Welcome to the last post in the What If series, Part IV, Change in Health. You may think this post does not apply to you, but don’t be so hasty.
Did you know that poor health can have a direct impact on your earning potential? Its true. Studies show that healthy people will make on average 28% more than unhealthy people over a lifetime.
Did you know that the ancient philosopher, Virgil, said, “The greatest wealth is health.” In other words, being healthy is as much an investment as building up your net worth.
Did you know you’ll never be younger than you are today. Every day we age a little. It seems like an obvious thing to point out, yet, for most it feels like it happens in an instance. Life moves forward whether we are paying attention or not.
One Trick Pony
If you only went to the dentist twice a year and never brushed (or flossed, a-hem), would your teeth be healthy? Of course not!
No one brushes their teeth once and thinks to themselves, “I am good for the year!” Just like no one goes to the gym once then looks in the mirror and wonders why they are not in perfect shape.
[bctt tweet=”Health, like finances, are made up of daily habits that build over time. ” username=”PieLadyFI”] It’s the series of small steps that get you to where you need to be. Here are some small steps you can take that will get you moving in the right direction.
Bonus points for using a swear jar for the exercises below for no less than 1 week. 🙂
Eat, Drink and be Healthy
We all know carbonated beverages are bad for us. Those refreshing bubbles keep you from absorbing calcium which strong bones need. Not to mention the sugar and caffeine slowly dehydrate you. I was a Dr Pepper junkie myself.
If you are looking to make one small change, this is a good one to start with. Replacing one soda with water is not only healthy but good on your wallet.
Try this: For every soda ($1.50/bottle) you replace with a glass of water ($0/glass), pay your swear jar.
Junk food has that come hither quality. Who doesn’t love a bag of chips? A bar of chocolate? And let’s not leave out all the different ways ice cream makes us, oh, so, happy. I can almost hear my own favorite type of junk food calling my name. But junk food robs your body of needed nutrients.
Try this: For every piece of junk food you don’t have, pay your swear jar.
Here admittedly fresh, healthy food is a bit more pricy than junk food, when comparing one to one. But when we factor in the price of health, its no contest. Empty calories and high fat may be filling… but clean, healthy foods will be more satisfying, better for you in the long run saving the average person thousands of dollars in medical bills every year.
Save an Animal
We always have meat as part of our dinner. Last year my daughter decided she was a vegetarian after watching a video on how animals are treated before making their way to her plate. I decided to join her, at least part-time, on this vegetarian lifestyle change. It was a challenge at first having to rethink menus. We do a lot more beans, veggies and she has tofu occasionally.
Surprisingly, I had some unexpected benefits, like, feeling less bloated, an increase in energy, some weight loss, better sleep and smaller grocery bill.
Think about it, a pound of ground beef is about $5, a can of beans is about $1. Beans are high in fiber, low in cholesterol and easy to digest. Over a year that could bring your overall grocery bill down $1,825 if you replaced meat just one meal a day.
Try this: For every meal you forgo meat, pay your swear jar.
Small is the New Big
I love to eat and make all kinds of food. When I am hungry, I eat. As we get older, our bodies change. Our metabolism slows down. One trick a friend of mine does to help her eat smaller meals is using a salad plate as her dinner plate. Whatever fits on the plate is dinner. No second helpings.
Another trick is drinking a tall glass of water 5-10 minutes before sitting down to eat. It gives you that sense of feeling full with less food..
In restaurants, I eat half my meal and take the rest home for lunch the next day. Giving me two meals for the price of one.
Try this: For every restaurant meal you pack half, pay your swear jar.
Bust a Move
Life gets busy. The responsibilities of everyday life can be all consuming. Where do you squeeze in “me time” never mind a work out routine??
Well I am here to tell you that you don't need to make time for the gym to get fit. Jut 15-30 minutes a day (not even consecutive minutes) for most of the week will get you that beach body and more importantly, be able to maintain it.
Here is how.
Stairs are your friend
Skip the elevator and take the stairs. Take a break from sitting and walk the stairs.
Stairs are a great, budget friendly way to build leg muscle, burn calories and improve your heart rate.
Saving your lunch hour to go for a walk, even if its around the parking lot, will do wonders for you. Start a walking group at work will keep you honest and get that support we all need from time to time.
There are all kind of exercises we can do at home without all the expensive equipment. Use paper plates on carpet to do slide lunges. Substitute an old pair of panty hose for resistant bands. One girlfriend even uses the edge of her bathtub to work her triceps by doing dips using her body weight.
Adopt a Dog
Adopting a dog has many benefits beyond getting in your “10,000 steps”, strengthening your heart and weight loss. Having a dog will also improve your social life and ward off extra doctor visits among other benefits. Sure having a pet, will add a line item to your home budget, but the expense of adopting a dog far out weighs the benefits. Besides, there are lots of great organizations who rescue pets that are looking for a home.
If you are still reading, then I have a confession. Everything I have talked about is nothing new. We all know that exercise and eating healthy is important to maintain good health and live a long life.
But for the same reasons we don't make our finances a priority, we don't make our health a priority.
Try This: Today and everyday moving forward, read aloud every morning your life mantra. It may sound cheesy but I dare you to try it for 1 week. It will put you in the right frame of mind, reminding yourself that you are worth it.
I have a bunch of sticky notes with all kinds of mantras that get me through my day, no matter what gets thrown at me. Feel free to adopt them or maybe one of them will inspire you to make your own.
“Every tool I need I already possess.”
“Trust my gut.”
“Wake up. Be Amazing. Repeat.”
“Always remember, you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”
“I am in control of my plate.”
“You got this.”
“Optimism is the ability to focus on where we are going, not where we are coming from.”
OK, so maybe that last one isn't really a mantra but I sure do like reminding myself of that every so often. 😉
what is your mantra?