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You’re doing what you can to take care of your finances, but you’ve found that you’re neglecting to take care of your body in the process. Yeah, macaroni and cheese is cheap, but you don’t think it’s exactly doing your personal health any favors.
Now, on your newfound search to improve the health of you and your family, you’re trying to figure out what are the best bang-for-your-buck activities. How can you improve your health and spend nary a dime?
Here are four ways that you may want to consider.
Talking with friends and family
One of the worst things that you can do for your health is to isolate yourself from other human beings. Not only does this wreak havoc on one’s mental health, but it can actually cause physical health problems as well.
The American Psychological Association reported in 2019 that social isolation actually results in “premature mortality,” aka you’ll die quicker. How on earth can being socially isolated impact how long your lifespan is? There’s probably a lot of factors at play with this, but I think that one of the main things we need to derive from this is that talking with other people – spending time with others – is one of the best things that you can do to improve your health.
How much does it cost you to swing over to your neighbor’s to see how they’re doing? How expensive is it to spend a bit of time on the phone with your parents? Is it expensive to hang out with friends at the park?
So what are you waiting for? After all, your mom probably says you don’t call her enough as it is.
Want to be cool as a cucumber? Then you need to get out and garden. Research has shown that this is actually a stress-reducing activity that can decrease the severity of depression. Seeing that depression is linked with all kinds of not-so-fun physical ailments (e.g., back pain), getting out and playing in the dirt is a great way to boost your health without spending a lot of money.
Seed packets will run you around $2 (even less at the local dollar store), and the very act of weeding a garden is never-ending. You could put down a <$10 investment in your family’s health this summer in this manner. Plus, you’ll get cucumbers! That’s a win-win, right?
I still haven’t figured this one out. Apparently, reading books is a health-boosting activity. Researchers discovered that reading a book for 30 minutes a day actually boosted lifespan by two years amongst those studied.
The best I can figure is that this is a stress-reducing activity (if you’re not writing term papers!), and that stress boosts cortisol, and high cortisol levels is associated with increased body inflammation and all kinds of other bad stuff.
Whatever the science may be, going to the library is free. This can prove to be an easy way of taking steps to take care of yourself.
(On a side note, I wonder if some reading material is more health-boosting than others. Does one get the same results reading the masterpiece Don Quixote as they do when they read Stephen King’s nonsense?)
One of the best things that you can do for your health is to regularly exercise. Whether we’re talking about joint pain, weight issues, or whatever, the odds are that regular workouts will only result in your both feeling better and being healthier.
Harvard has even reported that in many cases it can be just as effective as antidepressants in managing one’s depression, something I find absolutely fascinating.
How much does it cost to workout? Nothing. There are all kinds of things that you can do from the comfort of your own living room that will help you to strengthen muscles. Squats, pushups, planks – these are all some of the no-equipment options that can be done from one’s home.
You may want to check out this book as well. He’s got some pretty good ideas when it comes to at-home bodyweight exercises.
Taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be expensive.
You don’t have to go out and buy hundreds of dollars of supplements, buy a fancy gym membership (given the price, should they call them “gem memberships”?), or invest in a thousand-dollar treadmill for your basement workout area in order to take better care of yourself.
There’s quite a bit that you can start doing today that will cost you next to nothing, if not being downright free.
But what do you think? Are there other proven, researched options you know of that you think others should too? Help your fellow readers out! Let us know what you’re thinking in the comment section.
Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, What School Should Have Taught You, The Faithful Prepper, An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.