How to stay healthy in a recession

Whether you see current times as a full blown recession or merely a rough patch, the matter of fact is that you're feeling the pain in your wallet. Gas prices are at a new high, your grocery bill isn't what is used to be and the rent-, electricity and insurance prices just seem to go up every month. The time is upon us to prioritise our expenses, reduce stress and stay healthy. But can you prioritise your expenses and stay healthy at the same time?

Yes, you can.

Lower your grocery bill by buying generic or store brand items. Another way is to grow your own vegetables - plant a small fruit or vegetable patch in the backyard. When you are buying fresh produce - shop local and try to buy products that are in season.These products are in high supply and stores usually price them lower to get them out the door before they go off. Whenever anything is on sale that isn't perishable, stock up! Some items can be left in your pantry for a long time and many other foods can be frozen until you're ready to eat them.

Go for foods that are low GI - like rolled oats or pasta. Low GI foods keep you feeling full for longer with sustained energy, which means less snacking and that means you stay healthy for less.

Before you go shopping, take your time to plan it. Plan a weekly menu, make a portions list, find deals online, clip coupons and map out your shopping trips. This could save hundreds of dollars a month. It’s much easier to stay on a healthy track when you have concrete shopping and meal plans. It also keeps you from eating out at the last minute.

Talking about prioritising-try not to skip breakfast, even if it means having it on the go and take your lunch to work. If you're stuck for time USANA has a range of great products you can have on the go, with all the macro-nutrients that your body needs. The full range of USANA Foods can be checked out here.

If you don't know how to cook or have never cooked for yourself- now is the time to acquire this new skill. Buy a easy recipe book and get started.It's really that simple. Food you've prepared yourself is not only cheaper and taste better, it's also a lot healthier than processed foods.

Everybody likes their gym memberships. It's not only the place where you workout on great cardio equipment and so on, but it's also a great social hub. But really, think about how much money you spend on the membership. Cardio can be done in the real world instead of in the gym. Running outside is harder but much more effective and rewarding than running on a treadmill in the gym. Other great cardio 'outdoor' exercises are biking, swimming, basketball, running up and down hills or even mowing your lawn.

You don't have to do it alone-why not get together with a bunch of mates or people who share similar interests, like mums, and do a weekly run or walk together. You could even meet in a local park and do some strength training.

The one off investment alternative to the strength training equipment in the gym can be found at your local sports store. You can find most of the weights here that can be used for most common exercises such as squats, lunges, deadlifts, overhead presses, lateral/side raises, bicep curls, tricep extensions and chest presses. You only have to buy a few dumbbells because you really don't need the whole series your gym carries.

Some strength training machines can even be replaced by body weight exercises such as push ups, pull ups, sit ups and so on. Just pretend you're in the gym!

If you haven't done so already- quit smoking. At $10- $20 per pack, the time is now. Besides the obvious physical health benefits, your bank account will show a significant recovery as well.

Moderate or even better: quit drinking alcohol. A glass of wine with dinner is fine, just don't overdo it.

These are just a couple of tricks to keep yourself healthy and fit during the recession or tough economic time- which ever one you think it is. Cutting on certain things is good, as long as you're not cutting in to your health.

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