I’ve heard the comment: being healthy is pricey. I’ve been thinking about this ever since and ten things came to mind that cost nothing and help enormously our health:
Sleep hygiene is imperative for good health and costs nothing. You may think it’s out of your control to sleep well, especially if you have trouble falling asleep but, this is not true. Establishing a healthy bedtime routine does not require anything other than willpower. The other nine items listed here will positively impact the quality of sleep: If you are well hydrated you will feel energized all day and up to do all your activities and still exercise. Doing so will help you feel ready for bed at night. Breathing technics like Box Breathing or 4-7-8 Breathing, can be used as bedtime relaxation for those with trouble falling asleep. A gratitude ritual or a prayer before bed is also a helpful way to end your day and get ready for a good night. Sleeping well is the first step in the virtuous cycle of health and well-being.
Drink plenty of water
Equally important and also at no cost, keeping your body hydrated is paramount for all bodily functions. Water is mainstream in all digestive, respiratory, detox, hormonal, immune, and nervous systems. It is also a means of transporting nutrients into the cells and metabolic wastes out of them. When one is dehydrated at the cellular level means not having enough fluid for all systems to perform optimally, a potential root cause for all kinds of diseases. Harvard School of Public Health states that being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood. So, don’t wait to be thirsty to drink, keep those glasses coming!
I’m not kidding! It’s crucial to know how to use air. Breathing is usually effortless however a deep breath with intention is what brings countless benefits to our health. Water alike, nothing happens in our body without oxygen which takes part in all metabolic chemical reactions. Fill your lungs to their maximum capacity so, oxygen reaches the cells where it is used as energy. I’d like to point out that there is a long-time known link between poor oxygenation and cancer that yielded Dr. Otto Warburg the Medicine Nobel Prize in 1931. Breathing techniques are also indicated for various mental illnesses treatment like anxiety and depression. Breathing has much more value than we think.
Mindful movement is another vital and costless thing you can do for your health! The body is a complex engine that performs its best when used frequently and in its entirety. To be active does not mean you need to go to the gym, do weights, or enroll in a class. Simply walk! Walking is an underrated activity that is magic for the brain. Human beings are designed to walk and walk a lot! It costs you absolutely nothing and is so beneficial! Walk to places, walk your dog, walk with family, and do walking meetings. Stay active throughout the day, take the stairs, dance in the kitchen, or jump rope. Just move!
Most people do not realize the numerous benefits of meditation. It has been scientifically proven it mitigates addictions, depression, anxiety, stress, cognitive functions, and eating disorders. Harvard Health Publishing states that taking a few minutes to focus your mind each day can reduce stress, pain, depression, and more. That’s it, just a few minutes a day, anywhere and anytime, without spending any money to take advantage of all that. The benefits of meditation go even beyond mental health – it has been linked to reduced inflammation and strengthened immunity. It may also protect against heart disease by reducing inflammatory markers and helping dilate blood vessels. Dilated vessels improve blood flow and thereby lower blood pressure. It is also an excellent way to upgrade cell health and hormone balance. After all, there is a reason why meditation has been practiced for thousands of years.
Control your Thoughts
The only thing we have total control over is our thinking! Researchers around the world have already scientifically proven that thoughts have an impact on people’s mental and physical health. Avoid negative thoughts, keep a positive attitude and mood, make affirmations, and visualize positive results – all these are powerful ways to improve our overall health and well-being.
Faith is also free. You’ve probably heard of the placebo effect in clinical trials when the control group gets a placebo while another the drug. Placebo is nothing more than a flour or sugar pill but, its effect has been validated broadly. Patients have shown health improvements by taking a placebo, which means faith in the drug causes improvement in the patient’s condition, likewise faith in the doctor. Believers are confident, have less anxiety, and are more resilient. I’m not just talking about faith in God, one can also have faith in people and situations.
Gratitude and faith go hand in hand – both have scientifically proven health benefits. Being grateful opens a heart space for appreciation. The more you appreciate, the more will come up to be appreciated. What we pay attention to grows! I know it’s hard to be grateful in this crazy, unfair world, full of evil, however, there is always something that you can be thankful for. Having a perfect body that works miracles every second, a roof over your head, a warm bed on a cold night, having food on your plate, are good examples. Look around and see how many people have a lot less than you and start practicing gratitude daily.
Connecting to Nature
I know it is not easy to be in nature if you live in the city however, we can always enjoy the sunrise or sunset, find a park nearby where you can go for a walk, or appreciate a tree, and birds. Immersing in the natural world has a calming effect that keeps the central nervous system in parasympathetic dominance where metabolism performs at its best. American Psychological Association says psychological research is advancing our understanding of how time in nature can improve our mental health and sharpen our cognition.
Connecting to Community
Dozens of studies have shown that people who have satisfying relationships with family, friends, and their community are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer. Having good connections is then a determining factor, not only for health but also for longevity. Serving brings a sense of well-being similar to that of physical activity. Taking part in something is crucial for humans as we are social beings. Find a study group, a book club, a community center, or a church. Belonging to a common purpose community is good for the body and soul.
It is also necessary to eat well, which you might be concerned will increase your grocery bill. I tend to believe the balance is positive since you will probably reduce your spending at the pharmacy. I’d like to make just a few points about food that can be considered savings: eating little or no meat, dairy products, and eggs. Quit, or significantly reduce, drinking alcoholic beverages and pop. Cut out on desserts, fried foods, pasta, and bread. Your biggest spending most likely is not doing your health any good. Savings with cut-out items can be used to buy fruits, vegetables, olive oil, nuts, and seeds. A great idea is to plant a garden – grow your food at home and save even more! Good is what makes you feel well!