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How To Get Healthy On A Budget

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The United States spends more on health care than any other country in the world, and yet it ranks 12th in life expectancy among the 12 wealthiest industrialized countries. The country spent $3.4 trillion on health care in 2016, and that number is projected to grow to $5.5 trillion by 2025, driven by inflation in the cost of medical services and products and an aging population. So if outrageous health care spending is not translating to enormously better health outcomes, what can we do as individuals to protect ourselves?

Investing in preventive health solutions like gym memberships, organic food, biometric and genetic testing, and alternative therapies can feel inaccessible because of the out-of-pocket costs. The truth is, many of us didn’t grow up in families that budgeted for self-care and healthy living. Only in recent years has the conversation of wellness and disease prevention hit the masses, and quite frankly, it’s about time.

“Invest now, save later” is my personal mantra when it comes to health and happiness. And by save, I’m not only referring to saving on costs of health care; I’m also referring to the decrease in the likelihood of burdening family and friends. When we get sick, so do our loved ones. Their symptoms might feel invisible or go medically undetected because of the adrenaline they’re releasing to stay strong and fight the fight alongside us. It’s tragic news when you hear of a family member falling ill while taking care of their loved one. As you can see, the future savings are great and the cost of investment is dwarfed by the potential return.

Of course you might be reading this and thinking to yourself, I understand, but I just can’t afford to be healthy right now. To that I say it’s still possible to optimize your health today and not break the bank. Here are some options to consider if you want to invest in your health today:

1. Eat from the source.

Michael Pollan said it best: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” Eating food as close to its natural form as possible will deliver the highest amount of usable nutrition. I recommend an 80/20 approach, with 80 percent of the food being intentionally selected and wholesome and the other 20 percent saved for social environments and situations in which healthy food is not as accessible.

Here’s what to do: Stick to produce listed on EWG’s Clean 15 List; this means you don’t have to worry about paying extra for organic. While this might take a little upfront research, you can create a list of healthy restaurants in your neighborhood that offer discounts on salads and bowls during a certain time slot. If you have freezer space, you can also buy in bulk, which is often cheaper. Eating at home tends to be more cost-effective than eating out, so taking a little extra time for preparation might be worthwhile for you and your body. Consider signing out some budget-healthy-food recipe books from the library. If you want to upgrade, you can get your fresh produce or freshly prepared healthy meals delivered straight to your door!

2. Get an accountability partner.

Knowing it can take up to 30 days to form one new habit, it might be wise to get an accountability partner. Having someone to remind you of your goals, listen to your frustrations, and even to get healthy right alongside you can increase your chances of maintaining new healthy habits.

Here’s what to do: For a budget-friendly option, partner with a friend, spouse, neighbor, or someone you find through a weekly free meetup group. Just remember to state your commitments and rules up front to make it difficult to back out when life gets in the way. If you want to invest in an upgrade, hire a certified wellness or life coach, and structure your relationship based on your specific needs.

3. Do your own research.

Health blogging is trending, and many people get into health and wellness writing because they want to share their discoveries and personal breakthroughs with their communities. It’s easier than ever to do your own research. Just remember that every blogger is also sharing their own bias and perspective, so use what they say as inspirational tools instead of cold, hard facts.

Here’s what to do: If you’re looking for scientific data, you can use Google Scholar or PubMed, and the NIH Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine and Mayo Clinic both have tons of information about supplements, wellness, and alternative medicine. You can also sign up for free online summits, Facebook Lives, and conferences to learn from leading experts.

4. Digitize your health.

It’s becoming easier to quantify your nutrition, fitness, heart rate, sleep, and overall health. And this is only the beginning. Active adoption of digital health tools like telemedicine and wearable devices reached a record high of 46 percent in the United States in 2016, up from 19 percent the year before. As health care becomes more convenient, accessible, and data-driven, it will be easier to take care of ourselves as unique individuals.

Here’s what to do: Many reputable health-tracking apps are free, or close to free. Health journaling is another affordable approach that can be helpful if consistency is maintained. Go to your mobile app store and read reviews, or Google “top health apps for 2017” and find one that works for you. If your budget allows for it, it might be worthwhile to invest in more advanced apps, devices, and services that offer deeper analysis—especially if you’re at risk of developing a deficiency or disease because of your environment or genetic makeup. Biometric lab tests can provide information about vitamin deficiencies, hormone imbalances, or food intolerances. Genetic tests can tell you whether you may have a higher probability of developing a disease. These tests are available online.

