We all want to live our lives to the fullest. And while fine food, advanced medicine and a personal trainer can boost longevity, living a lengthier, healthier life doesn’t require so much cash in the bank. Here are several proven ways to live longer for less.
Eat Your Veggies
If you’re big into burgers, chew on this: vegetarians are more likely to live longer than meat-eaters. The Journal of the American Medical Association says those who stick to a plant-based diet, high in fiber and low in saturated fat, are 19% less likely to suffer from life-threatening diseases. Researchers suggest a diet rich in whole grains (cereals and pastas), as well as fresh veggies and fruits. Legumes, nuts and seeds should also be on your shopping list.
To save on produce, consider joining a CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture. You’ll enjoy locally grown, in-season produce for a fraction of the price. You can find your local CSA by visiting LocalHarvest.org. The portions can sometimes be too much, so to avoid waste join with a neighbor and share in the savings, which can easily be hundreds of dollars per year.
Get Your Caffeine Fix
It’s not just what’s on your plate that can add years to your life. It’s also the contents in your cup.
The National Cancer Institute finds that older men and women who drink two to three cups of coffee a day may have a better chance of surviving cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and other illnesses. A single-cup coffee maker, for example, can make that $4 latte for just 70 cents. And at two servings per day, you’ll make up the cost of the $100 machine in about two weeks and pocket $200 a month thereafter.
Red, Red Wine
Still another beverage that’s been proven to hold the secret to a longer life is wine — in moderation, of course. Specifically, researchers say a natural compound in red wine helps to reconstruct cells and fight off age-related diseases. A couple ways to save on vino: Purchase imperfect wine bottles at AccidentalWine.com, which sells blemished-label wines at up to 40% off. You can also ask you local wine seller if he has any in stock. And consider boxed wine. Before you roll your eyes, the quality has improved over the years, and most boxes hold the equivalent of four bottles but for nearly half the price.
Opt for Train Service
Now, how about a way to live longer and save money on gas at the same time? If you can ditch your car and take a commuter rail or train to work, you’ll not only save on auto expenses, you’ll raise your chances of living longer. Researchers in the United Kingdom found that for those aged 20 to 54, road injuries were the fifth highest cause of death.
Increase your Physical Activity
Why pay for an expensive gym every month and stare at the same faces? Location, location, location is what they say. Why not apply it to your everyday life like where you choose to exercise. Pick a beautiful park or a boardwalk and speed walk instead. You’ll see how quickly you’ll lose those pounds and the extra money can be used for other activities such as a hike in the beautiful mountains of Nepal.
Finally, it’s no secret that stress can also lead to a shorter life. So take advantage of your flexible spending account (FSA) at work to save on stress relief from therapy sessions, massages, acupuncture or even alternative medicine.