Good health is perhaps the finest blessing we can enjoy. But it’s only when it falters that we recognize it was there in the first place.

You take sudden desperate measures to offset the signs of a cold or to relieve the symptoms of the flu that hit you like a truck. You dash to and fro with a stomach bug, barely with the time to regret the things you’re missing out on because you’re sick.

And then, if you’re lucky enough that it was nothing serious, you recover and go back to your old routine. The recovery is so gradual you hardly notice that life with a clear head, zero aches and pains, and your usual level of mobility, is beautiful.

So it’s back to the old habits, with perhaps a feeling that you could be doing something to prevent yourself from another lapse. But then you’re anxious not to spend unnecessary money on healthier food, preventative medicines, and vitamins.

Perhaps aware that good health appears to come with a price tag – since the rich enjoy better health than the poor.

Social conditions and the iniquity of a state that puts a premium on healthcare while others have more money than they need undoubtedly deserve attention. But there are simple, free or cheap things that rich and poor alike can do to keep themselves healthy and protect others from the spread of infections.

The people at NetCredit have put together an infographic of 50 affordable ways to stay healthy that offers plenty of ways to safeguard you mind, body, and soul. You’ll find it at the end of the article.

Let’s take a look under the hood to see what’s going on.

Morning rituals

It’s all to easy to trudge your way into the day, dragging yourself from stage to stage and self-medicating with caffeine and pastries in order to ‘feel ok.’

But the way you start your day sets the tone for what will come.

Make a few changes to your morning ritual and you will feel better equipped to make even more positive changes later in the day.

The first thing is just that: consider your morning routine to be a ritual. Think of it as way to greet the day and get your mind in order rather than an obstacle to get past before you can start work.

Eat breakfast at home and enjoy your surroundings and the rising sun beyond the window.

Make breakfast yourself, pay attention to the ingredients, and pimp it up with fruit. If that coffee is indispensable, take it with cinnamon rather than sugar.

Sleep with the curtains open so that you’re woken by the sun, or at least open the curtains as soon as you get up.

Daylight speaks to your internal clock, makes you more alert and – researchers have found – may improve your brain function.

Work patterns

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The way you start your working day can become just as automatic as that trudge from the bed to the train station.

Doing things ‘properly’ always feels like something to be achieved later. Sitting with a healthy posture; taking not just regular breaks, but wholesome ones – with a book or a walk rather than your smart phone and a donut.

Next time you arrive at work, take a close look at the environment around you.

Of course, not all of us have the luxury of being able to do much about our surroundings. But there is always something different you can do that will be beneficial to your health.

If you work at a computer, clean your keyboard and mouse each day (and the phone set if you use one). These surfaces can all hold onto germs and viruses for days, so disinfecting them regularly can reduce the spread of illness in your office.

Same with your cell phone – use it in the bathroom and you’re just asking for trouble.

For those who work upstairs or across different floors, it’s time to quit taking the elevator.

Climb more than 50 flights of stairs a week and you can significantly reduce your mortality risk.

Even if you’re just make ten or twenty trips a week (arriving at and leaving work; coming and going for lunch) you can lose 6lbs or more in a year; you burn around 10 calories per minute of stair-climbing.

Evenings and weekends

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Your spare time should be all about you and the people you care about – so leave your work emails unchecked.

Working for even a few minutes on your day off can undo the important process of ‘de-stressing’ yourself. Meanwhile, meeting with people you love – especially of you’re looking at their faces and not your phone – causes your brain to release neurotransmitters that fight stress and anxiety.

But that doesn’t mean you should let your weekday schedule completely evaporate at the weekends.

Try to go to bed and wake up in the mornings at the same time as on weekdays. Sleep deprivation from late nights will follow you through the week ahead. And disrupting your pattern can make it more difficult to get a good amount of quality sleep when you return to your workday schedule.

In fact, it’s best to keep your sleeping and waking times to within an hour of your regular pattern. But the good news is, you can use your Saturday afternoons to catch up with some of the snoozing you’ve been missing.

A 20-30 minute nap between 2pm and 3pm can offset some of your sleep debt. But keep it short so that you don’t wake up feeling awful, or make it harder on yourself to get to sleep at night.


Finally, about that coffee you’ve been looking forward to: didn’t you have one (or three) in the morning?

Keeping evenings and weekends coffee-free can provide several benefits. For one, you shouldn’t really drink coffee after lunch anyway if you want to sleep well at night.

And secondly, switching up coffee for the occasional herbal tea can do your system a world of good.

They all have different benefits, but dandelion, chamomile, and cinnamon, for example, can aid your digestion. Elderflower tea can protect your body from oxidative stress, reducing the likelihood of developing heart disease or cancer.

You’ll appreciate that Monday morning coffee (with cinnamon!) all the more when you’ve had a wholesome weekend off.

Here’s the infographic showing even more ways to stay healthy and save money at the same time: