Living a healthy lifestyle can get expensive. With costly gym memberships and $10 smoothies, some people think they can't afford to care for themselves.

However, the idea that you have to be rich or have a lot of free time to make healthy choices is a myth. Ignore the hype and take these six inexpensive steps to get healthier.

Use Your Neighborhood to Get Fit

You don’t have to sign up for a gym membership to get exercise. Instead, use the Tampa Bay area to get fit. Take a bike ride along Bayshore Boulevard, look for dolphins on a beach walk, or go for a hike in one of our parks. These types of exercise are good for your mental and physical health and will give you a chance to appreciate the Bay area’s natural beauty.  

Look for Local Produce Options

Instead of ordering expensive meal kits, look up local markets (like the Fresh Market in Hyde Park Village) and stock up on healthy foods. Local farmers sell their wares at these markets for prices typically lower than you will find at the grocery store. You can find fresh ingredients (often in bulk) for cheap and then meal prep for the week ahead.

Be Proactive About Your Health

Don’t wait to get sick to care about your health! Schedule check-ups annually, ask your doctor to run routine blood tests and get your flu shot at the start of the season. By catching problems early and taking preventative care, you can limit the cost and time that comes with getting sick. To afford these check-ups, consider a direct primary care plan if you have low coverage health insurance, which covers the cost of basic services for less.

Identify Small Ways to Cut Back

You don’t have to completely quit sugar or alcohol if you want to be healthy, but you should consider reducing the intake of your “guilty pleasures.” For example, avoid alcohol during the week and enjoy it on the weekends. Or limit your dessert to small treats. You can still enjoy the things you love even if you cut back a little.

RELATED CONTENT: Have a High Deductible? No Health Insurance? Get a Direct Primary Care Plan 

Improve Your Water Intake

There are countless benefits to staying hydrated. Your mind is clearer, your hair and skin are nicer, and you have more energy. Invest in a reusable water bottle so you’re not dependent on plastic bottles so you can drink water, save money, and reduce single-use plastics that hurt the environment.

Set Work-Life Barriers

Good physical health requires good mental health. Set barriers to step away from work mode and enjoy yourself with other activities. This might mean leaving the office at a certain time each day or picking up a hobby that keeps you away from your phone. Plus, checking out and recharging will help you last longer and perform better when you are at work.  

Don’t get swept up into the latest expensive diet plan or workout craze. Instead, take a few small, inexpensive steps to benefit your health and see how good you feel because of it.

For more health and wellness news in Tampa, follow the Florida Wellness Medical Group for their tips on living your best life! 

Cover photo from Pixabay