8 Ways To Be Healthy When You're Broke

Don’t treat yourself like a garbage can just because you can’t afford to buy one.

Tonight’s “Girl Code” addresses the important and often neglected subject of your health. If you can afford bushels of kale and a pricey gym membership, then congratulations, but otherwise it can seem difficult to get and stay healthy. The truth is, though, even if you don't have unlimited resources, you have many choices that are good for your body and budget.

1. Embrace lemons


When life gives you them, you know what to do. Lemons have tons of potassium, may help with digestion, and can be incorporated into meals or just added to water -- oh, and they cost less than $1. They'll even treat a case of scurvy, and pirates aren't made of money either.

2. Ride a bike

No gas money, no problem. Getting a bicycle is way cheaper than the cost of owning a car (or, over time, taking public transportation), and many cities are implementing low-cost bike sharing programs. So download a free calorie counter app and try riding for the day -- you'll burn just as much without paying a huge premium to ride those stationary bikes at the gym. And the scenery is better.

Related: 7 Small Changes That Will Make You Work Out More Often

3. Stock up on beans


Canned beans may not be the sexiest superfood, but they're cheap, packed with just as much protein as meat, and just a one-cup serving contains nearly half of your daily recommended fiber intake. And if you've ever looked at the expiration date on a can, they stay good for almost ever.

4. Buy fruits and veggies on the reg

The problem with only grocery shopping on the weekends is that a lot of produce will go bad by the time you actually want to eat it. That doesn't give you any nutrition, and constantly throwing out all your apples will only keep the doctor away because you can't afford a visit.

5. Go Greek

stamos yogurt

It's no surprise why the Greeks took over yogurt: It's inexpensive, low in sugar, and often packed with more protein than non-Greek yogurt. A girl's gotta eat, so you may as well eat food containing the "good" bacteria this time (instead of the "dive bar" bacteria).

6. Take advantage of fitness specials

When you do the same workout routine repeatedly, your body adjusts, making the exercise less effective. It can also just get really boring. Here's the good news: Many gyms and specialized studios offer reduced-price introductory classes and sometimes free introductory weeks. Trying them all will keep you on your toes and off your couch.

Treat your personal fitness like a trip to Whole Foods -- you're just here for the samples -- but maybe, once you find that dream job, you'll come back and become a real member.

Related: A Doctor Explains How To Prolong Time Between Checkups

7. Spice things up


Herbs and spices cost little and go a long way, and you don't have to be an expert cook to use them. Capsicum, a.k.a. cayenne pepper, is another easy way to kick up your meals and possibly your metabolism. Even basics like garlic can prevent colds, treat hypertension and scare away vampires and cholesterol.

8. Skip the bar and drink more water

Between managing your appetite and energizing your muscles, drinking H20 from the faucet is a lot healthier than drinking what's on tap. And at $0.00, it's way cheaper, too.

Besides, if booze is what got you into your current financial situation, then cutting back might get you out of it the fastest. After a few weeks, you might even be able to afford those hot shoes, too.

For more on staying healthy, watch "Girl Code" tonight at 11/10c on MTV

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