Nearly everyone has an overall life goal of getting healthier. But plenty of roadblocks always come up. From the expense—not everyone has a budget for diet plans and personal trainers—to the inconvenience, you can find an excuse to skip your workout or wellness goals. Here’s the advice you need to change that—without blowing your budget.
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Track Your Macros
Keeping a food diary is one of the best ways to track your health and wellness journey. After all, you know that you need to have a calorie deficit to lose weight. But unless you’re writing things down—or tracking meals digitally—you won’t remember exactly how many calories, carbs, or grams of protein you’ve consumed.
Old-fashioned journaling on paper is excellent if you prefer it. But you can also find plenty of macro-tracking apps that perform the same function. Plus, a lot of apps have your favorite foods plugged in already, so you’ll spend less time reading labels.
Track Your Finances
As anyone working with a limited budget will attest, trying to juggle your finances can often cause a fair amount of stress — especially when those unexpected emergencies show up to claim a significant portion of your savings. As such, it’s important to take steps to reduce your financial stress, which may include downloading budgeting software to help you stay on top of things. Additionally, if you own a home, you may want to consider refinancing, which, according to Redfin, can help you pay down debt or lower interest rates. The goal, of course, is to find ways you can lower stress and, in turn, improve your health.
Track Your Water Intake, Too
Drinking enough water is vital for overall health. Plus, studies suggest that drinking water can help you burn more calories, makes you feel full so you don’t overeat, and keeps you hydrated so you can work out more effectively.per day is the expert recommendation. But you should at least drink to thirst—and always kee
In general, drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water or have a glass or bottle handy. Especially when you’re exercising, proper hydration is crucial, since dehydration can impact your workout.
Find Support for Better Results
Plenty of studies have shown that when people get active in groups, they’re more likely to stick with their healthy lifestyle goals. Working out with a romantic partner can also be positive for meeting your weight loss milestones. Finding kindred spirits, taking classes with professionals, and joining communities that support your goals can all help you make progress. And the best part is, emotional support from friends and family is free.
Prioritize Your Sleep
Our bodies keep on working after we go to sleep each night; quality rest helps your body repair itself. From building up muscles to circulating your blood, a whole lot is happening while your head is on the pillow. You also pass through multiple cycles while sleeping: N1, N2, N3, and REM sleep, with each providing different benefits to your body. The first two stages are non-rapid eye movement (NREM), while the last is rapid eye movement (REM). These stages repeat over and over while you rest.
Both REM and non-REM sleep cycles are equally important, says Hopkins Medicine. But to achieve them, you need to care for your body’s natural circadian rhythms. Science Daily explains that your circadian rhythm is a built-in feature, but you influence it with your exposure to daylight, various temperatures, and other factors.
Getting out into natural light during the day—and shutting off screens in the evening hours—can help you optimize your circadian rhythm.
Achieving better health doesn’t have to cost you a ton of money. There are plenty of cheap or free ways to get on the right track toward less weight, more exercise, and more enjoyment in life. And the best part is that you can get started on improving your habits right now.
Article written by: Jennifer McGregor