It’s time to think about resolutions for the year ahead. According to surveys, more than four out of every ten adults in the country set at least one goal. Health decisions are frequent. So are fundraising purposes. That may be true this year, especially given inflation and economic instability.
What if you combined your desire to improve your health with your decision to stretch your money in 2023? You can try some of these ideas:
Solution 1: Walk More and Drive Less
If you’re lucky enough to live near your favorite shops and venues, decide to walk more often. You’ll save on gas and reap the health benefits of walking. According to the National Institutes of Health, these benefits include a lower risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, stronger muscles and bones, weight maintenance and a better mood.
Not sure if you can get things done on foot? Start with shorter runs: Research shows that every minute counts. If you need help getting started, in some communities you can find health professional-led tours with the program. Walk With a Doctor (AARP is one of the sponsors, English link).
Solution #2: Turn the thermostat down for better sleep
Research shows that you can save money on heating bills in the winter and sleep better by lowering the temperature at night more than most people are used to. The Sleep Foundation recommends setting the temperature between 60 and 67°F, with the sweet spot being around 65°F.
But Michael Breus, a clinical psychologist and sleep expert, points out that this range is too low for many people, even those who sleep with little or no mattress. In addition, she adds, we tend to feel colder with age because we lose fat directly under the skin, and this acts “like an insulating inner layer.”
Breus thinks the best idea is to try the lowest temperatures. If you’re under 65, it recommends starting at 65°F; Those over 65 can start with 70°F, she says.
Resolution #3: Drink more water and use fewer bottles
Water is an excellent beverage for health. However, bottled water is much more expensive than tap water and has no health benefits where tap water is drinkable, as in most parts of the country. If you don’t like the taste of your tap water, if you are concerned about its quality, such as bubbling or added flavoring, there are simple and inexpensive solutions.
First, you can place a filter over the faucet or under the sink, or use a filter jug to remove chlorine, lead, and other substances that can alter taste or safety. According to Consumer Reports, the cheapest option is a pitcher that costs less than $40.
To make carbonated water, purchase a soda making kit, which can cost less than $60. While you can purchase flavored packs for these kits, it will be more economical to add your own juice, herbs, or other ingredients.
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