Sunday, July 26, 2009

Healthy Living on a Budget

When you're pinching pennies, it can seem hard to make healthy eating choices. But it's a good way to help keep your immune system strong and your stress level down.

While many people may be struggling financially in the current economy, preventing disease is not just smart medicine; it is also a wise way to curb health care costs. Christian Dodge, ND, shift supervisor and core clinical faculty member at Bastyr Center for Natural Health, the teaching clinic of Bastyr University, stresses “keeping your immune system functioning well is one of the most important ways you can avoid a major health care crisis.”

Here are Dr. Dodge’s tips for staying healthy during lean economic times.

Eat Healthy for Less

  • Cook at home and skip the prepackaged foods. Make extra servings to freeze for leftovers. 
  • Grow some of your own produce, even if it’s only a few herbs in the windowsill. 
  • Make water your drink of choice.

Stay Active

  • Incorporate movement into your daily routine: walk instead of drive or take the stairs instead of the elevator. 
  • Get out in nature! Take advantage of local parks, trails and open spaces.

Manage Stress

  • Get plenty of sleep and exercise. 
  • Nourish your relationships by spending time with loved ones. 
  • Balance work with time to play and have fun.

Get Regular Health Screenings

  • Annual check-ups are one of the best ways to head off potential health issues. Your age and individual risk factors will determine your need for screenings, but most healthy adults should continue to have a regular screening visit once a year.

While these tips may help you resist illness and reduce health care costs, the cost savings of disease prevention is only part of the story. Foundational changes in diet and lifestyle also improve quality of life, vitality and self-esteem – something that money cannot buy.

Call Bastyr Center at (206) 834-4100 to make an appointment with a naturopathic physician.

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