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How to live healthy on the cheap

Q: I’m trying to eat better and exercise more, but I don’t have a ton of money in my budget to spare. How can I live healthily on the cheap?A: Committing to wellness doesn’t have to be the pricey endeavour that leggings retailers and fancy salad shops want you to think it is. Cooking dinner at home instead of eating out, for example, was associated with healthier diets and lower spending on food overall, according to a recent study from the University of Washington School of Public Health.If you’re used to springing for fast food or ordering a lot of takeout, it’ll take dedication to start planning meals and cooking for yourself. Working out cheaply or for free will also require researching options and discovering what you enjoy. But you’ll feel stronger and more in control of your health — and budget — so give these strategies a try.Know what ‘healthy’ meansArticle Continued BelowFirst, understand what counts as “healthy.” Working within guidelines can help you realistically build exercise and a nutritious diet into your lifestyle. That will prevent you from overspending on boutique gyms and organic produce you don’t need and can’t afford.The MyPlate Checklist Calculator from the U.S. Department of Agriculture offers personalized guidelines for the amount of fruit, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy to eat per day. Use the non-profit Environmental Working Group’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce to decide which fruits and vegetables to splurge on. The “Clean Fifteen” lists foods least likely to contain pesticides, which means you can select their cheaper, non-organic versions.Adults should do aerobic exercise (like walking, swimming, biking or running) at moderate intensity for a total of 150 minutes per week or at vigorous intensity for 75 minutes per week, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Two or more days of muscle-strengthening activities, such as push-ups, crunches or yoga, are also recommended.

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