Millions of people maintain an unhealthy lifestyle. Thus, they encounter problems like obesity, cardiovascular diseases, mental health disorders, hypertension, and increased stress. Alternatively, adopting a healthier lifestyle comes with countless benefits. But is healthy living affordable, or even better, cost-free? No, as each one of us are at different lifestyle phases with different spending capacity. Furthermore, other factors like an individual’s current state of physical and mental health, heredity, age, pre-existing illnesses, habits, physical affordability, patience levels, and the resolve to bring changes influence the lifestyle costs.
So, let’s identify what are some of the ways in which you can control your grocery bills, limit gym memberships, or reduce restaurant-hopping from disturbing your budget while you continue to make healthier choices?
How much extra does healthy eating cost? A study by Cambridge University revealed that eating healthy costs three times as much as consuming unhealthy, junk food, and the price gap continues to widen. That’s the difference between a healthy diet, like one loaded with vegetables, fruits, fish, and nuts, and an unhealthy diet with lots of meat, processed foods, and refined grains. On one hand, choosing the former for a family can increase the cost significantly. But on the other hand, from a long-term perspective, eating healthy could save you from severe chronic illnesses that might dig a deeper hole in your pocket.
With long working hours spent in front of screens and devices, adopting some form of physical activity has become essential more than an option. But engaging in physical activity comes at an added cost – whether you opt for a gym membership, Zumba classes, power-yoga sessions, swimming, or Pilates. The only thing that doesn’t come with a price tag is walking. The annual cost of these fitness and physical activities falls in the range of Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 25,000, depending on the services, vicinity, and utilities. Those with an affinity for cycling can consider this option, as purchasing a bicycle is the best one-time investment plan that will give you significant rewards.
Stress looks different in different people, and thus, it’s important to relieve it from time to time. Research has proved that engaging in activities such as deep breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation, and strength training among other things can reduce stress levels and improve mood. While some of these activities require absolutely no money, strength training and exercising in the gym may need a minimal investment of not more than Rs. 2000 to Rs. 5000. Bonus: if you manage to practice and master these skills by enrolling in professional courses, they will turn out to be the best money investment decision you have ever taken.
Leading a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you forget to participate in fun activities or entertainment. In fact, indulging in entertainment can distract you from stress, promote creativity, relieve the monotony, boost productivity, and develop self-esteem. From reading books to attending open Mic nights, visiting amusement parks attending trade shows, and celebrating festivals to stopping by an art exhibition – the options are endless. Most of these activities require a one-time entry cost, which is not more than Rs. 200 to Rs. 2000. The best part is – age is no bar to indulging in different entertainment activities, especially if they are going to add joy to your life.
Far too many people complicate the whole idea of leading a healthy lifestyle. In reality, you must know that more expensive, more luxurious, or more exclusive does not equal healthier or better. Don’t be enticed by fancy food options, marketing gimmicks, or organic labels. Regardless of what your budget is, embracing a healthier lifestyle does not have to be a tough decision to ponder over. In fact, living healthy is the best long-term investment you can make, followed by choosing the right health insurance plan.
Consider these options; hire a nutritionist, fitness professional, and a finance expert and safeguard your life from all angles.