Monday, April 19, 2010

10 Free Ways to Improve Your Health

Good health can be practically free if you take the time (and the self control) to do these simple, free things:
  1. Drink only water. Water is one of the few free things you can get in a restaurant. You can carry a water bottle around with you and not look uncool. Generally anywhere you go you can ask for free water (or a free water bottle fill up).

  2. Walk. People really don't walk much anymore even though it is a great (free!) way to exercise. Try walking to do your errands this week, even if it means driving downtown and parking in a central location then walking to the bank/post office/library/etc.

  3. Go to the park. Parks (city parks anyway) are also still free. Go to the park, get some sunshine, breathe deeply, walk, watch the birds, and basically chill out from your stressful day.

  4. Test your blood pressure. There are many places--malls, grocery stores, fire departments--where you can get your blood pressure checked for free. Most places have the little machine you stick your arm in, hit the button, and get a read out. At our local fire department, you can walk in and ask to have your blood pressure checked for free.

  5. Meditate. People are generally stressed out these days. Find a quiet place (even if it is the broom closet at your office) to take ten minutes, close your eyes, breathe in and out, and clear your mind. It will put you in your happy place.

  6. Check out some books on health, nutrition, and fitness from the library. Free education, especially when it is paired with a useful topic such as health, is a win-win proposition.

  7. Hug someone, or better yet, trade massages. Human touch is good for your health.

  8. Exercise with the (free) things in your environment. If you don't have hand weights, lift cans of soup. If you don't have a Stairmaster, go up and down the stairs in your area's tallest building. You can make a jump rope out of Play tag with the kids. Do some sit ups and push ups.

  9. Choose nutritious food. If you go to a party, choose the vegie tray instead of the more unhealthy offerings. If you are at a morning meeting, choose the fruit instead of the calorie laden donuts. If you are cooking at home, bring out the vegies from the back of the fridge and the whole grains from the back of the cupboard and create something nutritious for dinner. You are paying for food anyway (or in some cases, receiving it for free at events) so choose what to eat based on what food is most nutritious.

  10. Sleep. Besides being stressed, most people don't get enough sleep. Turn off the TV early and get an extra hour of sleep. Take a rejuvenating mid day nap.


  1. All good suggestions that people never think of. Something like walking for exercise or excersing at home may help some people exercise who have memberships, but are never willing to actually drive to the gym.

  2. Great list! As for #3, if you are lucky enough to live near one, national parks will be free April 17 - 25 this year.