A family has made a new year’s resolution to become healthier but they are worried about the expense of it and if they can actually afford to live a healthier lifestyle. Are you able to get healthy on a budget? Do you have any advice to share in this week’s A Problem Shared?
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This is the year that I want my family to become healthier. My husband and teenage children have got into some bad habits of eating junk and watching too much TV and playing on our phones.
We want to try and become leaner and more active in 2018 but I’m really worried about the cost of it all. People always say that cooking from scratch is cheaper but I’m not sure if this is actually true. To follow a healthy eating plan costs a lot more than eating rubbish in my opinion and the price of going to the gym for a family of four is just ridiculous.
I’m looking for advice of how to follow a healthy lifestyle within a budget please.
Our FamilyPoint Advice
Happy New Year and thanks for getting in touch with us here at FamilyPoint.
Yours won’t be the only family facing this problem. As a society we are eating unhealthily and doing less exercise. This is leading to an increase in physical illnesses from diabetes to heart attacks. It’s also contributing to an increase in mental health issues as our general wellbeing is affected. So well done you on being determined to make the changes needed to improve things for you and your family!
People often think that following a healthy eating plan costs a lot more than eating convenience and junk food. However, with the right approach it doesn’t have to be. Planning is key to making sure that eating healthily is not only better for your body but also your wallet.
NHS Choices has 20 tips on eating well for less such as eating leftovers for lunch, buying frozen and finding cheap recipes. You may already be doing some of these so making the changes won’t be too difficult. Check out the 20 eat well for less tips here. They offer some great advice I’m sure you’ll agree.
It’s great that you’re all committed to being more active in 2018. That, especially with teenagers, is half the battle! You mentioned how the cost of all of you going to the gym is a barrier. Again, many people will face this problem but it really doesn’t need to stop you all from becoming more active.
There are many ways to lead a more active lifestyle. The key to it being successful is finding something you like to do, doing it regularly and if you start to get a little bored with it, trying something else. There are lots of different things that you as individuals or as a family can do to be more active.
The NHS choices website has some great ideas to get fit for free such as free running podcasts, outdoor gyms and games. Take a look at their list of ideas here.
Borrow a dog
Walking is always advised as great way to improve our activity levels. Sometimes though we feel a bit strange walking without an apparent reason. A dog gives you that reason. If having one yourself isn’t an option, maybe you could offer to walk a neighbour or a friends’ pooch? I’m sure they’d be glad of the offer. There’s even an organisation called BorrowMyDoggy where you can advertise your interest in walking a dog in your area.
Join a parkrun
Another free way of getting active is by taking part in a regular parkrun. In Wales there are over 27 senior 5km parkruns and 9 junior parkruns and all these events take place in stunning locations that are safe (car free) and easily accessible to all. Parkrun offers everyone the opportunity to take part; from those taking their first steps in running to Olympians; from juniors to those with more experience; everyone is welcome at a parkrun. Check out their website to see if there’s one in your area.
As you can see, having a smaller budget really shouldn’t be a deterrent. With the right mindset 2018 really could be the year that your family make a long-term lifestyle change.
The FamilyPoint Team
If you would like further information on national or local support services, then you can contact us at FamilyPoint Cymru via phone 0300 222 57 57, text 07860 052 905, or IM/Chat. We are open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.
A Problem Shared… is your space to share both your problems and your advice with the FamilyPoint community.
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