Updated: Feb 12, 2021
Is modern healthy living expensive? No.
Why modern healthy living is so confusing? It is not, but I can see why you may think so.
Is modern healthy living a trend? Yes, and No.
Do I need to buy the latest superfoods and supplements to keep up with the trend? No
Do I have to train hard and start the newest fitness program? No.
So many questions and very little direction? Don’t worry I understand.
While living a healthy lifestyle seems to have become a trend, it’s something we should all strive for. Yet, the trend tells us to buy these expensive products and then we feel pressure because everyone else is. If I don’t, surely I am behind! The pressure makes it easy to fall into a pit that feels like a negative cycle, only to cost you much time and money. Further, with so much information out there on the web about nutrition and fitness, you may not know where to start with all the confusion coming from social media influencers saying one thing, while seeing other influencers contradicting the same information. What is right anymore? Why even bother trying?
About 75% of the information out there isn’t needed for our personal health lifestyles, for those of us just trying to live healthfully without overdoing it. Truly, it’s all a big, rather enormous hype! However, I’m here to help break this down so you can live simply and abundantly having all the information you need to get started on the best path for your needs.
Let me help you understand this idea a little further.
I bet almost everyone knows about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, but most people are confused about the whole idea of healthy living. The first dilemma is that many don’t know exactly what they are looking for. Is it weight loss, longevity, general fitness, short- term gains, long- term results, anti-ageing or maybe you have some illness you want to treat? A lack of a clear goal is the root of the uncertainty. Different health goals require different approaches, so setting a clear health goal is the first step to healthy living.
But how can we have clear goals when one media platform tells us to do one thing and another influencer says something is “bad” while another gives praise for that certain exercise plan or food group? We live in a tech- influenced, media- intoxicated world where defining our goals is challenging. The trends in the health and wellness industry has been growing exponentially thanks to social media channels. Many have fallen captive to the healthy living pit that seems to suck in more and more people for its popularity, trying all sorts of products and spending a lot of money. Sorting through the media platforms to find valid and proven information is a challenge in itself! Trust me, I know.
What do I mean by this?
Every neighbour and his dog who lost weight became health coaches, orthodox doctors transitioned to holistic health practitioners because they know the importance of following along with the trend. Thanks to society, they are in a position to make tons of money just by uploading general generic information about nutrition and selling holistic supplements. However, despite all this healthy movement, our world has yet to see an overall increase in health, meaning a reduction of chronic diseases, allergies, digestive disorders, etc. More people are suffer from cancer, chronic diseases, alzheimer's, heart diseases and other disorders including Covid-19. What could this paradox be telling us?
The more you read on the latest health tips and “must do’s”, the more confused you become. This leaves many overwhelmed to a point of frustration, not knowing where to begin to get ourselves on track to living out the healthiest life we can.
This is the exact spot many fall into the trap of health that can become negatively controlling for many reasons. Again, this makes it challenging to define our health goals and we all want to be healthy, right?
Without health you can’t enjoy life to the fullest. It’s not something you can buy, but it still requires money if you want to stay healthy. But is it as expensive as many people think? How much does it cost to be healthy these days?
Let’s start with the basics of understanding simplicity when it comes to health before diving further into how media influences us to make expensive choices.
Health doesn’t have to be complex. Simplicity is a key to almost everything. As an example, for me relating to boxing, there are only 4 basic punches: jab, cross, hook and uppercut. After the basics are established, you spend years polishing them and trying different combinations – that’s enough to win you a fight. However, if you want to progress further and become a champion, you start working on your feet, your moves, stamina, reaction, speed etc. That’s a completely different story and most of us don’t need to go that far and that deep. For majority of people, learning the 4 basic punches is enough. The same goes for health.
As a yoga teacher, I can tell you that you don’t need to do splits and handstands to have a healthy spine and great flexibility, nor do you need to spend 2 hours in the gym using dozens of different machines and performing exercises for different muscles in order to stay healthy. Any decent PT will tell you that bench press, deadlift and squats is adequate for your needs. I promise you it is.
