It Doesn’t Take Much (Hopefully)

One of the things that I’m concerned about when it comes to both retirement, and in general getting older is my health. To a certain extent, most health issues that could happen are pretty random. I’m able to reduce the probability of having some of the issues that come with aging by eating right and staying active, but realistically there is always a chance that I could drop dead at 41 from an unseen heart attack.

Rather than be over-concerned with my own mortality, I’m working on the basis that I will stay reasonably healthy with no debilitating illnesses into the foreseeable future. From my perspective, this seems to be the only way to live. If I thought I had say 10 years left, I might as well diet on all of the foods that I try to avoid and spend all of my evenings on the couch, instead of going to the gym 3 or 4 days per week and eating mostly boring foods all of the time.

One idea I read this week from Mark’s Daily Apple *was to include one mile of running into your day.  1 mile is 4 times around a regulation track, which is a good chunk of running, but not enough to really kill you if you’re totally out of shape.  This distance is not really enough to cause significant joint damage, while at the same time giving a pretty good cardiovascular workout.  From my viewpoint as a fairly lazy person, this is the exact type of workout that I can get into as a “better than nothing” activity.  You can get the whole thing done in somewhere between 8 and 15 minutes.  If you add in a few minutes for recovery, you can be back to your “regularly scheduled life” pretty quickly.

I’m sure everyone is like me, concerned with losing mobility as they age. I have family members who have health issues in their 60s who are no longer able to do the things they want to do. I would prefer to do as much as I can to prevent this, deterioration – leading up to the later stages of my life. Whether or not it will be effective is yet to be seen. Eating a reasonable diet, exercising consistently, and trying to keep as healthy as I possibly can.

The whole idea of being able to retire early is to be able to enjoy as much free time as possible. A lot of the stuff for now is physical in nature (golf, walking, and making myself tired in the gym). I’m hoping I’ll be able to do similar stuff until I drop, and I’ll try my best to stay that way, 1 mile at a time.

* – I would recommend Mark’s Daily Apple to anyone interested in their health.  Although the site at times gets a little on the “preachy” side towards the “Primal” (Paleo) lifestyle, it does have a lot of interesting ideas, recipes and stories that has held my interest for the past few years.



5 thoughts on “It Doesn’t Take Much (Hopefully)”

  1. The chubbier middle aged people at my work struggle with joint and foot aches and pains that keep them off work frequently and affect enjoyment of their days off as well.

    We don’t sit at work and I stand all day. I am a chubby middle ager who has been lucky to avoid those aches and pains but I know that drastic action is required to keep my healthy enough to continue to work full time until I can retire at age 60. I have seen so many people forced off on low paying disability in their 50s because they are not physically capable of doing the job any more.

    I have recently given up sugar and have started very mild exercise (it seems like a full crossfit work out because of my poor physical condition) because I know that I can improve both the quality and quantity of my future life with dedication to a healthier life style.

  2. Mark’s Daily Apple sounds very interesting. I have been going to the gym to exercise pretty regularly this year and I felt great afterwards. Running 1 mile each day sounds like a great way to stay active. I think I will give that a try. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Since retiring almost 2 months ago, I’ve been hitting the gym hard – doing about 90 minutes of hard cardio work 5 days per week – I am trying to burn 1000 calories per session. It’s pretty extreme, but being out of shape had become intolerable to me. My post-ER life is going to be extremely active so I just HAD TO DO IT. Lost just about 45 pounds so far… will probably scale back the intensity in about another month.

    My ER “to do” list contains about 30 items – #1 on the list was GET IN BEST SHAPE OF MY LIFE. No small task – in my late 20’s I ran half marathons regularly.

    Not sure what #2 will be yet…

  4. Wow, just reading this gave me the shivers.

    I am a gym rat, six days a week with cardio, weights and yoga. I love it and look good for my age.
    This morning at the gym I was just getting on the arc trainer when my gym buddy came over to say Hi. We are both 57, she has been retired for 7 years and although a little heavy she is a gym regular. Anyways she started chatting with me and then bent over, as if light headed. She then moved over to a bench to sit down. I was concerned and hopped off the machine. By the time I got to her her eyes had rolled back and her head wobbled. I grabbed her, called her name and got enough attention that a nurse working out came over and helped me get her to the floor. 911, a frantic race to find her hubby in the other part of the gym and a long wait for the ambulance made this a very scary gym day indeed!

    She was speaking and alert although very shaky when she was wheeled away. I will know the outcome later…I hope she is ok.

    And it was only two weeks ago that my father suffered a stroke and is now in intensive rehab, a once well spoken man reduced to mumbling his sentences and not walking….

    You never know.

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