I hope I’ve convinced you that the tools to better health and longevity are readily available to you today, whether you have a budget or not. All you need is a bit of self-discipline and to remember the importance of this particular return on investment.

Want to save some money on fitness? Take your workout to the beach or the mountains.

Source By Rhea Mehta, Ph.D.

Health & Fitness

Zuzka Light Full Body Workout

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Photos via IG @zuzkalight

Here’s a couple Zuzka Light‘s easy pace Stretch & Tone workout for Summer Shreds. Zuzka is one of the top influencers in fitness today and has one of the most gorgeous bodies in the world.


It’s nice to take your body through gentle exercise and give your muscles chance to recover and become even stronger.

Also: The Fitness Gurls Podcast: Christmas Abbott





I’ve been already getting great responses about my Keto Meal Plan from ZGYM members who have been following it – this plan is full of veggies, and healthy fats. Not too heavy in meat or dairy products like other keto meal plans out there so you’re getting real nutrition in while getting all the health and fat burning benefits of Ketogenic diet. Check out my Keto Meal Plan for supercharged fat loss at ZuzkaLight.com or just click on the link in my bio 🔝 . . #zuzkalight #zgym #zshredmealplan #workout #workoutmotivation #fitness #fitgirls #fitwomen #fitchicks #fitnessmotivation #coretraining #bodyweighttraining #abs #fatloss #weightloss #fatburn #stretching #stretchandtone #flexibility #bodyweight #ketodiet #ketomealplan #ketofatloss

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Health & Fitness

Eight Amazing Benefits of Teaching Yoga

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Every challenging occupation yields some sort of satisfaction, but the fitness professionals industry had an amazing 85% job satisfaction rate according to an Idea Health & Fitness survey.

Job Satisfaction
In the same survey, 98% of those interviewed felt that “My work gives me a feeling of personal accomplishment.” Lack of personal satisfaction is the most frequent reason why people leave a job. These statistics make it obvious that this is an extremely harmonious atmosphere to work in.

Also, check out: Danica Patrick has a strong Yoga game

For many of us who worked in the corporate world and shifted into the health and fitness industry, the energy felt in a health club, ashram, or wellness center is similar to being on vacation.

There’s always something to do, but the job itself is very gratifying.

Rewards of Helping Family, Friends, Students, and Co-workers

Your self-esteem improves as you find solutions for the pain management of others, ailments, fitness, stress management, positive thinking, etc.

The list goes on, as you continue your own journey of self-improvement, but the feeling of gratification you get from helping someone find the right path is beyond words.

You will always remember: That student who reaches their ideal body weight, the physically impaired student who finds that they, too, can live a better quality life, and the student who leaves your class without a headache or a backache they came in with.

Your Own Health
As a practitioner of Yoga, you have become more aware of your daily ups and downs. You monitor your breath, posture, moods, diet, and exercise on a daily basis.

As a Yoga teacher, you are setting an example to your students and teaching them to live a quality life. This path will enable you to live longer and live better.

There is no Shortage of Work
When the working world is in the “9 to 5” mode, you have many opportunities with Corporate Accounts, The Fitness Industry, Senior Centers, Medical Centers, Referrals, etc. This is when you to teach them, with any free time you have.

Once I became totally self-employed, there were more daytime off-site Yoga teaching opportunities than I had time for in a geographic area that has many active Yoga teachers and studios. One of my best students, who became a
Yoga teacher through our on-site program, inherited an area that I could no longer service due to time restraints.

The object is to contact them. This is where your post cards come in handy, if you don’t have a personal referral.

Continuing Education
Yes, learning new things keeps your mind stimulated and healthy. You will never tire of subjects to study, explore, and investigate. There are so many facets of Yoga, that one life span, is just not enough time to learn it all.

It’s not a race, but it is a journey. You will find friends, colleagues, and students who are on the same path. This makes giving, receiving, and sharing a wonderful thing along the way.

Time
You will have time to stop, think, breathe, relax, or meditate. You can always fill your plate beyond its limits, but you no longer have to.

You can determine whether or not you will be stuck in traffic during rush hour. You decide what hours you will work and what days you have off. You will come to the realization that your time is your own.

Independence
Everyone wants control of their own life, but very few achieve it. Being in business for yourself, can help you control your own destiny and that of your family.

Sure there are limits to what one person can accomplish, but it is better to try than to have never tried.

Success
No matter what you want, if you write down your short-term and long-term goals, you will make great progress toward them.

You should keep these goals in a place where you can see them daily and visualize yourself accomplishing your goals. You should be specific about time frames and ethical methods used to meet them. You can even use them in meditation.

