Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in a rut with your health goals? Or, maybe you want to live a healthier life but you aren’t sure how to get started. In either case, there are all kinds of barriers that could be standing in your way. Finding the time, motivation, and money to get back on track (or reach that next level) are just a few of the most common issues we all run into at times. When you hit these barriers, you simply need to find a way around them. Below are some of our top tips for doing just that. These ideas make healthy living more affordable and more rewarding, and they’re easy to do every day, no matter how much you’re pressed for time.
How to Get More Out of Your Workouts
Whether you’re a complete exercise novice or a seasoned trainer, we can all hit points where working out feels frustrating. When you’re first starting, you may still lack energy or motivation, especially if you aren’t yet seeing visible results. If you’ve been into fitness for a while, you may have hit a plateau, or maybe you’ve become bored with your workouts. Wherever you are now, these strategies can help you reach the next level without spending a lot of money.
Find deals on gear and supplements
Sometimes all you need to get more out of your workout is a little support, whether that’s from supplements, gear, or accessories. When you know you could benefit from investing in your health but you don’t want to shell out a fortune, the best strategy is to shop around for deals online. With websites like Rakuten, you can save money on all kinds of health products, and you may be able to get cash back or other special promotions.
Investing in gear can give you options to shake things up in your workouts or find more flexibility. For example, if you go to the gym a few days a week but don’t have time to go more often, you could do a short workout at home. Strictly speaking, all you need to exercise at home is yourself, but those workouts will be more effective with the addition of inexpensive gear.
Along with finding deals on what you need, you can also save money by investing in small, affordable gear, rather than large pieces of equipment. According to Business Insider, some of the best inexpensive exercise gear includes resistance bands, dumbbells, a medicine ball, and ankle weights, all of which are perfect for boosting your home workouts.
How to Feel Better Physically
Regular exercise can alleviate a good number of physical health issues, but even the fittest among us may still struggle with problems like aches and pains or occasional fatigue. Some of these issues have common causes, and thankfully, they also have easy solutions.
Practice better posture
If you have pain in your back, neck, or shoulders, it’s quite possible that poor posture is to blame. While it isn’t a cure-all, improving your posture can make a major difference in reducing pain and helping you feel better overall. It helps to create reminders (even a sticky note on your computer screen!) to sit and stand correctly. However, you may also want to invest in an ergonomic office chair to get extra help staying in proper alignment. These affordable ergonomic chairs are much less costly than other brands, but they’re just as high quality as the ones that are more expensive.
Drink more water
One of the simplest ways to feel better is also one of the least expensive. In fact, if you typically drink sodas or other beverages, swapping them out for water will save you a lot of money. If you have a hard time remembering to drink more water, it often helps to trick yourself into it. The Huffington Post suggests adding more ice to your water, eating spicy foods, and investing in a smart water bottle.
Get some sleep
When you’re trying hard to eat well, exercise, and balance the rest of life, you may put sleep last on your list of priorities. Doing this is a big mistake, and it can undermine the rest of your health goals. Just like you may have to trick yourself into drinking more water, it can also help to give yourself incentives for getting to bed earlier. One idea is to set a new evening routine with an earlier bedtime. When you’ve stuck with this plan for two weeks, reward yourself by getting a set of comfy new sheets for under $50. If you still struggle with unwinding at night, try using a sleep app as an inexpensive way to get a little extra help relaxing.
How to Care for Your Mental Health
When we talk about healthy living, it’s all too common to focus on physical health without thinking much about mental well-being. It’s easy to overlook this need if you don’t have a mental illness, but as Thrive Global explains, there is a difference between mental illness and mental wellness. Even for those who don’t have mental health problems, we all need to care for our mental wellness on a daily basis.
Make time for mental health self-care
The key to staying mentally well is to take an active approach to caring for your mental well-being — just like you actively care for your physical health. The good news is that these actions don’t take a lot of time or money. Try adopting a practice of saying positive affirmations each day, or spend a few minutes focusing on what matters most by writing in a gratitude journal. You could buy a nice journal if that keeps you motivated, but this works just as well with a notebook you can grab from the dollar store.
Do more of what you love
Hopefully, you’ve found a physical activity you enjoy, but everyone needs hobbies they do just for the fun of it. If you have a hobby, set aside time for it as often as you can; if not, try one of these hobbies for stress relief. Some hobbies are absolutely free, but there are also plenty that you can start with a minimal investment in supplies. You may be thinking “who has time for all of this?” But what happens when you turn that around and ask “can I afford not to do it?” Are you living your best life when you don’t break down these barriers to healthy living? Time, motivation, money — it’s normal to feel like all of these things stand in the way at times. The reality is that it’s often easier and more affordable than you think to get out of that rut and get back on track with healthy living.