Live Healthy and Save.

Many people think it’s too expensive to live a healthy lifestyle. After all, gym memberships and organic foods aren’t cheap. If you’re one of those individuals, you might be surprised to hear that living a healthy lifestyle can actually save you money. Here are five ways that living a healthy lifestyle might put money back in your wallet.

Reduce transportation expenses

If your workplace is close enough, ride a bike or walk to work. I walked to work for a while and saved tons of money and lost a lot of weight. If you work in the city where parking is a premium, you may be able to walk to a public transit station saving gas, parking fees and the hassle of traffic. If you have children who go to school close by, walk them to school instead of driving them or having them take the bus. Not only will you improve your health and theirs, but you will gain more quality time with them.

Reduce monthly food bills

Replacing pre-packaged, processed foods with homemade meals can greatly reduce your monthly grocery bill. For example, compare pre-packaged soup to homemade soup. The cost of pre-packaged soup is the same as the ingredients for a homemade soup. However, the pre-packaged soup will last you two days, while the homemade soup will last five.

Eating at home will also help your waistline and wallet. A takeout meal costs two to five times more than a homemade meal and may have double the number of calories. Scientists have demonstrated that your body prepares itself for food intake while you’re cooking and digests food much better as a result. You’ll feel more fit and satisfied after a homemade meal.

At the very least, taking your lunch to work instead of eating out every day will dramatically reduce expenses, and you can eat healthier foods that you prepare yourself. Since you can take your lunch with you, walk to your favorite spot and “people watch” or listen to your favorite podcast or audiobook.

Reduce medical expenses

Living a healthy lifestyle isn’t just about developing a fit body. Exercising regularly improves your sleep and boosts your immune system. In turn, you will spend less money on over-the-counter medicines for colds, headaches and other common illnesses. You’ll find yourself spending less on prescription drugs too because losing weight reduces blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and joint stress.

Another added benefit to exercise is it helps reduce stress. After a long stressful day, I would do pushups and situps in my garage every night. After a few days of this, I found myself being less stressed at work, I had more energy throughout the day and was in much better shape than when I started. To keep me motivated and help me keep track of my progress I used Runtastic’s PushUps and SitUps apps. These apps kept track of my progress and helped me develop a routine towards my goal. You can also compare your progress to other Runtastic users. You can learn more about these and other apps by Runtastic here.

Cut back on expensive activities

Taking your family to the movies is extremely expensive nowadays, especially if you buy popcorn, candy and other snacks. If you want to spend quality time with your family, buy a Frisbee or a football and head to the park. If you’re not into throwing things around, most parks have a walking trail. Why not walk and talk instead of sitting on the couch? In general, outdoor activity boosts your mood and improves your health, and it’s usually free.

Cut out expensive vices

This tip seems obvious, but I still encounter plenty of people who smoke. At current prices, smoking 10 cigarettes a day costs you about $1,750 annually. Besides improving your well-being, quitting smoking will save you money, which you can use for a gym membership, purchase healthier foods and vitamins or invest it.

Soft drinks are another vice that increases your weight and decreases your cash flow. You can save about $175 a year if you refrain from soft drinks. While that may seem like a small amount, drinking sodas increases the likelihood that you’ll develop diabetes and have to spend money on expensive treatments in the future.

Living a healthy lifestyle is about more than looking good. It’s about improving your overall well-being and quality of life. Saving money to help your financial health is just an added benefit. Feeling good about your health and finances will lead to much more happiness.

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