- Drink water instead of sodas or sweet tea. You don't have to buy bottled water, as tap water works just as well (and the dirty little secret of most bottled waters is that they really are just tap water).
- Skip the desserts. You'll lose weight and save money at the same time.
- Skip the late night snacks. Another way to lose weight and save money at the same time. A general rule of thumb for losing weight is "No snacks after 8pm."
- Eat healthier. This doesn't have to mean buying special health foods or more costly organic foods. Instead, it means eating less junk foods, fast foods, & sweets, and more veggies, especially leafy-greens and cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli and cauliflower).
- Go for a walk. Walking is great exercise. Start with a 15-minute walk each day, and over the next several weeks try to work your way up to 45-minutes tor even an hour. You can walk around your neighborhood, in your local mall (a great way to walk on a rainy day), or at local parks & greenways. I even know an older couple who walk laps inside their local Walmart most mornings, rain or shine. Everyone has somewhere they can walk for free. Once you start walking, don't quit. The key to walking for fitness is consistency.
- Be active. Yard work - such as cutting grass with a push mower, gardening, raking leaves, chopping wood - makes great free exercise. In fact, anything that raises your pulse rate and causes you to lightly sweat counts as exercise.
- Check out your local parks. Local parks often have walking/jogging trails, tennis courts, basketball courts, obstacle/fitness courses, and other opportunities for free exercise.
- Stretching exercises and calisthenics are free. Jumping jacks, sit-ups, toe-touches, leg squats, push-ups, etc., require no special equipment and cost nothing. You can also find lots of free You Tube videos with fitness exercises and workout programs.
- Stop smoking. Yes, this is hard. But it can be done for free and it will even save you hundreds, perhaps thousands, of dollars a year.
- Get plenty of sleep. Sleep is much more important to our long-term health than most people realize. Lack of quality sleep not only impairs our immune system, reflexes, and reasoning skills, but has also been proven to increase our risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and even certain cancers. We might be able to "get by" with less sleep over the short-term, but we are damaging our health over the long-term.
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