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Staying Healthy When Your Schedule Is Full and Your Wallet Is Not

Getting fit and maintaining fitness doesn’t have to be expensive and time-consuming. There are many actions, large and small, that you can take to increase your physical and mental well-being. Consider these tips for healthy living.

Choose Your Food and Drink Carefully

The most important thing you can do to increase your fitness level is to be mindful of your food and drink choices. Adults need two liters of water each day. Limit the number of sugary, carbonated, caffeinated, and alcohol-containing beverages, as these can exacerbate dehydration or create other issues with the high sugar content. Make sure you have plenty of vegetables, fruits, and protein. Read labels if you buy prepared foods. Yogurt, for example, is generally considered a healthy snack, but often if it comes already flavored, it’s also a source of a lot of sugar. Buy plain, unflavored yogurt, and add your own fruit and a dash of cinnamon.

Grow Some of Your Food

If you have space for a garden, or even a window box, consider growing some of your own food. You’ll save money, and gardening can be a great way to relieve stress. If you’re new to gardening, consider growing some of these easy vegetables. Creating your own salad from the lettuce, carrots, and peppers you grew can be very satisfying.

Plan Your Meals

Planning your meals can save money and time, as well as the stress of trying to figure out what to make for dinner. Although it might seem like a tedious chore, writing down the meals you plan to make and the ingredients needed will put you on a better path. You’ll spend less money at the grocery if you stick to your list. Planning ahead also provides a way to incorporate more vegetables and fruits into your diet, and choose healthier carbohydrates and fats. Stock the refrigerator and pantry with healthy snack options, like nuts, dried and fresh fruit, as well as lemons to spark up your filtered water.

Make Sure You Exercise

Maybe you don’t have time to go to the gym, or don’t want to spend money on a monthly fee. You can get exercise without going to the gym. Walking in your neighborhood costs nothing and you don’t have to drive anywhere to do it. Take advantage of the stairs, whether at work, at home, or both. Taking the stairs works more muscles than riding in an elevator, so opt for legwork when you have a choice. Besides taking the stairs when you need to go to a different floor, you can take a 10-minute break and climb several flights just to get your blood pumping. You can also park a bit farther away from your destination, and get in some extra steps. At home, you can do push-ups against the kitchen counter or wall sits–elaborate equipment is not needed.

Make Your Home a Healthy Haven

You can reduce stress by decluttering your home. Throw out, donate, or recycle items you aren’t using, and find a place for everything you decide to keep. If you have items that you don’t want to toss or give away, consider putting them in storage until you decide what to do. The cost of storage in LA varies quite a bit, but you can find small self-storage units for as low as $65 per month.

Keeping the temperature set to about 77 degrees is supposed to be ideal for maintaining comfort and productivity. Natural light helps to boost your mood and establish a solid circadian rhythm, so open those blinds. If you have few windows, invest in lighting that mimics natural daylight. Add a few air-cleaning plants for both the natural enhancement and their purifying properties.

Set Aside a Time and Place for Quiet

Whether you meditate, do yoga, or simply enjoy some solitude with a good book, it’s important to have some quiet, focused time for yourself each day. Spending just ten minutes a day alone in a contemplative pursuit can increase your mental well-being and reduce your risk for stress-related problems and depression.


Staying healthy doesn’t have to be expensive and time-consuming, but it does require making some careful decisions, and establishing priorities. Planning your meals, grocery list, exercise, and time for solitude can seem tedious, but it’s your best path to a healthy life. You can begin by writing these things into your schedule, and eventually, they’ll become healthy habits.

Dr. Monique uses virtual reality exposure therapy to help you manage your stress and anxiety. Book an appointment.

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