A Baseline

This is a guest post by Dave, who is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any.  Dave is from Ontario and is working towards his CGA certification.

I’d consider myself to be a fairly fit person – last May I ran a 10km race with minimal training (other than what I was normally doing) and finished middle of the pack in my age group.  Looking ahead though, I realize that in order to be able to do what I want to do as I age I have to maintain a certain level of physical fitness.  Take golfing for example – this is by no means a physically taxing sport, but it does involve a significant amount of walking, some flexibility and a moderate level of strength in order to play well.

Physical fitness is a “use it or lose it” kind of proposition – it’s much easier to maintain a certain level of fitness then it is to “gain” it later.  I’ve been 60 lbs heavier than I am now and it’s not a good time, losing that weight and getting into shape after not doing very much was not fun, nor easy.   Growing up, I worked on farms with many guys in their sixties and seventies who were able to do just as much (if not more) work than I was, simply because they never took a break from the lifestyle.  In the same fashion (moderated because I don’t have hundreds of 40-60 lb bales of hay to throw around continuously) I hope to maintain a similar exercise plan that I am on in my 30s well into the future.

I am far from a fitness freak, my main goal is to maintain a level of strength that will allow me to do what I want to do.  This goal could mean I could go out and play pick-up hockey from time to time, run a 10km race or like I did yesterday walk for 20 km around the city because the weather was nice and I needed some fresh air after being cooped up studying for an exam the past couple of weeks.  I lift weights a couple of times a week for 20-30 minutes at a time (during my lunch break), do some moderately paced cardio the rest of the weekdays and go for a walk on the weekends.

I have no expectations of my ability to run a marathon or do an ironman or anything extreme.  For vanity and health purposes, I don’t want to be fat.  So, once or twice a year I run a baseline test on my physical fitness.  Can I run 10 km?  Can I still do 100 pushups in a short period of time?  Can I squat my body weight?  These checks over time allow me to understand where I’m at physically and provide a comparison to where I was in the past.

Do you have fitness goals?  Do you watch your health and fitness as well as your finances?

2 thoughts on “A Baseline”

  1. Mrs. SPF and I have been discussing this quite a bit lately. For years I was in the gym lifting weights and doing cardio work (we live in Canada and i’m not a winter person so this was the alternative to say cross country skiing in -40 C weather). After I suffered a back injury I never went back to the gym. After we moved the gym was quite far from our house (we walk to work, no commuting, so it is an additional 30 min walk just to get home after working out, and, 20 mins from work to the gym – a workout in itself!).

    Anyhow, we both want to start being more active beyond our seemingly endless home renos, dog walking, canoeing in the summer and other such activities. We bought a low end home gym which is now in the (needs to be finished) basement. We’ve also discussed getting an eliptical for the basement for cardio/endurance work outs.

    So after I finish the basement this winter, and build a small home gym room we’ll be back on the band wagon, but this time we won’t be losing precious time walking to-from the gym, nor will we be spending upward of $1200 a year on membership fees!

  2. I work in construction, so staying fit is one of the better aspects of the job. The nice thing is I don’t have to shell out for gym memberships, or worry about going for a run after getting home from sitting in an office.

    One of my hobbies is long distance sea kayaking… you won’t find a better workout for your upper torso – and you are more than likely to encounter a pod of orcas while your at it…

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