CanadianLiving.com posed this question: What's the best $20 you've ever spent on your health? And we got some interesting answers from our editors and contributors, from spending a twenty-spot on a yoga class to a installing a swing from Ikea.
"My favourite thing is a 'fashion statement' I never wanted to make. It's the baseball cap. I don't like the way they look, but the first time I put one on was a eureka moment: I realized I didn't have to squint in the sun anymore. Plus it protects my face from dangerous UV rays. I love to go bird-watching and can end up spending an entire day outdoors in spring -- and those caps keep me cool and comfortable."
-- Gilda Swartz, Canadian Living editor
"I hung a $14 Ikea swing from a beam in our living room. That swing was in constant use for years by my whole family -- visitors, too. It provided us with exercise and, when we played the 'catch the pillow' game, lots of laughter, which is an excellent health practice!"
-- Catherine Gray, product director, CanadianLiving.com
"The best $20 I ever spent on my health was when I went to try Bikram Yoga for the first time and that was the class fee. I fell in love with it instantly and have been going strong for two years now!"
-- Lara Ceroni, CanadianLiving.com contributor and ellecanada.com web editor
"That's easy -- resistance bands. For less than $20 I bought three resistance bands (soft, medium, hard) from Fitness Depot and I'm able to perform wicked strength training exercises in the comfort of my own home (where I can groan and sweat in privacy and nobody cares if I didn't shave my legs). In my opinion I get a better workout -- more range of motion and harder resistance -- with these things than with expensive machines from the gym. But just remember they can fly across the room if they're not secured properly!"
-- Colleen Tully, CanadianLiving.com contributor and styleathome.com assistant web editor
"A wok from the supermarket. It encourages me to steam my veggies, and make my grandmother's Chinese broccoli recipe -- yum, my favourite. Anything that gets you to eat more broccoli is worth spending money on. I also love that I can make quick stir-fries when I get home from the gym instead of buying takeout or delivery."
-- Helen Racanelli, web editor of CanadianLiving.com
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"It was under $20 -- I'm talking the $14 I spent on my first week at Weight
Watchers several years ago. I learned at that meeting not to eat all my favourite foods in the same day. The point system as it was then helped me to modify my eating habits for the better. I'm no longer a WW member, but joining was the first strong step on my path to becoming healthier."
-- Janine Falcon, Canadian Living editor
"A bunch of elastic headbands. I'm an excuse-aholic when it comes to the gym, so my most recent excuse not to go was because my hair is too short to fit into a ponytail so it would get plastered to my face and neck when I worked out. Now I go at least twice a week, and it always helps to bring along a buddy who carries extra headbands in case I try to use forgetting them as an excuse to skip a day."
-- Dayna Boyer, CanadianLiving.com production assistant
"When I was a teenager and decided to switch to a vegetarian diet, one of the first books I bought was Becoming Vegetarian by Vesanto Melina and Brenda Davis, which is now in its second edition. Their nutrition and eating advice and recipe ideas helped me along the veggie path -- and 15 years later, I still refer to it often!"
-- Kat Tancock, CanadianLiving.com assistant web editor
"A pair of lightweight long underwear. Wearing them means I get to go out on the coldest winter days and my legs stay warm. I love the outdoors, but really feel the cold, and wearing long johns means means I get to walk, ski, shop, jog and head off to work outdoors and feel comfortable. They're keep me toasty and they're not bulky."
-- Gilda Swartz, Canadian Living editor
"I bought a small blender that I use to make fruit smoothies every morning for breakfast. This helps me get the proper number of servings of fruit every day and discourages me from eating sugary cereal. Definitely worth it!"
-- Adrienne Robertson, Canadian Living intern
"I had just survived one particularly insane period of work and on my first free Saturday morning I swung by a neighbourhood yard sale where I spent $5 on a meditation album CD. The liner notes described it as "spa music." New to me -- but I loved it. I play it once in a while when I'm getting burned out; it rejuvenates me and is an instant relaxer (minus the ice cubes and olives!)."
-- Doug O'Neill, Canadian Living editor
"A pair of Thorlos socks â€“-- they are so cushioned, I never get blisters anymore, which gets me out for my daily walks with a smile on my face!"
-- Donna Paris, Canadian Living editor
"Hemp protein powder. It costs about $10 a bag. You can add it to cereal or to a berry shake in the morning and it will leave you feeling energized for the rest of the day."
-- Sarah Snowdon, Canadian Living researcher
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