Staying Healthy in a Bad Economy

Staying healthy in an unhealthy economy is a challenging yet essential task.  Most of us are trying to cut back on our expenses, but I read some people are putting off doctor’s visits and others even stopping prescription medications!  If you are tempted to take short cuts with your healthcare, be forewarned… it could end up costing you more.  My advice:  talk to your doctor and do whatever you can do to invest in your health in simple cost-effective ways so you will avoid the financial and emotional cost of illness.  Particularly in economic hard times:

Reduce stress.  Try exercise – guaranteed to relieve stress.  You can even exercise at home and save on gym fees and on gasoline; take a walk, jump rope, stretch. Take a deep breath and find an activity that gives you a mental break:  take an early morning walk on the beach and watch the terns scurry up and down the shore; lie down in the grass and watch the clouds like when you were a child; start a new book.  Be charitable, with kindness:  hold the door for someone or let someone go in front of you on the checkout line if they look harried or rushed.  You’ll feel better and it won’t cost you a thing.

Exercise.  This one bears repeating because it does even more than relieve stress to keep you healthy.  Exercise improves heart and lung function, decreases resting blood pressure, decreases body fat, decreases total and LDL “bad” cholesterol, raises HDL “good” cholesterol, increases energy levels, increases tolerance to stress and depression, and controls or prevents the development of diabetes.  Even with the first day of exercise you will feel better. With time, your body will respond by increasing muscle mass and tone and decreasing body fat.  You will be thinner, stronger, more limber and flexible, and your body will function better and be less vulnerable to orthopedic injury. You will be healthier and decrease your risk of cancer, heart disease and chronic illness.

Stop smoking or encourage someone you love to stop smoking.  It will save in exponential ways – money, air quality, health, and heartache.

Drink more water, less soda.  This is an easy way to save big on calories and improve your health. And, try filtered tap water instead of bottled “spring” water.  You will save money and the environment at the same time.

Avoid fast food and eat at home more. Try oatmeal, it is inexpensive and highly recommended to help you lose weight and improve overall health.  Create a small herb garden and add flavor to a recipe at a fraction of the cost of buying fresh at the market each time; it’s easy and it’s gratifying.  Buy meat or chicken in bulk at a wholesale store, freeze and cook later, or cook now and freeze so you can just warm it up when you’re short on time.  Don’t go food shopping when you’re hungry and you will avoid temptation and buying in excess.

Avoid fad diets and diet pills.  They will cost you money and they will cost your health. Adopt a more healthful way of eating for life.

Take appropriate nutritional supplements.  A good daily multivitamin with 100% of essential vitamins and minerals is a great foundation.  Research shows 80 to 90% of the population does not achieve the recommended daily value (RDV) for each vitamin and mineral each day, nor do they even come close.  And, keep in mind that the RDV levels for each nutrient are only intended to guard against severe nutrient deficiency diseases, but are not intended to serve as levels of vitamin and mineral intake that are optimal in regard to supporting biological functions, preventing degenerative diseases and maximizing our well-being and longevity.  Take fish oils and boost your omega-3 intake; beyond the protective effects demonstrated in heart disease and cancers, scientific evidence strongly indicates that the omega-3 fatty acids, DHA + EPA, may have potential benefits in the prevention and/or treatment of myriad health conditions.

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