For many Americans, getting healthy became a priority after the pandemic hit last year. According to a June 2020 survey from Parade and Cleveland Clinic, 62% of respondents reported making a healthy lifestyle shift since the pandemic began, such as eating healthier, exercising or getting more sleep. And there are plenty of good reasons to make these types of shifts, according to Dr. Mark Hyman of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine.
Dr. Hyman told Parade that 88% of American adults suffer from issues such as high blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides, which add up to poor metabolic health. And poor metabolic health can increase the risk of complications if you contract COVID-19 or other serious illnesses.
But there’s good news. According to Dr. Hyman, poor metabolic health can be reversed in just two weeks if you make a positive dietary change. But why not take it a step — or three — further and take a holistic approach to your health and wellness? You know, like exercising, managing stress and getting quality sleep on the regular.
If all that sounds expensive, you have options. Here are 10 affordable solutions for making a positive difference in your health.
Register For an Aaptiv Membership
No matter where or when you want to work out, Aaptiv has the solution. The audio-based app offers thousands of exercise classes led by certified personal trainers. Plus, 30 new classes are added every week. No matter what your workout preference — yoga, running, strength training, stretching or elliptical — there’s a class for it. Plus, you can participate in programs that align with your fitness goals, such as maternity fitness, weight loss or race training.
Work Out With Resistance Bands
- Cost: $9.99
If you’re not ready to commit to an on-demand exercise app, invest in this five-piece set of resistance bands instead. The set includes light, medium, heavy and extra heavy bands so you can tailor the intensity of your workout. You can use the bands to exercise both your upper and lower body via bicep curls, overhead triceps, leg extensions, squats and more. Best of all, the bands are compact and portable, so you can take them anywhere — no subscription fee required.
Use a Cookbook Focused On Whole Food Cooking
- Cost: $22.09
In her cookbook “Whole Food Cooking Every Day,” Amy Chaplin offers 250 recipes — all of which will allow you to cook healthy, delicious vegetarian foods that are free of gluten, dairy, refined sugar and all the unhealthy additives that processed convenience food contains. Eating healthier is an excellent way to achieve a metabolic health reset, too.
Control Your Portions
- Cost: $10.98
Once you learn how to cook delicious whole food recipes, you’ll want to make sure that you practice portion control. And you can do so with this seven-piece set of color-coded containers with lids that’s both microwave- and dishwasher-safe. Each container color symbolizes a different food group, so you’ll know just how much protein, fat, carbs, seeds, veggies and fruit you can eat at each meal.
Go To Sleep With a Sound Machine
- Cost: $32.06
Part of being healthier is getting quality sleep, and a sleep sound machine can help you do that — partly by masking noises that might wake you up. The machine has two ocean sounds; four white, pink, and brown noise options; and five fan sounds to choose from when you get ready to take a trip to dreamland. Plus, it also has Bluetooth capability so you can stream your favorite podcast or music directly from your smartphone during waking hours.
Carry Mindfulness and Meditation Cards
- Cost: $15.99
Too much stress can cause a host of dangerous effects — from affecting your teeth and gums to causing weight gain to raising your blood pressure.
To help reduce your daily stress, consider a pack of mindfulness and meditation cards. Aptly named Stress Less Cards, you can carry these gems of wisdom anywhere. Each of the 50 cards includes an exercise to help you target stress and anxiety within minutes. The exercises teach you valuable stress-busting techniques, such as focusing on your breathing, promoting positive emotions through visualizations and being aware of your body’s reactions.
Use Clean Shampoo
- Cost: $5.00 each
If you ever take the time to scan the ingredients in many drugstore hair care products, you’ll see words like parabens, phthalates and sulfates, which are controversial synthetic ingredients. Sulfates, for example, are known to cause irritation to the eyes, skin, mouth and lungs, according to Healthline. Plus, they can clog pores and cause acne.
It’s healthier to use products with all-natural ingredients. But those products can be expensive, costing $40 or more per item. Dollar General’s Root to End hair care products are affordable, cruelty-free, vegan and contain none of the controversial ingredients mentioned. Best of all, they cost just $5 each.
Put a Light Therapy Lamp on Your Desk
- Cost: $39.99
If you often feel down in the dumps starting when fall or wintertime arrive and continue feeling that way until spring or summer, you may have seasonal affective disorder — aka SAD — which is a type of depression. Light therapy, which doesn’t require a prescription, can help. According to the Mayo Clinic, light therapy is thought to have an influence on the chemicals in your brain related to emotions and sleep. While it’s best to consult with a doctor about your symptoms, you can put a light therapy lamp on your desk to see if it helps brighten your mood. It’s designed to mimic the natural, outdoor light your body may be craving.
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Get Your Own Personalized Vitamin Packs
- Cost: $5 and up
If you’ve ever bought a bottle of multivitamins at the drugstore, taken a few pills and then forgot about them, you’re not alone. After all, if you’re not sure if a product is really working for you, it’s easy to deprioritize it. While vitamins are supplements and not substitutes for a healthy diet, there may be instances where your body could benefit from taking them. But how can you know? Care/of can help you decide. All you have to do is take an online quiz about your diet and lifestyle and you’ll receive personalized suggestions of vitamins that could benefit you. Once you choose the vitamins you want, 30 presorted vitamin packs, each filled with the correct amount of daily vitamins, will arrive at your door each month.
Sign Up for Mindfulness Courses
- Cost: $0 and up
Practicing mindfulness can help you view yourself in a more positive way and empower you to take steps to create the life you dream of. Mindfulness cards are great as a starter, but you may want to dive deeper. Online mindfulness classes can help you achieve goals like living with gratitude, forming a healthy relationship with food or discovering the unique gifts you have to offer. They have a host of possible benefits, such as increasing focus, balancing mood, reducing feelings of stress, anxiety and depression, improving sleep, increasing creativity and improving overall wellbeing. Plenty of quality, no-cost options exist or you can choose to take paid mindfulness classes.
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