With the economy in a tailspin, most of us are feeling the effects of the financial crisis. Amidst the daily struggle to hang onto jobs, pay our bills, and save for retirement, physical wellness can take a back seat to more immediate concerns.
But the stress of trying to cope in a tough economy makes it more important than ever to care for your most valuable asset - your health. Good health can make a tremendous difference in your ability to face the pressures of uncertain times.
A demanding schedule can make it tempting to eat on the run; with grocery prices soaring, you may skimp on more wholesome foods in favor of cheaper alternatives. But good nutrition is the cornerstone of good health, and it is possible to eat well without draining your wallet.
- Plan Ahead
Plan a weekly menu before you shop and purchase only the items you need - you will save a lot of money.
Keep the FDA food pyramid in mind, and skip the prepackaged meals. Use fresh produce and whole grains whenever possible - farm stands are excellent sources of fresh and inexpensive seasonal items.
- Avoid Fast Food
Although it is cheap and convenient, fast food is calorie-laden and lacking in nutritional value. Carry healthy snacks and ignore the lure of the drive-through.
- Dine In
Restaurants are expensive, and little attention is given to the nutritional quality of the food coming out of the kitchen. Make cooking a family event, or invite your friends - everyone will benefit from good food and the camaraderie of preparing a meal together.
* Stress Management
Medical experts agree that high stress levels have a tremendous impact on our health. Stress weakens the immune system and depletes the hormones that promote healthy body function and mental well-being; it is also a huge factor in illnesses such as heart disease.
Make time for yourself. Yoga, meditating, or simply listening to soothing music can help you to relax, reduce your stress level, and allow your body's self-healing abilities to take over.
You've been working overtime to make ends meet. With the bills piling up, the gym membership is an expense you can't justify. Sticking to an exercise routine seems impractical - you'll get back into it when things get better.
Feeling this way is understandable, but physical activity is a vital to maintaining good health. Exercising is a great way to de-stress, keep your metabolism running, and sustain a healthy body weight.
If you can't afford the snazzy gym, you can still work out without the expensive equipment and personal trainer. Why not rediscover the pleasures of the great (and free) outdoors? Take a walk with friends, your partner, or the dog. A bike ride is an excellent workout, even if you ride a $200 model instead of a sexy, top-of-the-line racing cycle.
Take a hike and enjoy the scenery, or go for a vigorous swim. If you live in a winter climate, even sledding with the kids can be great exercise - the trudge back up the hill is a workout in itself. However you choose to stay fit, you will feel refreshed and ready to deal with any challenge.
* Risky Behaviors
Behaviors such as smoking, heavy drinking, and drug use are never good for you. Aside from the adverse health effects, these substances can dim your outlook, exacerbate stressful situations, and impair your ability to make good decisions.
Cutting back on drinking and smoking can only be beneficial, and you will find yourself feeling more energized and positive about your life.
* Preventative Health Care
It is impossible to overemphasize the importance of preventative care. Scheduling a checkup or mammogram may be the furthest thing from your mind right now, but remember that early detection is critical in treating any disease.
- Lab tests (such as pap smears) can spot diseases which are easily treated in early stages, but become much more complicated and dangerous if allowed to progress.
- Mammograms are recommended for women ages 40 and up. Don't duck out of your checkup with the excuse that you don't have time - you could be saving your life.
- Cholesterol checks are vital for older adults. Maintaining a healthy cholesterol level can minimize your risk of stroke or heart disease.
Don't overlook your annual checkup. Even in difficult times, you will greatly improve the quality of your life if you practice good habits and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Let Health Remedies.com help you take charge of your health! We offer labtests online, helpful health information, and a huge variety of quality supplements. Visit us at http://www.HealthRemedies.com.
Valerie Balandra is a nurse practitioner that uses a naturopathic healing approach to help people achieve good health.