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Fit For Life: Demographics, Wealth, and Health

Sunday, March 04, 2018


I am always hearing about how expensive it is to be healthy, and the lower income bracket don’t have the opportunities that others do.

Well, there is some truth to this, because I am sure life in general is easier with a large bank roll. So, I am going to give you some tips on how to overcome the expense and explain the payoff, or cost of NOT taking care of yourself.

Most of the people that complain the loudest are the ones shopping at big box stores and looking for deals on food. When I occasionally visit this type of store, I observe what is in people’s baskets and carriages and I always see cases of juice, and junk food purchased in bulk.

This is the type of wasteful spending that is going to impact the cost of shopping in a negative way. These stores are jumping on the organic and health food bandwagon, so you can still get some better prices on food than the smaller stores, but you still end up buying a bunch of stuff you don't need.

I use these big discount stores for non-perishable goods such as paper goods, and spices but I recommend shopping for your food on a weekly basis and purchasing smaller amounts of fresh stuff.

My mother is notorious for buying larger quantities of meat and freezing what she doesn't immediately need, just because it’s on sale. I find fault with this for 2 reasons, one is that frozen food doesn't taste as good, and another is that she regularly throws stuff away, therefore offsetting the “good deal”.

When you buy in bulk or larger quantities, you forget it's there and it gets freezer burn or gets old. When you pay a little more for food you buy only what you need, and never waste any, so it all averages out anyway. Buying in bulk is not necessary, you do not need to store food, we are in no danger of a shortage!! Buy fresh and shop frequently.

When you look at the big picture, shopping healthy and buying better quality food actually pays.

First you spend less when you shop. Rather than buying in bulk, you only buy what you need.

Now look at the long-term savings: Food is medicine and eating healthy builds a strong immune system and prevents many lifestyle induced diseases. Ailments as mild as acid reflux to cancer can be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle. It’s no guarantee, but it lessens your chances in a big way. It also prevents you from needing most OTC drugs. When you eat correctly, your respiratory system works better so you breathe better, therefore allergy meds are no longer needed. In addition, your joints ache less, so you don't need the anti-inflammatory pills. Your hormones are more balanced, so your sex drive is still there, and you don't need to buy prescription drugs. All this will tremendously offset the cost of paying a little more for your food.

So, the next time you feel like it’s too expensive to shop healthy or hire a fitness coach, just look at the benefits of spending a little more to live a more vital lifestyle.

Not only will you look and feel better, you will be more productive, ambitious, and motivated at work, so you will in return make more money.

Remember the next time you are in the check-out line at the organic quality market remember you are not overpaying for food, you are making an investment in yourself.

As good as money in the bank.

Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. He is the owner of Fitness Profiles, a one on one, and small group personal training company, as well as Providence Fit Body Boot Camp, located at 1284 North Main St., on the Providence/Pawtucket line. You can reach Matt at (401) 453-3200; on Facebook at "Matt Espeut", and on Twitter at @MattEspeut. "We’re all in this life together – let’s make it a healthy one.


Related Slideshow: The 7 Best Health and Fitness Apps

Here is a list of some of the most obsession worthy health apps.

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MapMyRun is the number one selling running app for a reason:  it is easy to use, offers community support if you want it, and tracks and stores your exact routes for you.  If you are training for a race or a serious runner, users say that the extra perks in the upgraded paid version are well worth it. 

Made for iPhone, Android and Blackberry 

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MyFitnessPal seems to be the clear favorite amongst everyone polled.  It is helpful not only for the fitness tracking aspect, but everyone polled mentioned how much they loved the food/diet aspect as well. From carb counting for diabetics to recipe ideas to complement your fitness goals, users love this app. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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JeFit is another fitness app that has rave reviews.  It not only tracks progress for you, but offers a huge database of workouts.  While many apps offer community support, JeFit allows you to sync workouts with friends who use the app, offering a (real) virtual buddy system.

Made for iPhone and Android

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Strava gets the highest mark of all the cycling apps.  While it is also great for runners, the cyclers seem particularly inclined towards the fierce competition that can be ignited by this app.  You can track all of your rides via GPS, then you can compare your efforts to those logged by others in the community on the same stretch of road.  You can also join ongoing challenges that can net you great prizes (in addition to bragging rights). 

Made for iPhone and Android

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YogaStudio gets the top vote for Yoga apps.  It has a lengthy collection of full class-length videos available at your fingertips.  Unlike many other apps, this one also allows you to customize your own video yoga class.  All of the poses are done by qualified yoga instructors, and you can find classes suitable for all levels of yogis.

Made for iPhone only

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SimplyBeing meditation app offers the best of both worlds.  You can choose to run this app as a background for your meditation with soothing music or natural sounds that run for a set amount of time.  Conversely, for those of you who have trouble focusing during meditation, you can choose a soothing voice-guided meditation. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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Fooducate is an app all about educating people so that they make healthier food choices.  Although not perfect, this app is easy to use (you can even take pictures of bar codes to instantly find foods in their database).  It gives food a letter grade, tells you the pluses and minuses, and gives you better ranked alternatives.  You can also use it as a weight loss tool by tracking your daily calories. 

Made for iPhone and Android


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