Cryotherapy, smart bikes, and salt rooms are just a few of the latest wellness trends that promise to help you shed pounds and feel better in your body. And indeed — these pricey fads can seemingly work miracles. Many of these products and treatments offer big payoffs — at big prices! But you don’t need to spend a bundle to reap the benefits. Here are four low-cost healthy swaps that will leave you feeling great — and grateful that you didn’t pay too much!
For deeper sleep, try a weighted mask instead of a weighted blanket.
Studies show that weighted blankets help restless sleepers drift off. The hitch? They can cost upwards of $120 and make your bed feel like a sauna! Instead, try a weighted eye mask ($31.99, Amazon). Explains Cindy Geyer, M.D., Medical Director at Massachusetts’ Canyon Ranch Wellness Resort, these masks put gentle pressure on the nerves behind your eyes, sending calming messages to your brain.
To relieve pain, try an ice pack instead of cryotherapy.
Cryotherapy (body immersion in chilled air below –112°F) has been shown to relieve pain, but costs $60 or more for a three-minute session. For a less expensive option, place a cold pack on the back of your neck between your shoulder blades for 10 minutes. According to research in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases, this trick cuts allover achiness in half
for 24 hours. Explains Robin Miller, M.D., localized chilling affects large areas of your body, calming overactive pain nerves.
To clear sinuses, try a salty steam instead of a salt room.
Sitting in a room lined with rock salt — known as halotherapy — can help you breathe 25 percent more easily if you’re battling congestion. But it costs about $40 per treatment. Instead, mix 1 tsp. of sea salt into a bowl of just-boiled water, and breathe
in the steam for 10 minutes. Says otolaryngologist Vanna Vathanophas, M.D., inhaling salty steam can relieve congestion, postnasal drip and facial pain.
To burn fat, try a burst of exercise instead of a smart bike.
One of the most popular wellness trends these days, “smart bikes” like the Peloton offer live classes and coaching via app. However, they can cost up to $4,000 — out of reach for many of us. Luckily, short bursts of any type of high-intensity exercise can be just as effective as a smart bike workout. A review of 36 studies found that 40-second bursts of vigorous exercise followed by 20-second breaks helped women drop pounds 28 percent faster than steady movement. And exercising for just six minutes a day makes your metabolism soar!
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.