How to Stay Fit, Happy and Healthy

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If you’ve been listening to the news you already know about our national obesity levels rising by the day. It has never been more important to watch what you are eating and to get an adequate amount of exercise and sleep to keep yourself fit and healthy. Though it may feel like really hard work at first, once you adopt an exercise routine and start to change your sleep patterns, you’ll forget you ever did things differently.

There are many effective and easy ways to stay fit and healthy without breaking the bank. Just think about it…maintaining your health now will save you a multitude of medical problems and bills in the long run. Here are just five of the top adjustments to make:

#1 Get more sleep!

Sleep is huge and almost a third of the US population doesn’t get near enough to staying physically and mentally healthy. If you are sleep deprived, try changing your habits so you get a full eight hours every night. Your body repairs itself when you sleep, and not getting enough can really effect that in a bad way, therefore affecting your mood, concentration, metabolism and generally bringing you down the next day. Best of all, a good night of restful sleep won’t cost you a thing.

#2 Strive for a better diet

Look at your diet and what you’re eating now and make changes where you see fit. If you are susceptible to snacking, keep a piece of fruit or a few nuts at hand. The key is eating small meals throughout the day which are balanced and nutritiously rich. Reduce portion sizes, take out white bread and replace with whole grains and make sure each meal contains at least one portion of fruit and – or vegetables. Healthy food doesn’t have to be expensive in the least bit, and you can get an abundance of low priced fruit and veggies, like apples, carrots, bananas, potatoes and peas. These items will last all week for less than $10. Stick to value produce and buy frozen if you’re on a tight budget.

#3 Stop all those bad habits

Take a look at your current lifestyle and make a small list of everything you do that is not good for your health. This could be anything, from eating too much junk food or drinking too much caffeine, to smoking, drinking, drugs, or having unprotected sex. Start the process of breaking these habits one by one. Some will be easy, while others may take months or maybe years to get rid of and eradicate completely from your life, but the sooner you start fighting, the better.

Some addictions (like smoking, drugs or alcohol) are incredibly bad not only to your health, but also to your pocketbook. If you smoke and – or drink, start by cutting back on how many drinks you have, or cigarettes you smoke, in a day, and if necessary, seek medical advice and assistance to make further steps towards stopping completely. Deposit the money you’ve saved into a separate bank account to track your progress and use as motivation to keep going.

#4 Exercise, exercise, exercise

We all should be doing at least 30 minutes of exercise, 3 to 4 or more times a week, to maintain good health and keep fit. This can be pretty much anything that is physical, like walking, cycling, running, swimming to weightlifting, etc. This too does not have to be expensive, and you can get a great work out without joining any costly gyms. Most of these exercises are inexpensive, and just doing a cardiovascular exercise, like walking, jogging, or walking on a treadmill a few times a week will do your body (and heart) good.

By surrounding yourself with other people who are in the same shape as you are is great motivation and can make exercising fun. Sign up for a local exercise class like yoga or dancing. If you are thinking of taking up cycling, check online or auction sites like eBay, for cheap second-hand bikes. Consider cycling to work or the shops around your home a few times a week. This will definitely save on gas while keeping you at the same time.

#5 Drink lots and lots of water

With all this exercise we’ve been talking about definitely going to be thirsty and your body will crave water. Water is one of the best ways to improve your overall health and keep your body happy. It’s really important to keep hydrated if you live in a hot climate (like the South) or do a lot of physical work and exercise. Water will also help to curb your appetite throughout the day, which means you will be less likely to fork out on expensive, fattening and sugary snacks. If you buy bottled water, stick to supermarket or off brands. You can also invest in filters that connect right to your tab.

So there you have it. Five rock solid ways to improve your health without spending a whole lot to do it. Do you have other ideas that can help motivate exercise patterns? Chime in and let us know.

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