Stay Healthy without breaking the bank

  • Posted on: 22 May 2017
Rebecca Malakia

Being a student often times means good health is not a top-of-the-list priority – class attendance, assignments, tests, exams, having a social life- take centre stage. Funds are limited and there is little to no time to look after numero uno. Worry not because there are actually ways to maintain your health without spending all your precious money on gym membership, exotic detoxing herbs and exorbitant doctor’s appointments.  

Avoid regular alcohol intake

It is highly likely that the average student is affected by high levels of stress as schoolwork and sometimes part-time job responsibilities begin to squeeze on the little time we have. However, the solution is not to give in to the misconception that alcohol and heavy “social drinking” reduces stress. Research done by institutions such as the Harvard School of Public Health and an English Public Health Programme Change4life shows that cutting back on alcohol consumption has numerous benefits including healthier skin, more energy during the day and healthy weight loss. You may be tired of hearing the do not drink, do not smoke song but it actually saves you a lot of money and frequent visits to the doctor.

Eat right

Do away with skipping meals to be healthier; you’re killing your body by starving it. If you don’t usually have time for the kitchen, cook up a storm at least once a week and freeze meals for later. Make use of what you already have in your cupboards and fridge, and when grocery shopping make sure to buy fruit, vegetables, meat and beans, diary products, bread and grain in as much bulk as you can afford. Avoid bagged salads or pre-cut veggies. Rather buy whole and put in the work. Keep milk and yogurt low fat and avoid buying instant porridge, opt for oatmeal instead as it reduces calories and it’s cheaper too. If however, you don't have the convenience of a kitchen, or the means to freeze meals, still try to stick to three meals a day with what you have available, making breakfast the most important as it will give you energy throughout the day.

Keep your body hydrated

Water is important! Authority Nutrition, a science-based website on nutrition, weight loss and health says our bodies are about 60% water and we lose a lot of it through sweat and urine throughout the day, thus health authorities recommend we drink at least 2 litres of water a day. Carrying a bottle of water everywhere makes it easier to remember to hydrate. Also, avoid sparkling water as it is high in calories and quite costly too.

Work out more often

Yes, traditional work-out methods are still the best ways to get in shape. Skip the treadmill and jog around the block. Walk to campus when you can or to the nearest shop for groceries. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. It will surprise you how much you save on taxi money while staying in shape.

Rebecca Malakia