Posted on Dec 11, 2023, 2 p.m.
As a human, you must never stop exercising, eating right, and improving your mind, even as you age. This can sometimes be easier said than done as the cost of groceries continues to rise and life generally seems harder to afford on a limited budget. However, there are ways to keep your body and mind fit without breaking the bank, and the tips discussed here can help you stay in line with your health goals.
It’s crucial to stay active as you get older to improve your strength and balance so you can stay independent throughout the years and avoid injury. Also, physical activity is essential as you age because it gives your immune system a boost, so you’re less likely to get severe ailments like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or cancer.
It’s natural to have some limitations as you age, but it is possible to stay active well into your later years. Doing so doesn’t have to be difficult. Just aim for about 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise, like walking or swimming, or tasks like raking the leaves.
There are various exercises you can do to stay fit and healthy as you age. Biking and brisk walking are great for aerobic activity and maintaining a strong heart rate. You can strengthen your bones by doing jumping jacks or lifting weights. Increase your balance by spending a few minutes standing on one leg or safely walking backward. Finally, yoga and stretching can help with your flexibility and range of motion so you’re in the best shape possible. Remember that even if you were never the most active person in your youth, it’s never too late to start being more physical. When you reach your 80s and 90s, you may want to consult a doctor before taking your regimen too far.
These are all free exercises that you can do without paying for a gym or a personal trainer. If you decide to join a gym, research your options and look for one offering a new member discount.
Saving Money While Buying Healthy Food
A proper diet is the other half of the equation for keeping yourself in the best possible shape as you age. While fruits and vegetables are always a good idea, you can prioritize certain foods during your later years that can provide the best benefits.
Berries are a good go-to because they contain fiber, vitamin C, and anti-inflammatory properties. Fiber is vital as you age because it keeps you regular and helps keep your weight in check, which is also necessary to protect against diabetes and other ailments. Cottage cheese is another excellent option because it’s a source of whey protein, which is good for your muscles, and vitamin D, which is necessary for healthy bones.
The issue you might face is the steady increase in prices when you go to the grocery store. There are many reasons for the growing costs, ranging from the natural changes in the dollar's value to the way that rising transportation costs impact food prices. Food at the grocery store is often delivered from farms and factories located hundreds of miles away. The trucks that bring the food need to be maintained, and fuel costs are hefty. Plus, many companies also charge delivery fees and all that gets factored into the cost at the register.
So, what can you do? Planning and creating a budget can save a lot on your healthy foods. Don’t just go to the store and hope for the best, or you’ll likely find your money doesn’t go quite as far as it did in the past. Instead, consider planning your meals so you know exactly what you need and can budget accordingly. You may also need to shop differently than you did before. Try to buy frozen vegetables and canned food, which is often less expensive, and look for affordable sources of protein, such as beans, peanut butter, and cottage cheese.
Mental Health Is Important Too
Keeping your mental health in check is just as important because, when it comes to your brain and functionality, if you don’t use it, you could lose it. The best way to enjoy life and keep your mind sharp is to learn a new hobby. You can try many inexpensive hobbies, including reading
books or journaling your thoughts. If you like puzzles, you can often find them at yard sales and dollar stores.
Many inexpensive exercises, such as gardening, can help your body and mind. You’ll stay strong as you crouch and stretch while planting seeds and picking the vegetables that sprout. Gardening is also great for mental health because you’re making something from scratch. The feeling of accomplishment you’ll get by planting a seed and watching it turn into an edible treat is without comparison.
Volunteering in your community is another great way to stay fit, feel rewarded each day, and not spend a dime. This is free to do, and there's an unlimited number of ways you can help others, from working in a soup kitchen to cleaning up the park or coaching a little league team. These activities keep your mind sharp and help you to stay active. You can get the best of both worlds by volunteering to walk or race for charity. Training for the event alone will keep you in tip-top shape.
There are many ways that you can continue to stay in shape and live your best life as an aging adult while sticking to your budget. What we’ve discussed here is just the tip of the iceberg, so find what you love, and dedicate yourself to continued health and wellness.
This article was written for WHN by Charlie Fletcher who is a freelance writer from the lovely “city of trees”- Boise, Idaho. Her love of writing pairs with her passion for social activism and her search for the truth. You can find more of her writing on Contently.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.
Opinion Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of WHN/A4M. Any content provided by guest authors is of their own opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone or anything.
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