With the fast pace lives that we live today, it may seem impossible to keep up a healthy lifestyle. It may seem easier to buy pre-made meals or just eat out and skip the expensive gym membership, but there are changes you can make to live a healthy lifestyle on a budget.
One way to eat healthier is to cook your own meals. A way to stay on budget while cooking your own meals is to meal plan. Meal planning helps you stick to a budget and only get the necessities for the meals. When you go into the grocery store, you will be able to stick to the grocery list and you know it is in your budget. This helps maintain a healthy lifestyle on a budget.
Living a healthy lifestyle does not mean you have to buy the top brands. When you buy generic brands you save money and more often then not are getting the same product. Because of food production standards and regulations, you know the product is made safely and with mostly the same ingredients. If you compare name brand and generic products, they will usually have the same ingredients labeled on the back.
If you go to the grocery store hungry, then you will end up buying things you do not need. Because you are hungry, your cravings can take over what you purchase at the store. When you go to the grocery store with a budget and you are hungry, you may buy items that are not on your list over items on your list. Sticking to your shopping list will insure that you stay on budget and stick to your meal plan.
When you buy frozen produce, you are saving money and getting the produce you want. Fresh produce always changes because of the seasons and is usually the more expensive option. Even though frozen vegetables lose some of their vitamins, frozen vegetables maintain their mineral, fiber and carbohydrate content from when it is fresh produce.
Buying a gym membership can be very expensive and going to the gym might not suit your schedule. Living a healthy lifestyle does not mean you buy an expensive gym membership. There are tons of free workout apps and videos online for at-home workouts. This saves you the travel time to the gym and do not cost anything. This is another way that you could maintain a healthy lifestyle on a budget.
Packing lunch for work or school helps your budget and your health. When you pack your lunch, you do not run to get fast food. Packing your lunch also insures you have healthy snacks and do not run out to get snacks either. This way you insure you are eating healthy and not spending excess money as you are sticking to your budgeted meal plan.
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By 2020, 1 in 2 people in Ireland will develop cancer during their lifetime. In Ireland, an average of 40,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed each year. The most common of these are skin, prostate, breast, bowel and lung cancer. We know that 4 out of 10 cancers can be prevented. Do you know how to reduce your risk? By not smoking, eating healthy, healthy weight, watching our alcohol intake and taking regular exercise can reduce our risk of getting cancer.
An easy way to reduce the risk is to get regular screenings. If you are regularly screened for cancer, then there is a chance of catching the cancer in the early stage. If the cancer is caught in an early stage, there is a greater chance of survival and the ability to make a full recovery.
Do not smoke and avoid second-hand smoke. Smoking cigarettes is linked to being the cause of one in three cancers. Smoking is the single biggest risk factor for lung cancer and various other cancers. Lung cancer is one of the biggest killer cancers in Ireland because it is usually at a later stage when detected. Smoking is an addiction, but if you choose to stop it could save your life. In 2013, it was estimated that 5950 premature deaths were caused by smoking. There were also 200,000 admission into hospital caused by second hand exposure. Cigarettes contain over 4000 chemicals, 60 of these are carcinogenic, compounds that can cause cancer. Half of smokers will die from tobacco related disease.
Weight is an important factor as it can increase your chance of developing cancer. People who have a healthy weight have an estimated 18% lower risk of cancer compared to people who are overweight.
Regular exercise is important both for the mind and body. You should do 30 minutes of exercise a day, which is the estimated time recommended to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
You are what you eat so a healthy diet with lots of fruit, vegetables and whole grains is good to maintain a healthy body and immune system. If you limit salts, sugars, fats, red meats and processed foods eaten, you could reduce your risk of developing cancer.
Alcohol intake can increase your risk of developing cancer as it damages your DNA and is very high in calories. It doesn’t matter how much you drink, drinking alcohol can cause cancer.
Many people underestimate the strength of the sun in Ireland. Extended sun exposure can cause skin cancer. It is one of the most common causes of cancer in Ireland. Avoid too much sun and always wear sun screen.
