7 Health Tips for Freelance Writers

Since our freelancers pay for health insurance through the nose (and because of the high cost of medical care, insurance doesn’t cover nasal injuries), follow the tips below to stay healthy on the cheap.

1. Prepare for life

Spend some time each week cooking and cutting lean meats, such as chicken breasts, boiled eggs, and chopped vegetables. An hour of preparation time provides enough healthy salads, wok dishes and pita breads for a week. You can also make healthy meals and keep them in the fridge so that even if you don’t have time to cook, you can always eat good things.

2. Fill wisely

Last winter I went through a period of great frustration. In a moment of desperation, I went to a homeopathic doctor who sold me vitamin supplements for $125 for a month. (I know better, I swear, but like I said, I I’m desperate. She also sold me some tarantula poison, but we don’t even want to go there now.) I recently interviewed a nutritionist. He said that a vitamin is a vitamin, regardless of the price or how beautiful the packaging is. Some of the more expensive vitamins contain high amounts of certain vitamins. It sounds good until you realize that our bodies take in the water-soluble vitamins (like C) they need and excrete the rest. This is what nutritionists call “the most expensive urine in town.” If you consume too much, fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) can build up to toxic levels. Therefore, invest a few dollars a month to buy basic multivitamins as a kind of “health insurance”, not your healthy diet, instead of buying expensive brands.

3. Join the Gym

Many of our stingy freelancers argue that gyms are too expensive. But you can often find discounts: I pay $20 a month to join Planet Fitness, and I can be a guest every time. I brought my husband which means we really have to pay $10 a month. You can also ask the local gym to waive the entrance fee or give you a discount. According to one of my fitness professionals, gyms often hold membership activities and will waive or discount them. If you ask correctly, they may even be able to help you at other times. If you’re lucky enough to have health insurance, find out whether the plan will reimburse all or part of your health club membership. (Oh, I have to tell you, after you go to the gym, should you go there for aerobics and weightlifting?)

4. Be proactive

Even if you have to pay for it yourself, you can have a physical examination once a year and all necessary checks will be done according to your age. Visit the dentist twice a year for an examination and cleaning. Do breast self-examination or testicle self-examination (depending on your gender). If you can’t rely on health insurance to take care of you when you’re sick, it’s up to you to stay healthy. (Well, it’s always up to you, but if you have to pay a lot of cash every time you get sick, you’ll be more motivated to stay healthy.)

5. Put Kibosh on Coke

Do you know how to stop drinking alcoholics can’t even drink a glass or else they’ll fall off the carriage? This is how I get along with Pepsi… One of the babies, I just want more, more, more.

Studies have shown that while drinks like cola are high in calories, they don’t keep us full. When people eat fudge before a meal, they will eat fewer calories before a meal to compensate, but when they drink a calorie-containing beverage before a meal, the calories they consume are the same as what they will consume anyway. The calories are the same. Sugary drinks like soda and fruit drinks (or “froot jooces” as I like to call them) are expensive and loaded with sugar. Healthier drinks include tea, soda with a little juice (I like pomegranate juice), skim or skim milk or soy milk, and of course pure water. I don’t like water, so I put a bowl of lemon slices in the fridge to enhance the flavor.

6. Stretch

I like stretching. I think this makes me weird because I read that most people skip it. Stretching keeps you flexible, helps you stay stressed, and resolves the kinks that come from typing at your desk all day. If you don’t have a stretch that you enjoy doing, try stretching the deck.

7. Do what you love

Instead of giving up Ho-Hos, forcing yourself to take a spinning class from hell, and letting yourself meditate, even if you’d rather have a spike on your forehead, try to find healthy things you enjoy. Enjoy roasted sweet potato fries, enjoy a massage, enjoy.

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