Many people think that good health comes at a high price. But what they didn’t know is that staying healthy doesn’t have to be costly if you are smart enough to know some simple yet effective (and inexpensive) ways to reach your health goals.
Aside from sticking to activities that you enjoy/love to stay fit, another important dimension to health is what you take in your body through your diet. The real key to getting healthy is by paying attention to the small details of your diet plus adding a couple of lifestyle adjustments in your daily routine. Here’s how:
Five Inexpensive Tips to Stay Healthy
1. Limit Your Sugar Intake.
This is a big and important step if you wish to take the work to achieving your health goals seriously. But take note – the operative word is to limit, not eliminate. Therefore, you should know your food alternatives so that you don’t feel deprived, because in reality – just because you wish to limit your sugar intake doesn’t mean that your cravings would go away as well. Here are some healthy tips and alternatives to curb your sweet cravings:
- Choose plain yoghurt over flavoured ones.
- Switch to water or tea instead of sweetened drinks
- Stick to fruits instead of candy bars or chocolate
- Pick dark chocolate over regular chocolate
- Ditch the salad dressings for olive oil or balsamic vinegar
While this may seem a tall order to stick to – for as long as you are acting based on informed choices, keeping the carbs away would eventually become a habit for you.
2. Eat More Whole Grains, if Possible
Eating whole grain products has shown excellent long-term health benefits. The fact that whole grains are rich in fibre, you get the added benefits of healthy digestion, well-controlled blood sugar, as well as lower risks for chronic illnesses. As more and more food places here in Singapore are incorporating whole grains in their menu, it would be wise to consider this healthier option even if it means you’ll have to add an additional S$0.50 to S$2.00 to your meals. Get into the mind set of giving up more of your “comfort food” like a slice of cake or a cup of latte to also help you become more economical with your diet.
3. Include More Antioxidants Into Your Daily Diet
Don’t get intimidated if it’s the first time you’ve heard of the word “antioxidant”. It only refers to a group of vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, C, and E that are good for your health. If the media has taught you that you can only get antioxidants from heavily marketed products such as berries, then you would be surprised to know that you can get just as much antioxidants from cheaper (and more common) products such as garlic, apple cider vinegar, ginger, sweet potato, honey, tomatoes, turmeric, dark green leafy vegetables (i.e. spinach), nuts, and beans. If you know what you’re looking for, then you don’t have to fall for costly marketing promotions that may or may not work for you.
4. Get into Cycling
If you’re looking for a more cost-effective way to stay fit and at the same time help the environment, then consider getting into cycling. In a cycling-friendly country such as Singapore, you get to reap the full benefits of this activity at a reasonable cost. With a number of bike-sharing choices available, it’s not hard to put in the minutes you need to stay fit whether you’re going to or coming from work, on your lunch break, or in between commutes. With a minimum of S$1.50, you get to enjoy a 60-day Ofo pass for unlimited rides within 60 minutes whereas for a S$7.99 pass, you get to enjoy unlimited use of your bike under two hours for 30 days with Mobike.
5. Get More Quality Sleep
And finally, while nobody would admit it, getting quality sleep should be a priority for individuals of all ages. Studies have shown that a good night’s sleep can reduce inflammation which has been linked to arthritis, diabetes, heart diseases, premature ageing, and stroke. Also, more “happy” or feel-good hormones known as dopamine are released into the bloodstream when you get adequate sleep on a regular basis, which, in turn, would enhance your overall well-being and quality of life. And the biggest bonus of it all is that it’s free… so, put away any distraction and get your much-needed (and well-deserved) eight hours of sleep to a healthier you!
Adopting a healthier diet and lifestyle in general is a great favour and one of the best investments you can give yourself today because you are sparing yourself from a lot of unnecessary medical expenses in the future. If we keep things in perspective, we can say indeed that “health is wealth”.