Fit For Life: 4 Ways To Get Healthier For Free

Saturday, October 26, 2013


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Running is always free and beneficial. Now get out there and do it.

Do you want to become healthy without breaking the bank? Well, you’re in luck because getting healthy and saving money are not mutually exclusive. In fact, there are four simple and cost-free strategies you can use to get in shape and stay in shape this fall.

Stop drinking calories

Unless you are juicing 100% organic vegetables, I do not advise you to drink your calories. Unless you want to gain weight. Even juicing, people get carried away and add too much fruit and calories to their juicing and smoothies. Juicing is a great way to get concentrated nutrients into your system, but it is easy to consume too many calories at one time. I see it daily at the gym, people workout, then hit the smoothie bar and purchase a protein drink loaded with artificial sweeteners, sugars, and all sorts of "add ins". I see graham crackers and Oreos as options. C'mon man…although consuming high calories and simple carbs after an intense workout is beneficial, and absorbed into muscles more rapidly, due to low glycogen stores, I believe quality carbs such as sweet potatoes and brown rice, or quinoa are better choices for sustained energy. Even sport drinks and low calorie "diet" drinks cause setbacks when you are seeking optimal health and performance. Stick with pure clean water, and you will save lots of money and calories. By the way? Coffee has minimal calories, until you add cream and sugar, so keep that in mind.

Stop buying in bulk

Just stop it. Go back to times when we put thought into our meals and stopped at the market a few times a week – a bag at a time – that way you aren’t loading up on things that tempt you – even if you want them, tell yourself, oh, I’ll buy them the next time I come in – and then, don’t. Try doing this and I think you’ll find that in total you will spend less, eat healthier, and get some exercise, too. I find that marketing – stopping at a fresh air market – roadside stand – specialty store – also helps transition from work to home – good for your mood and mental health, too.

Stop serving family style

It is very difficult for anyone NOT to overeat when there are large bowls of food on the table in front if you, especially if the food is delicious. It is very easy to grab an extra spoonful of potatoes, rice, meat etc. if it is within reach - and wham! - 150 extra calories that you didn't need nor wanted – and you just ate it because it was available. Instead, always plate the food in the kitchen, and leave the remainder in pans on the stove. Place 1/2 plate with vegetables, 1/4 with wheat-free grain, 1/4 with your protein - and serve. Save the leftovers for a healthy lunch tomorrow. Or you could serve buffet style – try being the server for your family as they come up to the counter, so you can control portions, especially for children who may have eyes bigger than their stomachs - or bigger than their stomachs should be eating.

Move a little more

Always free and always beneficial. Let's face it folks, it gets really easy to be inactive with all the luxuries we provide ourselves. We sleep, hopefully for 8 hours, then sit for breakfast, sit on the way to school or work. Sit at work, sit for lunch, sit for dinner, sit and watch TV, then the cycle repeats itself. I say break the cycle. Wake up do some stretches/ push ups/ etc. park a little further away from the door instead of waiting for the front spot. Take the stairs. Stand up and stretch every hour. Get on a program and make movement a priority in your day. It stimulates circulation, stretches tight muscles, strengthens weaker ones, and gets you out of a seated slumped over position, saving your posture. Now get up – do it now! - and move.

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Matt Espeut has worked as a personal trainer for almost 20 years with clients ranging in age from 14 to 86. His focus is on overall health, strength, and functional conditioning. Holistic health and nutrition is the cornerstone of all his programs. Matt works in private and small group training available at your home or office location or at gym facilities. Matt offers his services to everyone wanting to be more fit and healthy, overweight young people, youth/collegiate athletes, and seniors. Matt has worked and continues to train at several facilities in the Providence area including Gold's Gym and CORE Studio, and he believes continued education is a must in his field. Email Matt: [email protected], check out his website at or on Facebook at Matt Espeut or on Twitter @MattEspeut.


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