ten books in personal finance. Now he helps investors reach their financial goals and invest in the stock market with some of the same advice he used when working for the rich.