Review your long-term goals at least once every season and every year.
Review your short-term goals daily. You will see yourself make rapid success in this way.

Lastly, goals do not have to be material at all. For example: You may want to start teaching Yoga in a year, and the following year, get a part-time Yoga teaching position. This type of goal setting is realistic and beneficial to mankind.

That is the key ñ If you choose a goal that will benefit others, you will surely achieve it.

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Health & Fitness

Stay Healthy – Learn To Meditate

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Wondering how people who live to be 100 with a great quality of life do it? In his book, “Aging Well,” Harvard researcher, George Vaillant, M.D., found out just what centurions do. They cultivate a sense of peace, well-being and maintain a positive attitude. How? Here’s one of their biggest secrets: meditation. What’s ironic about meditation is, it has just become known in the West as a healing technique, but it has been practiced for ages in the East. So in my quest to give you easy sensible ways to purify your energy, I’ll begin by defining meditation, then I’ll show you how easy it is to apply to your daily routine.

Also, check out: Effective Gain From Yoga

Meditation Defined
Meditational exercises primarily use the experience of the body and thought as a means to reconnect with the environment and its healing power. Meditation, when practiced frequently, has been proven to promote inner peace and wellness. Meditation is also a mental practice in which the mind is directed to one area, often the breath. It draws its energy from the human connection to nature and creates a sense of unity or one-ness with it.

This unit has been shown to increase communication with the spirit of the body. It has also been known to allow positive thoughts in and to stimulate positive physiological and psychological effects. Meditation techniques are easy to learn and can easily be incorporated into any lifestyle. If practiced regularly, meditation will bring balance to your body and mind.

General benefits of meditation and breathing exercises include:
– Deep inner peace
– Improved self-esteem
– Increased creativity
– Physical health/healing
– Reduced medical care
– Slowing/reversal of aging
– Reversing of heart disease
– Stimulation of the body’s immune system
– Reduced stress

I have found there is really no one right ways to meditate. Here are a couple of my favorite meditational exercises that will get you started. Remember, there is no wrong path here. Try these, or simply sit in silence for 20 minutes, daily. You’ll be glad you did.

Meditative Grounding Exercise
– Sit with your legs crossed in a comfortable (Indian-style) position with your hands relaxed on you lap. Close your eyes and imagine a beam of light dropping from the base of your spine through the earth and connecting you to its center.

– Allow this beam of light to expand in width until it is wider than your own body and envelopes it. This is your personal space.

This exercise places you totally in your body and reminds you that you are anchored to the earth. Remember, the more grounded you are, the more aware you are. Sense the presence of your higher self: listen to its voice.

Energy Cleaning Exercise
Now that you are grounded, it’s important that you cleanse this personal space. Often we collect other people’s energies and are not aware of it. We do this both through interaction with others and basic activities of daily living.

– To remove all foreign energies from your space, imagine holding a brush and sweeping away the debris.

– Allow the debris to fall to the ground and become washed away. Let the light from the previous exercise envelop your body and spread its healing energy to the edge of your space, forming a protective force field around you.

Cleaning out the area surrounding your body will keep you grounded, define your personal boundaries and declare your space. Then choose who and what you wish to enter you space, keeping disease and illness out.

Breathing Exercise
– Follow your breath as you slowly inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Count with each exhale until you reach 10 then begin again at one.

– If you find yourself past 10, acknowledge this and begin again at one from wherever you are.

– Imagine your body’s cells being replaced with fresh, pure oxygen and positive healing energy from this power source. Picture yourself exhaling old cells, stress, illness and worries.

– Let your thoughts pass through your mind like drifting clouds. Let them in and gently let them pass through. If the mind should harbor a negative thought, refocus on the breath.

– Thank any persistent negative thoughts for coming into your mind then gently let them go.

– Listen only for the positive, pronounced voice; the voice of your body.

Retrieve Your Energy Exercise
Since foreign energy often resides in your space, let’s also assume that you leave energy in other places. After completing the preceding exercises it is necessary to re-energize and call energy back.

– Imagine you have an energy magnet used to attract your energy back to you. Visualize energy flowing back to you, filling your body with light, health and empowerment.

– Allow a few minutes for the process.

Journal Questions:
1. Record in your journal any problem or trouble you may be having ñ emotional, physical or otherwise. Let problems go and give them over to your meditation.

2. Do you notice solutions coming to you throughout the day? Do you notice with regular meditation that your body and mind are becoming calmer and clearer?

Ideas To Consider:

1. Make time for your spirit daily. Exhibit behaviors and self talk that show your reverence for yourself.

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