So how is media taking away the simplicity around health, making it so confusing and influencing expensive health decisions?
In the following parts of this post, I want to take some time to debunk the financial myth that most people wouldn’t believe to be true. While health is one of the best investments you can make, it doesn’t have to be at the expense of your wallet or bank account.
Most online health apps or programs are using pretty much same content, same blueprint and surprisingly a lot of them come from the same source. They don’t take into consideration your ethnic group, age, body shape, your existent level of health and current lifestyle. Hence why most of these expensive, generic health apps and programs don’t give desirable results. Each of us is unique and requires an individual approach, which is so important to get into our heads! What works for you may not work for someone else.
To go further, thousands of online health advocates and experts are trying to sell you their videos about healthy living, but not all of them even practice what they preach. A lot of the health programs are done by professionals who understand human psychology and behaviour. They know most people are driven by emotions and making psychological choices rather than physiological ones. For example, what do you do when you experience pain? Do you take a painkiller that has side-effects on your body, but will get rid of the pain within 20 minutes or use a natural herbal remedy with zero side effects, but takes a few hours or even days to work? Most people will go with painkillers. We live in a fast world and we want fast results.
The same applies to supplements. They act like a drug by giving you quick boost when you need it, yet has a negative impact on your body in the long run. Not to mention the huge amounts money people are spending on these so called “amazing” supplements because they give instant results. Much of the content seen online is a result of clever marketing strategies crafted by marketers who know human psychology and how the mind works. Most of us buy what we want, not what we need and these clever geniuses know it.
Further, many companies are taking advantage of the healthy living trend and selling products labelled with expensive price tags. They do so by adding words like “organic”, “superfood”, “alkaline” etc.- you know all the trendy words people want to hear in hopes that buying the products will make them healthier by consuming products with these labels.
Beyond just general health supplements, this same idea of buying more than necessary can be applied to our diet choices. Many seemingly delicious recipes call for 20 ingredients which by the end of your shopping trip you’ll be spending a fortune just for one dish. No wonder why so many people think that eating healthy is expensive! In reality, you can cook a delicious meal with 5 ingredients or less at a very affordable price. This is about getting smart with your choices. Simple food is the best for you and easiest for the body to digest. Make it a challenge to see how simple you can get. I bet you’ll find yourself being more creative and will save money at the same time!
Let’s again go back to our exercise choices. What’s a difference between Yoga you see on social platforms and stretching exercises? None, the only difference is the word Yoga. If you compare $200 Yoga course online and free stretching exercises on Youtube you will notice that they are the same. A lot of modern Yoga videos you see online is done by former gymnasts or athletes who realised that Yoga is a trend and they can make more money on their stretching routines by labelling it as Yoga. I’m telling you, these influencers can be tricky, so just be aware of who you are following. To note, Yoga as a deep spiritual practice which involves more than just asanas/poses is completely different thing and it’s not something you can learn online.
As you can see, our world is driven by money, as sad as that may sound. If you start following and copying celebrities and some online influencers who swap eating whole foods with fad diets and supplements, walking outdoors with treadmill, swimming in the sea and rivers with luxury Spa salons, creating positive emotions with antidepressants and so on. No wonder why most people think that healthy living is an expensive hobby and other ones who can afford it, get some short term gains, but struggle to sustain it in the long run.
In my most encouraging words to you, health can be simple, basic and yes- cheap! No need for a gym membership, grab your sneakers and go for a jog! No need to buy the 20 ingredients for the one recipe you’re going to make. I promise the greatest health you will achieve will be through simplicity. It does take some patience and research, but don’t be discouraged. Just by reading this and applying my recommendations, you will be one step closer to living that healthy lifestyle you are after. Hopefully you can see that living a healthy life by maintaining a consistent, simple exercise routine and by consuming whole, natural foods is not as expensive as media makes us think. It’s your choice as to how high of a price you want to pay! Modern healthy living can be simple and inexpensive, so sure, we can jump on the bandwagon, but in a smart, realistic way! Yep, I called it- true health can be achieved simply and inexpensively!