21 February 2017

Healthy Heart, Healthy Wallet

If you look at the advice for heart care you will see a theme.  Eat more fish, exercise more, and cut out bad habits such as smoking, drinking too much, or recreational drugs.  This advice is all great, but what if you don’t have the money, or the time, to really invest in your health?

Lots of families find themselves under great financial pressure which leads to even greater time pressure, this is why convenience food has become so predominant in our lives.  The issue with convenience food is that you cannot be sure of the ingredients even with companies pledging to lower salts and sugars, there are often alternative preservatives which could be harmful for our health in other ways.  

Trying to find the balance between the two can seem impossible but there are ways you can look after your heart, stay healthy and avoid the costs of rehabilitation and physical therapy or, the ultimate cost.

One of the best things you can do for your heart is add more oily fish to your life.  Twice a week is best.  Salmon is a brilliant fish but, depending where you are, can be really costly.  Look at alternatives such as mackerel.  The oil in mackerel is really high, especially if you eat the skins.  Combining it with another high source of omega 3, such as avocado means you can create a really simple and filling meal.  Simply grill two fillets, crack an egg into the center of a halved avocado and then bake in the oven until the egg is cooked.  Serve together with a light salad, drizzled in olive oil and viola! A beautiful super heart dinner, for less money than a ready meal and minimal preparation.

Exercise is another vital part to keeping your heart healthy.  It is recommended we take 30 minutes of cardio exercise per day.  A simple and free way to do this is walking.  But if you want to target areas or experience a good HIIT class, you can do this and avoid hefty gym fees.  With websites such as YouTube, it is now possible to find classes you can follow along at home that cost you nothing.  You can also put a little extra effort in without worrying about how you look in front of a crowd of Lycra-clad humans!  There are hundreds of different free classes to follow online, from Zumba to more targeted sessions such as bums and tums.  So get searching and throw a quick half hour class into your daily routine.

You don’t have to spend a fortune to eat well and exercise often.  You just need to understand the basics then hunt down alternatives.  Consider having your weekly meals delivered, which will save you the hour you spend at the grocery store, then spend that hour cooking up healthy meals you can reheat during the week.  Cut back on refined sugars and processed foods and keep up with a good bedtime routine.

Spend a little less, live a little longer.

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