Watching all of the ads on TV for the multitude of health-improvement products that hawkers are constantly trying to convince people they need, one would think they need to be a millionaire in order to enjoy optimum health. This isn't necessarily true. While a lot of money comes in handy to repair many of the consequences of years of unhealthful living, the basic components of good health are, surprisingly, free of charge.
Sleep. Lack of sleep has been blamed for everything from weight gain to car accidents to depression and general illness. People weren't made to run on five or six hours of sleep a night. Go to bed earlier or sleep in later and reap the (free) rewards that a full eight to nine hours of sleep will bring you.
Drink water. Not only will you save money (how much do you spend on pop, alcohol and other drinks each day?), but also your health will thank you for it. Our bodies are comprised mostly of water so what better substance to drink?
Exercise. Walking is one of the most natural, simple ways to exercise on the planet. Better yet, it's free. Most of us do this everyday. It's just a matter or walking more than we do now in order to improve our health. Other free exercise options include following along with the morning aerobics show on TV and running the trails at a local park.
Meditate. How often do you take ten to twenty minutes out of your day to relax and breathe? Meditation doesn't have to be something attainable by only a few enlightened souls. Take time each day to sit still, relax, clear your mind and breathe deeply.
Stop bad health habits. This tip won't just improve your health, but also it will save you an armload of money as well. Habits such as drinking alcohol, smoking, over eating and taking drugs all lead to a less than stellar life span and also have a dramatic, negative affect on your wallet.
Choose your food. You are buying food anyway, so why not purchase the healthiest food possible? Sure, a tub of Ben and Jerry's or giant bag of chips is appealing, but you can use those same dollars to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables in season, nutritious loss leaders (milk, whole grain bread, etc.), and other healthy options to feed you and your family.
Choose your environment. There are many simple changes you can make to your environment that are both free and healthful. If a family member does smoke, make sure they only do this outside and not in your home. Switch from expensive cleaning products to natural, homemade cleaning products. Air your home out regularly. Have everyone take their shoes off when they enter your home. This saves wear and tear on your floor coverings and keeps out harmful substances such as pesticides and other yucky things that get tracked in on shoes.
Play with your kids. Playing with your children is a wonderful way to get some exercise, forge closer emotional bonds with your children and model good behavior. Anything from shooting baskets to kicking a ball down the soccer field will make both you and your children healthier, happier and closer as a family.
Listen to music. Music is free (on the radio) and, depending on what you listen to, can be infinitely relaxing. Music has been shown to lower blood pressure, calm frazzled nerves and improve your attitude.
Join a group or find a partner to help you with your new endeavor. Either online or in person, other people can often give you the support and "how to" tips that will help you on your quest for improved health.
It's not as hard to become healthy as advertisers would have you believe. Simple, free activities that your ancestors would recognize as normal, every day tasks that have somehow been lost over time can make all the difference in the world when it comes to improving your health.
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