Though health insurance should cover us medically, we hope to not have to actually use it. The best way to do that is to practice preventative care. Meaning, you're taking care of yourself now so you don't have to incur so many medical costs later.
One of the biggest concerns people have is the cost of healthy living. It's expensive to eat better, yoga classes are pricey and gym memberships add up.
Use Free Fitness Training Apps
There's no need to pay for an expensive personal trainer if your phone can do the same job for free. They also harness the power of community to keep you motivated through social profiles, goal sharing and forums.
Smartphone apps like Couch 2 5K are particularly good for those who are just getting started in an exercise regimen. As the name suggests, it slowly acclimates your body to being able to run a 5K (approximately 3.1 miles).
Nike Running also serves as a great trainer for running, the only difference being that you set your own goals.
Other free training apps include Fitbit, Blogilates and Endomondo. The reality is you can find a free training app for just about any exercise that floats your boat.
Find Free Fitness Classes in Your Local Community
There are always free yoga classes popping up in parks, beaches and just about anywhere outdoors. Hit up your community calendars or local fitness bloggers to get the scoop on free fitness classes in your local area.
Sign Up For a Crop Sharing Association
When it comes to preventative care, exercise is only one part of the equation. The other part is food.
You can better plan your meals and your budget by joining a local crop sharing association (CSA).
Essentially, you pay for a monthly subscription and get a box of organic, locally grown fruits and vegetables sent to your nearest pickup location.
At first glance it may seem like a luxury. But consider this: One of the reasons grocery bills are so high is because shoppers don't actually know what they are looking for and deviate from a list.
With a CSA you know what you're getting, you can plan your meals accordingly and you know what you will be paying each and every month. On particularly good weeks, you can even get extra food because of an overabundant harvest.
Additionally, if you were to buy the same organic produce at your local supermarket the bill would be much higher. With a CSA the consumers share the cost of the crops.
Familiarize Yourself with the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen
The Environmental Working Group has a resource that explains which produce must be bought organic because of high pesticide use, and which produce you can get away with buying non-organic.
By familiarizing yourself with this you can avoid having to pay the extra cost of organic when it's not really necessary.
The truth is that healthy living doesn't have to burn a hole in your wallet. With careful planning and education you can practice preventative healthcare without breaking the bank.