I have written a couple posts about fitness in early retirement. It’s not my favorite topic, but I learned that almost every early retiree I connect with became MORE fit after they left the workplace. I also bought a bike last summer and I set a goal of increasing my daily activity by 80% to 12,000 steps a day as a first step to getting back into 5K shape:
Since I’ve been off the job for almost 5 weeks now, I thought I would give a quick check-up on how this is all going. I should note that I actually hate exercising. Some people love the rush & satisfaction that comes from an intense work out, but frankly it’s a chore for me.
- It’s My Job – Following my Dad’s advice that “your health is your job now” I’m off to a good start one month I nto my new vocation. I’ve been getting going in the morning and tracking my activity through my iPhone Health tracker. I’ve been pretty diligent in my metrics – if you don’t measure it, you can’t do anything about it.
- I’m Hitting My Numbers – 12,000 steps a day didn’t seem like a lot when I reverse-engineered what fitness looked like, but it is a lot more than what I was doing. I need a conscious plan each day to get there, otherwise I end up on the treadmill at the end of the day. I averaged 12.8K steps a day for the month, despite starting a few days after the month started. That’s practically DOUBLE the average daily activity that I recorded in the 6 months prior to not working.
- Eating Less Too – Although I didn’t set a specific goal for daily calories, they have gone down from 3,300 per day (imputed) to 2,250 a day (tracked). That’s a 32% decline. Not going out to those “Dump of the Month” lunches with MegaCorp colleagues (which became weekly, then more often) has probably helped a lot.
- Not Biking Yet – My spiffy new bike hasn’t been part of the routine yet. In fact, I haven’t even aired up the tires yet for Spring. It was pretty miserable weather here over the last few weeks for biking, although my friendly neighborhood bike dealer has been riding every day and posting his “3o day bike challenge” on Facebook. What a show off.
- Weather Improving – This week the weather in the Twin Cities has taken a dramatic turn for the better. Most of the steps I’ve been getting in have been on the treadmill, but I took a nice walk/run around one of our beautiful urban lakes yesterday (OK, it was after meeting a pal for Chicago-style pizza!) and I’ll venture out for a real RUN tomorrow (not looking forward to it).
- Not 5K Certified Yet – I started following a “5K Training Plan” about 3 weeks ago, but have only finished the training targets from the first two weeks. I’ll be out with a big training run in the morning, but I don’t have enough time to be prepped for the 5K Apple Blossom run on 5/15 that a MegaCorp friend invited me to (sorry, RS!). I’m guessing mid-June is a possibility.
- Tennis / Golf Anyone? – My brother has been calling to get a weekly tennis time set up on the calendar. Tennis is definitely one of my favorite ways to get my steps in. While not super intense, doing something that is competitive makes a chore enjoyable. My other brothers & Dad (sometimes Mom) and I also get out and golf about once a month. I’d also like to find a friend who would like to “play 9” maybe once a week (anyone?) in the morning. They say golf is a “good walk spoiled” but for me it is a “walk made entertaining”.
Well, today’s post isn’t as focused on personal finance or achieving early retirement, but I thought you might be interested how this post-FIRE lifestyle change is shaping up on the fitness dimension. It was one of my key areas of focus from my “What Are You Going To Do In Early Retirement” post back in March.
Image Credit: Pixabay