You could be at risk of developing cancer, if you work in a hazardous workplace or if you are exposed to toxic chemicals and pollutants. Wear protective clothing and mask and follow health and safety procedures. Exposure to Asbestos can be very dangerous and can cause cancer like lung cancer.
Irish people receive a high dose of radiation and approximately 86% comes from natural sources. The principle sources of radiation are radon, cosmic radiation, natural radioactivity in soils, thoron, natural radioactivity in food, exposure to artificial radiation and medical exposure. Radon is a natural element and occurs in the Earths crust. This means it is wise to check the levels where you are residing and working. For more information www.epa.ie/radiation/exposure
Women over the age of 50 who take HRT for more than five years or more are slightly more at risk of breast cancer. It is also important that men and women do regular breast checks.
By ensuring that your children take the vaccination programme can prevent and/or reduce the risk of cancers caused by infectious agents including viruses and bacteria. In Ireland, it is estimated that there are 420 new cancer cases diagnosed annually caused by HPV (Human Papilloma Virus). Cancer caused by HPV can be prevented with the vaccines.
Holidays are a time to chill, destress, and enjoy yourself, but it can also be a time when your health plans go out the window, which is never good. It’s important to remain fit and healthy with your family when on holiday.
In today’s column, I wanted to bring you some simple ways to stay fit and healthy with your family while you’re away. It’s great to spend time together and it’s an excellent opportunity to make health and fitness fun with your family too. Remember, encouraging a healthy family and installing a positive association with exercise will dramatically increase the chance of your child staying healthy for life, so it really is incredibly important. Try some of these with your family – you might even enjoy it!
You can make up your own version of this, but the idea is to test how many exercises you can do in one minute as a family. Here is my list of exercises to try: Jumping jacks, sprint on the spot, heel kicks, press-ups and jump in the air. Simply do one minute of each and make a note of how you do – children will love the element of competition. Try it several times over the course of your holiday and see how much you can improve your score.
You’re usually guaranteed to have at least one person in the family with a FitBit, iWatch or some other kind of step counter. You can even download apps on your phone to keep track, if you don’t have a dedicated device. Set a target as a family to hit the magic 10,000 steps a day. What you will find is that you will be doing walks before and after dinner, and the collective goal will make everyone less likely to want to take the bus or taxis. Plus, you’ll get to celebrate the accomplishment of hitting a target every day, which always feels great, no matter what age you are.
No matter where you travel to in the world, you will be able to try new sports and activities, which are generally available for any age group. Researching in advance and booking an exciting activity is one of the really important ones, as the key to helping children stay healthy is finding sports that are fun. Trying something totally different and new on holidays is the perfect way to do this.
If your family love the One Minute Challenge, suggest a group game to play together. There are so many options to choose from: basketball shooting from different distances, penalty shootouts, finding out who can tread water the longest, building an obstacle course or seeing how far you can jump in the sand. Remember, children love games and will love playing games with you, so why not make those games fun? You might even find that you’re a big kid yourself.
Between buffets and being out of your regular routine, you can often lose track of how your family eat on holiday. Just remember the five-a-day rule to keep your family on track: breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and dinner. If you’re at the hotel buffet in the morning, then make sure to take some fruit with you to keep as your snacks for later in the day. Sticking to some sort of a routine is so important for staying healthy, both for you and your family. Here are some more steps for eating healthy on holiday.
Quick challenges and games are fun, but you can’t beat a family workout. Try this little workout with your kids and don’t forget to join in yourself too: a three-minute jog to warm up, then follow with three sets and 20 reps each of: squats, plank, lunges, sit-ups and press-ups. If it’s proving too easy, increase it to five sets.
This is the crucial one. You can hardly expect your children to be healthy if you are sitting on the sun lounger, with pints and chips in your hand. You need to show your family that you are being healthy too. So often I get emails from parents looking to improve their children’s health, yet they have incredibly unhealthy lifestyles themselves. The solution? Lead by example and watch what happens to your children’s behaviour.
It is also important to remain financially fit and life insurance can help you do that. At Oomph, we help you find a policy that fits your lifestyle and budget. Get your free quote here.