Tips to stay Fit and Halthy over the Winter (without Spending Money!)

Tops to stay Fit and Healthy over Winter

Your fitness goals don’t have to fly out of the window just because it’s getting colder – nor does your bank balance have to take a hit. Instead, there are many ways for you to maintain your health and fitness for free over the autumn and into the winter. Here are three top tips that will help you on your mission.

 

1. Don’t join the gym

Yes, the gym will be more alluring than ever as the temperature turns colder and the nights draw darker. However, you should fight the urge to part with your hard-earned money. Even though the sun may not be shining during your morning run, it’s important to know that your body will actually be burning more calories than usual. This is because your body will use energy to heat itself up in the chilly weather. Ultimately, you can get more out of your outside exercise sessions than you ever could in the summer.

 

2. Drink tap water

It’s vital that you fall into a good sleeping pattern during the winter. After all, a lack of (or too much) slumber can leave you feeling fatigued, prone to illness and with a poor metabolism. In the process, this can mean that you struggle with your energy levels and gain weight. Therefore, drink tap water – rather than beverages high in sugar or caffeine – to help your body clock fall into a solid sleeping routine during daylight savings.

 

3. Warm up before exercise

Of course, it’s always advisable that you warm up before partaking in physical activity. That said, it’s more necessary to do so in winter. Why? Well, your muscles will be tighter because of the chilly conditions, meaning that it’s more likely you will suffer an injury. Any damage – such as a pulled muscle – can cost you money if you require over-the-counter medicine or days off work to recover. All in all, it can be rather costly to jump into exercise without spending a fair chunk of time warming up.

 

Winter is coming!

Winter will be in full force before you know it. Rather than take a financial hit during the season, just follow these top tips for staying fit without spending money. For more information on saving money, check out our handy cost-cutting vouchers.

How to Eat Low Carb on a Budget

How to Eat Low Carb on a Budget

Low-carb isn’t considered a fad diet, rather it’s a way of life for many people due to a variety of health reasons. However, low-carb usually means higher protein and that’s associated with higher costs. So, how do we achieve low-carb eating on a budget? The basic elements of a low-carb diet fall into three categories: vegetables, protein and fats. Let’s take each one and find ways to save money.

 

1. Saving money on protein

Fish, meat and other protein foods tend to be the biggest costs, but a low-carb diet doesn’t need to be higher in protein than normal. You should start by calculating how much protein you need or want in your diet and work from there. You should then decide how much you want in each snack or meal and you can use this to budget for your protein sources. You should also buy protein when it’s on sale and freeze it for later use. Don’t forget to include the low-budget low-carb protein sources such as milk, yogurt, eggs, tofu etc.

 

2. Saving money on vegetables

The biggest money-waster when it comes to vegetables is often that fresh vegetables go bad before you can eat them. You should instead try frozen vegetables. When they are frozen, it’s at the peak of their nutritional and flavour value. Another tip is to buy your vegetables seasonally or to grow a few yourself. An easy to grow option is herbs and some vegetables such as zucchini. All you need is a small outdoor space and you’ll be surprised at the number of vegetables that can be grown in containers. If growing vegetables isn’t your thing, then you need to specifically plan your meals, this means you can buy exactly the quantity you need and have no waste.

 

3. Saving money on fats

Healthy oils such as olive oil are great choices for our health, but they’re usually more expensive. You should shop for sales and buy in bulk whenever your chosen brand or oil type comes up on offer. High-fat foods such as coconut milk and avocados are usually expensive, but you’ll often find avocados cheaper in a local greengrocer than the big supermarket chains.

For more money-saving tips, discount codes and vouchers, visit the Voucherist website.

How to eat Paleo on a budget

How to eat Paleo on a Budget

If you’re thinking about the paleo diet, you’re probably attracted to the idea of eating juicy steaks or lean chicken breast. If you google for paleo recipes, many of them show just these sort of high-end cuts, but can you eat paleo on a smaller budget? Here are some tips for doing just that.

 

Bulk up

Not just your muscle! If you buy in bulk, you get better value for money. This is as true as buying half a sheep from a local butcher as it is for buying larger containers of olive oil, nuts, and seeds. The problem with this is that you do need the cash up-front to get the savings.

 

Cheaper cuts

If you’re on a budget, you won’t be eating Chateaubriand every day. Sorry. Your slow cooker will become your friend as you stew ham hocks, lamb shanks and other cheaper cuts into delicious plates of succulent flavour. You can also save money by investing in a sharp knife and learning how to bone meat for yourself. Butchers charge a premium for chicken fillets, but it doesn’t take long to do yourself once you have the knack.

