Advertising
Advertising

5 Reasons Why A Healthy Lifestyle Will Save You Money

5 Reasons Why A Healthy Lifestyle Will Save You Money

Let’s try a little experiment. Think of the term ‘health’ for a moment and put down on paper what the first three things you associate with it are. If the first things that come to mind are gym memberships, organic produce, and an array of vitamins, you’d be forgiven for thinking a healthy lifestyle is reserved for the well-off. Although it has long been proven that organic foods do not necessarily have to cost more than conventional ones, searching for the right places to buy them alone can cost you a lot of valuable time and energy. And yet, the old clichés about health being nothing but a luxury item no longer hold true – you may be surprised to learn that living a healthy lifestyle can actually save you money.

1. Eliminate your expensive vices

The obvious culprit when it comes to expensive vices is smoking. Let’s have a look at how quitting can concretely benefit your wallet: If you kick your 10-a-day smoking habit you could see yourself £1,400 better off within a mere year. Best of all, your family and friends will thank you for taking their well-being into consideration as well.

Advertising

But don’t stop there. Fizzy drinks like Coca-Cola or Sprite are not only disastrous for your waistline, but could also be setting you back over £146 a year if you’ve made it a daily habit. Add in the possibility of developing diabetes, which has been linked to fizzy drink consumption, and you could be saving yourself from a future of costly treatments. Needless to say, your quality of life will significantly surge, too.

2. Cut down on transport costs

Car maintenance, petrol, parking, and public transport fees are all daily expenses that can be drastically cut with a changes in your lifestyle. Switching your twice-daily bus journey to work for a brisk walk or bike ride, could save you up to £528 a year. Walking your children to school instead of packing them in the car will save you money, improve your health, and give you more quality time with your family. In many respects, this is really a question of common sense: I was once staying with friends who would take their children to school by car each morning – although school was as close as a five-minute foot-walk. Needless to say, none of them gained particularly high grades in the sports department.

Advertising

3. Reduce medical costs

Many see the latest health hype as a question of aesthetics only. It is indeed true that the general ideal of beauty tends to favor a slim and fit body. And yet, losing a few pounds and incorporating exercise into your lifestyle is far more than just about looking good – it could help your sleep improve, reduce the regularity of headaches and boost your immune system. This will, in turn, save you the money you may normally spend on over the counter medicines. Losing excess weight will also reduce blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and stress on joints so you may find your prescription costs taking a cut too. And if the results of this ‘rational’ approach should also increase your appeal to the other sex, then you can simply consider it an ‘added benefit’.

4. Reduce monthly food bills

Switching pre-packaged, processed foods for homemade meals can have a huge impact on your monthly food spending. For the price of a pre-packaged soup that would last you two days, you can buy the ingredients to make a portion of soup that would last you five. Not mention the savings you’d gain from giving up or cutting down on expensive takeout. A takeout meal can cost anywhere from two to five times the amount a meal made at home would, and packs on at least double the amount of calories.

Advertising

What’s more, switching to fresh, homemade meals can also significantly improve your body’s processing of the food. It has been scientifically demonstrated that your body prepares for the intake of foods during the cooking phase and can thus digest them a lot better. You’ll find yourself feeling fitter and more satisfied after meals – once again, considerably improving your general quality of life.

5. Cut down on expensive activities

Instead of spending $40 taking your family to the cinema (not to mention the cost of snacks) take your family to the park and invest in a football. Outdoor activity will boost your mood, improve your health, and best of all, it’s free.

Advertising

As you can see, living a healthy lifestyle does more than reduce your waistline and you will discover countless other ways that your finances can improve by taking stock and cutting back on unhealthy habits. Best of all, changing your general well-being will also change your entire perspective on life. Try conducting the same experiment mentioned in the first paragraph half a year after you’ve improved your health – my bet is you’ll be thinking of far more affordable things than gym memberships, organic produce, and an array of vitamins.

This article was written in association with financial service provider eccount money, a UK company specialising in basic bank accounts and online banking services.

Currently reporting directly from the City, William Masters is a journalist specialising in economics and personal finances. In his writing, Masters deals with prepaid card technology, the development of the banking market in the early 21st century as well the effects of online technologies on the finance industry.

Featured photo credit:  Group of happy children lying on green grass via Shutterstock

More by this author

How to Plan Your Life Goals and Actually Achieve Them in 7 Simple Steps 6 Simple Steps to Make Progress Towards Achieving Goals Seven Budget-Friendly Things to do in San Juan, Puerto Rico 6 Easy Ways to Treat Yourself A Random List of Unique Gifts

Trending in Lifestyle

17 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day 210 Surprising Benefits Of Dragon Fruit You Never Knew 311 Benefits of Almond Milk You Didn’t Know About 411 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits) 510 Benefits of Sleeping Naked You Probably Didn’t Know

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

Advertising

When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

    Advertising

      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

          Advertising

          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

              Advertising

                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

                  Read Next