You’re ready to have a fresh start this year! You’re motivated to take on a resolution that will make you stronger, healthier and happier — the only problem that’s making you hesitate on what to pick as your goal is money. Your budget is tight at the moment, and you’re not sure if you can really afford to take on a healthy resolution this year.
New Year’s Resolutions and Money
The truth is that a lot of healthy resolutions aren’t cheap. People who want to exercise more will empty their wallets on expensive fitness programs, gym memberships and physical training sessions. People who want to eat better will often join meal plans or diet programs that cost more than their usual groceries. These are not expenses that you should make on a tight budget.
Why is that? Well, the biggest reason for this is that you’re putting yourself in a financially vulnerable spot. If you drain your paycheck for your healthy resolution, you’re not going to have enough funds to handle any additional expenses outside of your budget — including emergencies. You won’t have enough to pay for an urgent car repair, plumbing fix or dentist appointment that you can’t skip.
In times when you don’t have enough funds to cover an emergency, you have two options: you can put the charge on your credit card, or you can check out CreditFresh and see whether you can qualify for an online loan. If you meet all of the qualifications, you can apply for one. And if you’re approved, you can use those borrowed funds to manage your emergency expense quickly.
It’s crucial that you use online loans for emergencies. They’re not meant for everyday expenses — this includes New Year’s resolutions.
Healthy Resolutions That Won’t Break the Bank
You don’t have to give up on this New Year’s tradition altogether. When money is tight, you’ll just have to look to alternatives that can help you practice a healthier lifestyle without costing you a fortune.
1. Get More Sleep
Do you feel tired all the time? Are you dependant on caffeinated drinks to keep you up during the day? Are you exhibiting the signs of sleep deprivation? Then, your resolution should be to sleep more.
What are the health benefits of good sleep?
- It regulates your blood sugar and metabolism.
- It reduces your stress levels and improves your mood.
- It regulates your immune system and reduces inflammation.
- It helps your body build muscle and recover from injury.
- It improves your executive functions, like problem-solving and memorization.
How can you tackle this resolution? Start by moving your bedtime routine earlier. You’ll want it to be early enough that you can manage between seven and nine hours of sleep — this is the recommended range for adults.
If you’re worried that you’re going to forget your routine and stay up too late, set an alarm for yourself. Think about it — you set alarms to wake up first thing in the morning, so why not set an alarm to get yourself in bed at night? After a few months, you’ll get in the habit of following this new routine without the help of a reminder. It will become second nature.
These are some tips that will help you with your new routine:
Keep your bedroom free of bright lights. If you need a digital clock, choose one that has red lighting — this is less disruptive than blue lighting. If you need your smartphone or tablet in the room, turn the screens to “night mode.”
If your bedroom is still too light, you should think about getting a comfortable sleep mask.
Drop the temperature in your bedroom so that it’s cool. It’s easier to fall asleep in a cool environment than a warm one.
Avoid drinking caffeine too late in the day. Ideally, you should stop having caffeinated drinks in the afternoon.
Avoid drinking alcohol before bed. It may make you drowsy, but that sedative effect wears off in a few hours. Alcohol is notorious for disrupting your sleep cycle.
Take time to unwind before crawling into bed. Try to do a relaxing activity, like meditating, reading a book or listening to music.
2. Go for Walks
You want to exercise more often this year, but you don’t want to go broke paying for expenses like physical training, gym membership fees and fitness classes. Is there a way that you can break a sweat without breaking the bank? Yes, and the answer is shockingly simple: walking.
What are the health benefits of walking?
- It’s low impact, so it’s not likely to cause joint injury or pain.
- It increases blood flow in your muscles.
- It can lower your blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
- It can improve your cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
- It can strengthen your bones.
- It can relieve stress and improve your mood.
- It gives you an opportunity to soak up some sunshine, which is the best way to get your daily dose of vitamin D.
Walking is an exercise that’s perfect for people who want to improve their fitness but don’t know where to start. If your lifestyle is mostly sedentary and you only work out once in a blue moon, you shouldn’t jump into something as demanding and intense as CrossFit or weight training. You should go out for walks.
Walking is also very affordable. You don’t need any special equipment to get started — just a comfortable pair of shoes from PlantarFasciitisRunner.com and weather-appropriate clothing. And you can go just about anywhere for a walk. If you don’t want to go very far, you can start by taking relaxing strolls around your neighborhood.
These are some tips that will motivate you to walk more:
Ask a friend if they want to be your walking buddy. It will give you a chance to exercise and catch up with them at the same time.
Pick a rewarding destination. For instance, you can walk to your favorite coffee shop and reward yourself with a delicious drink.
Go on a scenic route. You’ll be happy to keep walking when you have a great view.
Entertain yourself! Download some music, podcasts or audiobooks onto your phone and listen to them as you go.
Physical health might not be the only thing you’re hoping to improve this year. Maybe you want to improve your mental health, too! In that case, an affordable and healthy resolution that you should consider is meditating.
What are the health benefits of meditation?
- It decreases your stress levels.
- It can help you manage moods and decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- It can improve your focus and concentration.
- It can boost your confidence and self-esteem.
- It can help you relax and sleep better.
- If you’ve never tried meditation before, you should start small.
Try to meditate for a few minutes at a set time. You might find it helpful to do it first thing in the morning or right before you slide into bed at night. As you get more comfortable with the practice, you can increase your meditation period.
These are some tips that can help you meditate:
- Take slow, deep breaths. This will help you relax and give you something to focus on.
- Download free guided meditation apps. You can also find plenty of recordings of guided meditations online.
- Try out different types of meditation like body scans, breathing exercises or mantras to see what you like best. You won’t know until you try.
- A healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be a financially irresponsible lifestyle. You can take on new habits that improve your health without emptying your wallet.