Healthy Finances

Your financial health has a big impact on your physical and emotional health. Finances have been in the news a lot to say the least. Where do you stand with yours? Are you financially healthy?  Could you be more comfortable dealing with money? Does it bring up ideas of love, shame, guilt? What does it represent and mean in your life?Last night I went to an author’s discussion at a local bookstore on the book Emotional Currency by Dr. Kate Levinson. I have been reading and working through this book over the last month. Her basic idea is that money is not just a rational logical tool we use objectively. She states money has so many different meanings and we must understand our emotional ties to money before we’ll be able to logically and rationally deal with it.

For me working through the book took my associations with money from ick, greedy, ugly, and a variety of other negative words to much more positive and open words. This change surprised me. I wasn’t expecting to find the peace I did with money in just a month. I am curious to see how this work continues to play out in my life. Although, the sub title of this book is A woman’s guide to building a healthy relationship with money, men at the lecture said it was helpful for them, as well, and I can see why.

Another important point Dr. Levinson makes is that we need to have healthy dialog about money. Many of us, especially women, have been disenfranchised from the discussion and management of money. She says this is a huge part of our discomfort in dealing with it. For many money is, and I don’t know anyone for whom it isn’t in my personal life, a loaded word.

Whether you pick up this book (and I get no kickbacks from this posting/book) or another – pick up something and start looking closely at your emotional ties to money. How does it control, direct, consume, allow, help, hurt your life? What keeps you from using money wisely? What does money represent to you? Who did you learn your money behaviors from? These are some of the questions and paths you’ll explore as you work through Emotional Currency.

As we learn more about the interconnections of the brain, body, and behaviors it makes sense (no pun intended) that we ought to cultivate a healthy relationship to money. Begin your positive money path today.

Put Your Money & Your Energy Into Your Health

It is too hard, you grumble. The media sends to many messages at me to drink pop, eat out, and buy things. Work takes all my time and I cannot find time to work out.

Well, you are responsible for you. It is no one’s fault if you fail to plan meals and end up eating un-healthy meals. Notice I did not say eating out. We have many choices when we eat out, but are you making smart choices? Do you choose salads, put your dressings on the side, eliminate extras like cheese, mayo, or additional meats that don’t do much for the sandwich in the first place. Many times just asking for them on the side can cut a bunch of calories. Most restaurants put much more than a serving on.

It is no one’s fault if you choose to work long hours and never take a break. A work out does not have to be long. Study after study show employee productivity goes up when employees are healthy, absenteeism goes down, and morale gets better. If your boss is not interested in any of those things, you may want to re-think your place of employment, it may not survive the economy or the increasing healthcare costs and obesity rates.

It is no one’s fault if you choose to spend money on clothes, cigarettes, poor food choices, and other sedentary activities. Invest your money and energy into things that will help you reach your fitness goals and watch your life shine!

To Join or Not To Join The Health Club

Joining a health club used to be a luxury but now with obesity rates rising finding ways to stay in shape are no longer for the rich and famous. The problem becomes to join or not to join especially in this economy.

Joining a health club can be one way of keeping your fitness goals. In fact according to the International Health, Racquet, and Sportclub Association a health club membership can up your chances of reaching your fitness goals but joining means paying a fee to use the facility. So the question becomes – should I join or is my money better spent another way?

In full disclosure I used to own a fitness center. I understand the need for fees and contracts and member commitments, however I also have been a member at various clubs and understand the decision to keep or toss a membership card. Here are some thinks to about when you are deciding to join or not to join.
Will you use the facility – Number one reason I hear for dropping a membership is “I just don’t use it”. Yet the person had get ideas to start a program and fronted the enrollment fees, monthly dues, and sometimes more to begin. Why pay anything if you won’t be using it. Be honesty with yourself.

Do they have want you are looking for? Classes, personal trainers you trust, supplemental services, i.e. towels, lockers, massage, tanning, juice bars, etc

What is the cost? If you can’t afford it look for something less expensive that still meets your needs.
Where is the room in your budget? Are there other monthly fees you can let go of to take on the club membership without strapping your cash flow?

Is it close enough? The average person will not commute more than 5 miles to a facility. If you are further ask yourself if you will still get there when its cold, hot, rainy, your tired, other errands need to be done, the house is a mess, etc. If you can’t answer a resounding YES you may want to consider another spot.

Will you exercise outside of the club? Many people have trouble staying focused if they are working out at home, outside, or in different places each time. If you need the routine and ritual of walking through the club doors to keep fitness a priority – become a member!

It’s a great idea to explore and “try out” different clubs. There are many styles from everything included to bare bones facilities out there. Each has its own personality, membership base, and offerings. Finding one that really fits with you is as important as finding a great pair of jeans. It’ll keep you coming back over and over – which might be why most people have more fitness success when they are members.

Exercise on The Cheap

Many of us want to stay fit but as the economy becomes tighter we are beginning to question how we can. Check out these ideas so you don’t let your fitness slide along with the stock markets.

Exercise doesn’t have to be expensive. Truly all you need to move is you. Exercise can be accomplished using things you find in your everyday life. Are you looking ideas to keep working out but need something a little less posh? Try these out.

Use your body weight – push-ups, squats, pull-ups and all their variations can add overload without any fancy equipment.

Look in your pantry. Canned food and gallon jugs can effectively add resistance similar to a hand weight. Empty milk (or other liquid) jugs can be refilled to your needed weight so you can add more as you get stronger.

Use broom handles and a couple of chairs to create a modified pull up bar. This will allow you to lift only what you can rather than your whole body as in a traditional pull-up. In addition couches, chairs, ottomans can become “benches” for better range of motion.

Look for stairs around your house – they don’t have to be “real” stairs. Stools, rocks, stumps, etc all count if you have to step up to get on them. *safety note: you don’t want to be stepping too high – no more than 18 inches is plenty or so your knee and hip are perpendicular to the ground.

Kids are good for something! If they are small use them as weight – backpacks, strollers, and simple play can help you build your muscles. If they are older let them lead you in a fun game of tag or obstacle courses they love being the leaders. Teens may be willing to take a healthy lifestyle challenge with you with the bonus of building a closer relationship.

Invest simply in fitness equipment – rubber tubing, hand/ankle/wrist weights, a step, a ball, etc are versatile and inexpensive pieces that give a bit gain for little cost. The trick on equipment is – IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW CHEAP IT WAS IF YOU DON’T USE IT!

There are many ways you can continue fitness on the cheap. The trick is to get creative, think outside the box, and make sure you are being safe. As always discuss your new fitness routine with your healthcare person and remember to have a great time!

If you decided to build a home gym, comment below and tell us what you decided to use? What was your essential must have piece of equipment (it’s ok if that’s a milk jug!)

Like this article – read more: Try planning home workouts or Cardio Workouts Indoors for more ideas on working out at home.