With the economy at an all time low, more folks are finding ways to curb spending and going back to basics.
Here are some tips to keep your fitness needs on track:
1. You’re Watching Less TV
With cable costing upwards of $100 a month, it’s no surprise that companies are losing subscribers. The trade-off for missing The Daily Show could be a healthier weight: One study found that people who watched more than two hours of television a day were more likely to be overweight or obese than those who stared at the tube for less than an hour. And, hey, watching less TV also leaves you more time for fun stuff-exercise, bubble baths, whatever!
2. You’re Getting a Better Workout
Gym memberships have been on a downward trend, according to the latest industry data. Sounds like that would be bad news, but quitting the gym could translate to a health plus if you move your workouts outdoors. “Whether you realize it or not, you actually put in more effort when you exercise outside,” says Pamela Peeke, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland in Baltimore and author of Body for Life for Women. “Plus, breathing fresh air and soaking up the sun stoke your endorphin release, making you feel stronger and giving you more energy.” Check out the weirdest, coolest and craziest workouts from 1940 to today.
3. You’re Eating Better
More women are cooking at home-at least in part because of the current downturn in the economy, according to recent research by the Food Marketing Institute. This change translates to a healthier diet, says New York City dietitian Maria Romano, R.D. “Restaurant food is generally higher in calories, sodium and fat,” she says. A plate of spaghetti and meatballs at a popular Italian chain restaurant, for example, clocks in at 1,110 calories and 50 grams of fat. But depending on the ingredients you use and how much you serve yourself, a homemade pasta dinner could run you just about 600 calories and 20 grams of fat. “When you cook at home, you have complete control over what you put into your food and how much you put on your plate,” says Romano. Do you know the 5 foods every woman should eat organic?
4. You Have More Willpower
“Research shows that people who begin to keep track of their finances and follow a budget strengthen their willpower ‘muscle,’ and begin to find it easier to eat healthier and exercise, too,” says Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., a staff psychologist at Stanford University. “The idea is that you get into the habit of making conscious choices instead of following your first impulse to splurge, and that helps you develop a greater capacity for self-control in every area of your life.”
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