Diabetes has so many costs — to your health, your emotions and even your wallet. While your health care costs and medications may be covered by provincial health care plans and benefits packages, the costs of a healthy lifestyle can still add up. You may find the costs of eating healthy are high, particularly in the winter months, or the costs of joining a gym or getting a trainer are fairly prohibitive.
According to the American Diabetes Association, you can improve your health and save some money at the same time. With a little know-how, you can save big bucks on food, exercise and well-being. Here are a few of the cost-cutting ideas the Association recommends:
Head to a health fair or expo: Hospitals, universities, churches, towns, and community groups often set up health fairs to provide a wide range of screenings and health information. Health expos offer even more by bringing together medical experts and exhibitors for screenings, seminars, workshops, and demonstrations.
The Canadian Diabetes Association lists a number of events on its website. They include information workshops, sporting events and expert speakers.
Get screened: Staying on top of your health and preventing diseases or their complications before they become major problems makes a significant impact on your budget. Besides regular examinations by your health care team, you often can get screened for different conditions at clinics, pharmacies and local health departments, among other places.
Attend a cooking demonstration: Want to make sure you're getting the most out of your meals? Need a little extra inspiration to get back on track? Stop by a cooking demonstration at a farmers' market or grocery store. You may get healthy meal ideas that will help you save money and stay on track.
Take it outside: You don’t need a fancy gym membership or a personal trainer to stay fit and active. Instead, why not head to the great outdoors for some activity? Try taking a walk with your family every night after dinner, playing a game of pick-up basketball or road hockey with the kids, or even just heading to the park to play on the playground equipment. And if you haven’t picked up a skipping rope since you were in Grade 6, grab one at the dollar store and give it a try. You’ll be surprised at how hard a workout it is.
The Canadian Diabetes Association recommends both aerobic and resistance exercise for people living with diabetes. But you don’t need expensive weights to perform resistance training. Try using your own body weight for resistance by doing push ups, planks, squats, lunges and crunches. Or grab a couple of water bottles or soup cans and use those as weights. Just remember, if you are only starting to be active, check with your doctor first.
Try these money-saving tricks to help manage diabetes and other things that cause your health-related expenses to creep up. Best of all, many of these proactive moves may keep you healthier, too.
A journalist with more than 10 years experience, Alison’s work has appeared in a number of top Canadian publications, including glow, Oxygen, Canadian Running and more. She is the former editor of a number of well-respected Canadian and American trade journals and recipient of a Kenneth R. Wilson Gold Award of Excellence in feature article writing. She is a part-time faculty member at Sheridan College’s journalism department, as well as an avid runner and fitness enthusiast.