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Fitness and nutrition on a budget

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Resolving to exercise more and eat better foods doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Use the tips below to fuel your body and get moving without busting your budget. 1. Set goals and track your progress. Setting specific and measureable goals are an important step in setting yourself up for success. Start with a goal that is within reasonable reach, perhaps packing your lunch three days a week or taking the stairs every day at work. Fitness apps on your smartphone and pedometers can also work hand-in-hand to make fitness fun. Did you know that pedometer users walk more steps per day than their non-pedometer using counterparts? Tracking your progress is a great source of motivation, and will help you to zero-in on where and when roadblocks may be interfering with achieving your goals. 2. Shop for seasonal fruits and vegetables. Not only are fresh fruits and veggies good for you, when they’re in season, their prices tend to be lower. Plus, seasonal produce is fresher than foods that have been shipped from another part of the world. 3. Plan your meals and shop with a list. While there’s something to be said for finding inspiration at the grocery store, you’ll likely overspend or forget items. Plan nutritious meals at home and create a shopping list. To get more for your money, plan some meals around leftovers. For example, you might roast a whole chicken for dinner on Monday and then have chicken tacos for dinner the next night using the leftovers. 4. Do yard work yourself. Gardening, chopping firewood, raking leaves, weeding, and mowing the lawn are excellent forms of exercise. Not only will you burn calories, if you’ve been paying for yard service, you’ll save money. It’s win-win! However, it is always important to check with a physician before participating in any extraneous activity. 5. Plant a garden. Growing your own food is beneficial in many ways. For starters, gardening is physical activity. Plus, the food you grow is fresh from the earth and full of nutrition. According to a report by the Canadian Mental Health Association, being outdoors in the fresh air is has psychological benefits as well. It “provides a form of emotional expression and release” that can help to promote mental and physical healing. 6. Stash the savings. In addition to improving your health and well-being, each of these tips is likely to save you money either immediately or over time. Set a portion of the savings aside for improved financial security or for a fitness-related goal. © 2021 LifeWorks Inc.  For immediate assistance, reach out to your EFAP at 1.844.880.9142.