Monday, September 29, 2008

Cost Effective Entertainment

Our ecconomy is not the best right now and a lot of us are seeing an increase in the price of everything and a decrease in our incomes because of slow business. Not the best of times but it can be a good time to look at another aspect of living a healthy lifestyle.

A long walk/run/bike with your spouse or a good friend is quality time at it's best and guess what it's free. Being out on a beautiful day with someone special, or even with your own thoughts can be a time you remember much longer than a day at home on the couch or a trip to a movie. We get more mentally and physicly out of doing something that gets us out in the sun and gets our heart rate up. The canned entertainment of a movie or TV show doesn't do much for the intellect.

Eating, as we say in the south, a little closer to the earth is a good way to save money and to get more out of our food. Instead of eating so much processed food, we can buy fresh at the farmer's markets and make our own healthier meals. One of my favorites is a diced fresh tomato and cucumber salad. It's super low in calories, high in nutrition and very inexpensive. Add a piece of steamed fish or a baked/grilled chicken breast and you have a very healthy high energy meal.

Weekend trips to local races can be a wonderfull and very inexpencive mini vacation. I love the whole race environment. Every race from the monster marathons with thousands of athletes to the local 5Ks with a few hundred racers each has it's own magic. You will remember everyone of them to, and of course you get to take home a shirt and a piece of bling. Most race fees are about the price of going to a movie and provide a lot more entertainment and memories.

Another plus of the healthy lifestyle is that your medical bills are a lot less. You can go broke with the uncovered tests and co pays these days. Even your life insurance is cheaper if you don't smoke. Not missing work because you are healthier is also a big plus. Most have gone to a PTO, paid time off system so if you use your days for sickness you lose your vacation days.

The last thing I want to point out is that every time you exercise you are investing in your future. It's like putting money into your longivity bank. You may not live longer, although all the studies done point to a healthier lifestyle giving you more years, but you will live better quality years as you age. So the money you save on medical bills can go to having more fun in your retirement also.

Thanks for reading.

Thrifty Panda

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