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Sometimes it seems like there’s the misconception that you have to spend a lot of money in order to improve your health. Especially in the world of natural health, it can sometimes seem as though you can’t be truly healthy unless you’re willing to spend a fortune on vitamin and mineral supplements covering every letter of the alphabet or special tools like dehydrators and water purifiers and Vitamix blenders.
These things can all be very helpful, of course, and there are times when trying to live a healthier lifestyle may mean shifting your priorities around a bit to allow you to spend the extra money to buy organic food or natural products, or it might mean waiting a while until you can save up enough money. But if you have a tight budget and you don’t have the money to buy all of the fancy natural products and ingredients you hear about on the web, that doesn’t mean you can’t still do things to improve your health!
No matter how much money you might have in your bank account, there are several easy ways to get improve your health right now without having to spend a single dime.
These six things are so simple and common sense that it’s easy for us to forget about them, but sometimes it’s the simplest things that can end up making the biggest impact on our overall health and well-being.
6 Ways to Improve Your Health Naturally for Free
Since sleep is the body’s time to focus on repair and recharging, sleep is huge when it comes to improving our health, but because it’s such a simple thing, it’s easy to overlook. Since sleep is such a passive thing, we might feel like we need to be doing something active to achieve better health and that we’re “wasting” our time by just lying down and resting, doing nothing.
Even though I know how important sleep is, and even though I tend to need a lot of it to really feel well-rested, I’m terrible at staying up later than I should. That’s why I’ve created a 30-day sleep challenge for myself in the past and why I seem to need to keep repeating that challenge often. If you’re like me and you find yourself skimping on sleep, check out the collection of articles I put together in my recent post about how to get better sleep naturally for information about the benefits of sleep to motivate you to turn off the light as well as tips for how to get better, more restful sleep.
2) Deep breathing
Deep breathing is another incredibly simple way to improve your health without having to spend any money doing so. Since we often breathe very shallowly whenever we’re tense or stressed about something, taking deep breaths is a great way to help our bodies to relax and calm our nervous systems.
Sometimes, though, I’ve found that breathing deeply isn’t always as easy as it sounds like it should be. Sometimes, I focus too much on trying to take deep breaths that I almost try too hard and it ends up being counterproductive because I end up feeling even more tense. What I found really helps me is either listen to music with a calming, relaxing tempo or to do yoga. The free beginner videos found here are ones I’ve found to be particularly helpful because I can hear the instructor’s breaths and I eventually find myself naturally matching that rhythm and breathing more slowly, deeply, and evenly.
For more information about the benefits of deep breathing and for tips for how to breathing deeply, check out The Five Ways You’ll Benefit from Daily Deep Breathing Exercises.
Sunshine is another thing that’s totally free but that has the ability to impact our health in a positive way. Being out in the sunshine can help to regulate our bodies’ circadian rhythms, improve our mood, and help our bodies to produce Vitamin D.
And being out in the sun just feels good! Even if it weren’t for any of the other benefits, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of warmth and well-being you get from spending time outside in the sunshine. During the colder and darker months of the year, I always crave the sunshine and feel like a wilting flower in a windowsill leaning towards the light. And once spring comes, there’s nothing I enjoy more than sitting outside with a good book to finally enjoy the light and warmth from the sun again 🙂
To learn more about the health benefits of spending time in the sunshine, check out these posts:
- Everything You Need to Know About Vitamin D
- Why Sunshine is Good for Your Health
- Confessions of a Sunbather
4) Eating Mindfully
Even if you eat the healthiest, organic, nutrient-dense food possible, it’s not going to do your body much good if you’re eating it when you’re in a distracted, rushed, and stressed state of mind. There’s a huge difference between cramming in a quick breakfast while you’re rushing around late getting ready for work and worrying about all of the things you have to do that day and having the time to sit down and eat in a relaxed manner, chewing each bite thoroughly and savoring all of the different flavors.
I’m definitely guilty of not planning my time well enough to allow myself to have enough time to eat slowly, especially in the mornings, and I often find myself being distracted by my to-do list for the day. I love reading this post about the “Restaurant Diet” and how eating out can actually improve your health, even though it might seem like a bit of a contradiction. It’s a good reminder that eating in an unhurried, mindful manner can be just as important as the ingredients in the food we eat.
5) Simple Exercise
You don’t have to pay for a gym membership to get the health benefits of moving your body and exercising. I used to hate the word exercise because it always brought back memories of horrible PE classes at school or the boredom walking on a treadmill. Now, though, I simply think of exercise as any activity that I enjoy that gets my body moving. And for times when I’m tempted to just sit on the couch (especially in the winter when it’s freezing cold out!), I like to remind myself of all of the health benefits of exercising for motivation.
I’ve never enjoyed playing competitive team sports or working out at the gym, but I’ve found that I really love taking my dog for a walk outside. Being out in the fresh air and the sunshine is so refreshing and energizing, and I find it much more enjoyable to exercise outdoors in nature rather than indoors at a gym. I also recently started doing yoga and have been really enjoying that, too. I’m too lazy to leave the house to go to an actual yoga class, so I’ve been doing some of the free beginner videos here:
With our busy lives, we’re often rushing around from one thing to the other that we don’t always give ourselves enough time to just slow down and daydream. Sometimes even just a one minute mini-break to stop what we’re doing and spend some time daydreaming (maybe combined with some deep breathing or time spent outdoors in the sunshine) can help to slow down the pace and make a hectic day seem at least a little less crazy.
I don’t always take the time for it, but when I do, I always enjoy spending time outside, watching the shapes in the clouds or listening to the ripple of the wind through the trees and allowing my mind to wander off in daydreams. It’s always very relaxing, and it’s something that I don’t do often enough.
Those six things are my favorites, but I’m sure there are others I’m not thinking of. What are your favorite natural and free ways to improve your health and well-being?