Investing in your health: You determine the cost!

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I am a firm believer in the saying “Your body is your temple”.  It is your home.  It provides you nourishment, energy, protection.  Every second of every hour of every day, your body is working hard to keep you alive and well.  Unfortunately, like an actual temple with time and age, your body can start to wear down and even fall apart.   It is essential that you provide all means possible to at the very least maintain your body, or even better…optimize your wellness potential. 

When I think of the word investing, I think of money.  Sure one can spend a fortune towards health and wellness…think of diet supplements, spa treatments, detox programs, pills, lotions and potions, etc….but the truth is, investing towards your health can cost absolutely nothing- it all depends on you!  The sooner you start to take action towards a healthier life, the better your body will function not only today, but for the rest of your life.  Just like one would invest in repairs and maintenance towards a temple so it has many more years to stand strong, you are doing the same for your body to ensure that it is working properly and will continue to do so.  Just how much do you worship your temple and what are you willing to do to keep it standing strong for decades to come?  The sooner you take action towards a healthier life, the less expensive it will become in the future.   Wouldn’t it be great to not have to spend money on medications, doctor visits, vigorous treatments and programs?  Investing in your health can cost nearly nothing and here are some key points on how to do so:

  • Exercise- you hear it all the time and there is a reason why you do.  Exercising most days of the week, for a minimum of 30 minutes per day can aid in weight loss, depression, and hyperglycemia and can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis….just to name a few.  Many people choose to hire personal trainers or join a gym, however some of us are not in a financial situation to do so.  Walking at a moderate pace is a great cardio option.  Don’t have time?  You can break this up into 15 minute increments.  Walk during your lunch break, walk your dog (they need excercise just as much as we do!), walk to the supermarket or the nail salon.  Bad weather? Find a mall that has walking programs before opening hours, find an exercise DVD or channel on TV, climb up and down the stairs, buy inexpensive dumbbells or exercise bands for resistance training.  Include your family! Play with your kids outside, take them on “nature walks” which is basically a walk around the block with a nature scavenger hunt: leaves, rocks, flowers, etc…, freeze dance (my personal fave), anything that keeps you moving!! If you have an excuse, I have a solution…give it to me! 🙂
  • Diet-  If you consume a diet that is based on wholesome, fresh, energy and nutrient dense foods, then your body will be full of energy and health.  A  lot of food companies will use health food terms and products as a way to make more money, which means higher prices.  We tend to forget that sticking to the general rule of thumb, “Fresh is best” and “Choose foods closest to its original form” is the best way to obtain a wholesome, healthy diet.  Stick to this very important shopping tip:  SHOP AROUND THE PERIMETER.   The next time you go shopping, take notice to the layout of the supermarket store.   You will find all major food groups along the perimeter of the store, all in its original form, all of it FRESH! Fresh fruits and veggies, the meat counter and section, fish counter, bread (whole grain preferably), and dairy.  The only isles I recommend you venture through are to collect even more fruits and veggies (canned or frozen for convenience and cost), spices (for flavoring)  and more whole grain products (brown rice, whole wheat pasta, quinoa, oatmeal, etc..) and of course, beans!  By using this method you will automatically replace at least half of your usual items in the cart with fresh, wholesome food items that will give you more energy and allow you to function better…for little or no additional cost. 
  • Mental relaxation-  I feel as though we tend to put this on the back burner a lot.  How many times do we wish for just a few minutes of peace and quiet…just a few moments of tranquility.  Some people pay for massages, a weekend getaway, or a spa visit.   But you do not need to shell out the big bucks for a moment to unwind and refocus.  Do the best that you can to include your favorite way to relax, even if it is just 10 minutes per day. Wake up 10 minutes earlier than your spouse and children and enjoy a relaxing tea or coffee in silence.  During lunch or a coffee break at work, go somewhere quiet and spend a few minutes alone…leave the phone behind!  (this sounds like a perfect opportunity for a walk…just sayin’).  Arrange a play-date for your children at their friend’s house…take this time to do something relaxing FOR YOU!  Don’t clean! Don’t cook! DON’T DO ANYTHING but relax.  Share this tip with your friends and return the favor :)Draw, paint, listen to your favorite music, meditate, yoga…do whatever you feel gives you a moment of peace and quietness.  My personal fave is sipping my favorite herbal tea outside without any disturbances. 
  • Pay it forward– think of one time that you returned a favor or volunteered some of your own time to do something great for someone or something else….how did you feel afterwards?  Have no shame when admitting that you felt really good afterwards.  I like to think of this little phenomenon as “taking care of your soul”.  It is a ‘feel good” feeling”that you feel deep within your gut, it over takes your heart and your entire body…it may even give you a little buzz.  Its a beautiful thing to be able to take care of not only yourself, but others as well.  Volunteer at a food pantry, soup kitchen or children’s hospital, help your friends and family in need- do their food shopping, provide a ride, be a supportive friend.  Reap the benefits of loving, positive energy and feel it radiate throughout the day. 
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About peacelovenfood

My name is Michelle (Serpas) Hill and I am a Registered Dietitian. I have a genuine passion for all things related to health, wellness and nutrition- mind, body and soul, which is what my blog is about. I was born and raised in Long Island, New York. I look forward to sharing my nutrition knowledge and expertise (via evidence based research), ideas and life experiences with anyone who is interested. I also hope you allow me to share my thoughts on just about anything as long as it aids in my soul-searching journey and peace of mind. Feel free to leave any comments, questions, feedback- anything! In health, Michelle Hill, RD, CDN

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