Getting sick costs money. Unfortunately for many people right now, that is money they cannot afford to be spending. And simply not getting sick is much easier said than done. So, what can you do?
Try to stay as healthy as you can.
Healthy practices do not guarantee you won’t get sick. But they have been proven to help improve your body’s ability to fight back effectively. And the less sick you get, the faster you can heal up, the more money you can save.
Here are four ways you can improve your health habits.
- Stay hydrated. Not drinking enough water can lead to, among other things, persistent bad breath, fatigue, constipation, poor skin, and headaches. Your body needs water to help flush toxins, waste, and bacteria from your body to help fight disease and infection.
Consumers have begun to drink more water since the carbonated beverage boom of the ’80s. There are still many of us who consumer things that actively contribute to dehydration, such as alcohol or coffee. So, while eight glasses of water per day may be overkill, it probably wouldn’t hurt to drink a bit more.
- Stock healthy snacks. Being thrown off of your routine can easily lead to stress and even depression. Tag on the fact that many of us are working much closer to the refrigerator and…well, you’ve seen the memes.
Now is a great time to swap out all of the junk food for healthier alternatives. If you aren’t a big fan of carrot sticks, pepper slivers, and apple slices (hold the ranch dressing), you’ll be less likely to eat extra. But, when you do give in to the need for something to chew, your body will be getting essential nutrients rather than a dose of processed carb or sugar.
- Avoid boxed meals. Pre-prepared meals were invented for people who are so busy they don’t have time to cook or learn how. Even if you are still working, most essential businesses have cut down hours, and those who are now work-from-home have gained hours back from their daily commute. Your usual extracurriculars are canceled, too. Now is the perfect time to start trying out crockpot, instant-pot, and quick-prep recipes.
While the manufacturers of boxed meals work hard to include “well-rounded” options, the processes required to manufacture and prepackage food use quite a few preservatives and lead to the inevitable decay of important nutrients.
Home-cooked meals with raw materials are a much more effective way to get the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy. If you get started now, you might have time to develop a routine to implement into your more “normal” life.
- Move your body. It can be hard to work out at home. You could be doing dozens of other things that need your attention. Or there is that book you still want to read. Then there is Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, video games, and any number of other distractions. But getting up and moving around helps you stay healthy.
Fortunately, there are several free exercise resources that can help you spend some time being active.
- Down Dog is offering access to its workout apps through May 1st.
- Nike is providing free access to the premium service of the Nike Training Club.
- Planet Fitness is posting free daily 20-minute at-home workouts on their company’s Facebook page while their facilities remain closed.
Many local gyms and communities are also guiding at-home exercise for their members and online followers, which can also be great ways to gain motivation for keeping a routine. If you don’t already have a community, now is a great time to reach out.
- Stay as connected as you can. With video technologies such as Facebook Messenger, Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime, it is hard to find an excuse for not seeing a loved one right now. Even if you are not the type to feel lonely, make sure you reach out to friends, co-workers, and, especially, family to see how they are doing. Try scheduling mealtimes, weekly check-ins, or game nights. Humans, no matter how introverted, are social creatures that need interaction.
Implementing healthy practices is not a fail-safe against disease. But taking steps to improve your habits now can help you avoid the inconvenience of future illness. And maybe save you some cash, too.