 

Enjoy offal

Liver, kidney, heart, tongue… these are all packed with protein, nutrients, and flavour. Although they have fallen out of fashion more recently, paleo is bringing offal back. If you haven’t eaten peppered liver with (courgette) tagliatelle, you haven’t lived.

 

Buy wild fish

Although farmed fish is readily available, you pay premium prices for wild. However, if you take a look in the canned section, you’ll find wild salmon and other fish just ready to be eaten. This is a great way to eat good fish on a budget. Don’t neglect the freezer section either, as you can often find bags of fish fillets at a much better price than their fresh equivalent.

 

Lastly, the paleo diet is high in fat. Unfortunately, butter, olive oil, and coconut oil are all quite expensive. If you have the time, then rendering your own fat will give you a tasty alternative for a much lower cost. Ask your butcher if they can give you some tallow to DIY.

4 superfoods that don’t cost an arm and a leg

4 Superfoods that won't Cost and Arm and a Leg

It seems like every year there’s a new superfood on the shelves – magical berries from far off lands that can cure all that ails you. Please don’t believe the hype. The term “superfood” is purely and exclusively a marketing term used to justify high prices on seemingly exotic food. While there’s no doubt that foods like acai berries and agave nectar surely do have high levels of nutrients, so do many other products you can get at the supermarket for a fraction of the price! Here are four great examples:

 

Frozen berries

All types of berry are high in fibre, vitamins and minerals. If you buy them frozen, you can get them much cheaper than fresh and they are just as good for you. Typically 500g of frozen berries – be it mixed berries, blueberries, or raspberries – will be about a fifth of the price of the latest fad berry!

 

Spinach

Spinach holds its own next to any so-called superfood. It contains high levels of vitamin K, vitamin C, beta-carotene, iron, lutein and zeaxanthin. These nutrients are important for eye, bone and cardiovascular health as well as immune function. On top of that, spinach is very cheap, especially when you buy it in the larger, unwashed bags.

 

Kale

Another dark green leafy vegetable (you can’t really go wrong with these), kale has a highly impressive nutrient profile. It is high in vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese and copper, and it also has the highest levels of lutein of any food. Kale has been shown in studies to lower cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health – particularly when steamed (5 minutes steaming time will be enough).

 

Ginger

Studies show that ginger is effective in reducing nausea, motion sickness and morning sickness in pregnancy. It contains compounds called gingerols, which have powerful anti-inflammatory effects and help reduce pain in people with arthritis. They may also help limit tumour growth in people with colon cancer. Ginger is cheap and available year round.

Clean eating doesn’t have to be expensive. For more cheap ways to live a healthy lifestyle, please browse our selection of vouchers.

5 ways to burn calories that are fun and (mostly) free

Free ways to Burn Calories

The NHS recommends 150 minutes of weekly exercise for optimal health. It’s fair to say that most people aren’t too enamoured by this prospect. Maybe that’s because the word “exercise” conjures images of treadmills and cross trainers, of being in a cramped space with 30 sweaty people, no one interacting and everyone wondering whether their lycra shorts are too tight. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Here are 5 fun ways to overcome inactivity, burn calories, and get your 150 weekly minutes. Best of all, they’re either super cheap or completely free.

 

Hiking

Besides queuing, afternoon tea and James Bond, there’s one thing Britain is world famous for — beautiful, rolling, green countryside. There should be somewhere to hike near you — and even if not, just find a big park. For best results, take a friend with you, and talk about life, the universe, and everything.

 

Group running

While treadmills can be boring, going for a 5k run with a large group of people can be great fun. If there is no free running club in your area — start one! Set up a Facebook page and put advertisements on sites like Gumtree. You could even charge a £1 sub and raise money for a local charity.

 

Frisbee

Go buy a frisbee from a pound shop, call up a few friends, and meet at the park. Start close and gradually move further apart, to increase the odds of missing your target. That way there will be more running around to collect the frisbee!

 

Snowball fight

Is the weather outside frightful? That’s no excuse! You may need to wrap up a little more, but you can still get out and have fun — and dodging snowballs is an excellent way to build fitness! Forget the fire, you do have a place to go.

 

Playground games

Remember the games you used to play on the playground? Tig? Bulldog’s Charge? What time is it Mr. Wolf? Well, some gyms are actually offering classes of these games instead of traditional exercise classes. But you don’t need a gym for this dose of nostalgia, just a few friends, and some open space.

 

If you need some other money-saving ways to improve your health and fitness, please check out our vouchers. Good luck and have fun!