When I say fit, I mean boosting your baseline genetics. Some people are more genetically blessed than others. We can’t change what we were given, but we should do our best with what we were given.
I am a self-professed health geek, and I couldn’t help but notice that if I actually listened to the advice of health gurus I see online, I’d have to spend thousands per month. Hot tubs, cold tubs, ❄️🛁 coffee enemas, ☕️saunas, gym memberships, massage, blood work, food, supplements, shoes, equipment, wearables, etc. Thousands per month is out of reach for most people, especially if you’re not a self-professed health geek. Whole Foods is called Whole Paycheck for a reason. It can be overwhelming, and many people give up or look to influencers.
Many of these influencers have a direct financial incentive to shill products. This can make it difficult to understand what’s legit and what isn’t. Often if an influencer doesn’t bash a product they don’t endorse, they say something along the lines of “well I haven’t used the Ab Blaster 9000 so I can’t speak about it. But, this one I do endorse (that costs 10 times as much 😜) is guaranteed to work,” only to have another guru tout the amazing benefits of a different device, continuing to muddy the waters. Further, influencers frequently endorse products that are actively detrimental to our health — see Michael Jordan with McDonald’s and Shaq with Pepsi. If you wanna be like Mike, eating Mickey Dee’s isn’t the way to do it.
Many reviews are fake. I had an internship where we were paid to write fake product reviews?!?! There’s an art to writing a faux shitty review- one that seems negative but upon closer look isn’t. It often goes along the lines of “I had a pair of these and loved them but I wanted another in red. They don’t come in red and it’s my favorite color so I was disappointed.” Or, “I wish this were cheaper so I could buy another one. Ugh.” One ⭐️. Notice it says nothing negative about the product itself. These reviews differ from directly commenting on product quality or overall customer experience.
I decided to take it upon myself to find a list of the best cheap health practices. Getting fit and saving money makes me feel clever.
Turns out that the maxim, you get what you pay for, isn’t true. 🤔
Many of these things are free. Before the trolls come out, understand that this is general advice. Every rule has exceptions. These methods are generally sound.
- Eat less and practice time-restricted feeding or intermittent fasting. When most people want to get “more fit”, often one of the simplest ways to do so is to eat less food. Regardless of getting better nutrition, this is one of the cheapest ways to do it. When you do eat, eat with others. Eating in community is one of the best ways to boost mental health.
- Get outside more. Whatever your baseline is, increase it. Plan leisure activities outside. If you’re eating out, use outdoor seating. Exercise outdoors rather than in a gym. If you talk on the phone, walk as you talk.
- Touch the earth with your bare skin. This pairs with #2. Whenever you’re doing these outside activities, barefoot is a good way to go. It has the added benefit of strengthening your feet.
- Take cold showers. Cold therapy has a plethora of benefits.
- Get more fit friends. Jim Rohn says that we are the sum of the 5 people we spend most of our time with. You could argue that your health is as good as the health of the 5 people you spend most of your time with. The top attribute for friendship is proximity, another close one is shared interests. If you have fit friends, the chances that you’ll be fit go up by osmosis.
- Sleep more, and sleep more consistently. Poor sleep impacts everything else negatively. Sleeping erratically and inconsistently doesn’t work.
- Meditate. The act is free. If you want to learn, many apps and organizations will teach you to meditate for free. Like sleep, meditation is one activity that positively impacts many areas.
- Move around more. If you don’t make time to go to the gym, you can still get plenty of movement in your day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Stand at your desk instead of sitting. Do air squats in the bathroom. Go for a stroll during your lunch break. Take public transit.
- Write down what you eat. Regardless of any particular diet plan, gaining awareness around what you put into your body is as simple as writing it down consistently. Set a time at the end of the week to review what you’ve eaten.
- Do calisthenics. You don’t have to have a gym to work out. You don’t have to have weights, either. Bodyweight squats too easy? Do them on one leg. Push-ups too easy? Do them with one arm. Burpees, sit-ups, push-ups, and squats don’t require any equipment. Don’t use the lack of equipment or lack of gym membership as an excuse not to work out. Can’t afford a gym membership? Gyms are often $20 per month or less in some cases and willing to waive the sign-up fees, especially early in the year. If you don’t live nearby or want to make the trek to a gym, you can do calisthenics. A gym shouldn’t be cost-prohibitive.
You don’t have to pay for any of these things. If you’re already doing them consistently, investing more coin can help you level up. The basics go a long way.