Fitness Activity In Early Retirement

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Early retirement isn’t just about finances, it is also about keeping yourself healthy. 

I am happy to report that I have continued my diligence in tracking my fitness activity into my second year of early retirement.  My daily fitness level is up dramatically compared to my former working self.  Since April of last year, I have boosted my daily steps by almost 70% to an average of 12,200 and dropped 15 pounds in the process.

To put the change in activity in perspective, I looked up how much the average American moves on a daily basis.  The results were surprising only because they were so low.  The website had data from a number of countries and conditions.  There was even a breakout for people that wear a digital fitness band.  All were well short of the recommended 10,000 steps a day and even farther short of my post-retirement fitness level:

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Not all steps are equal, of course, so I have also made an effort to improve the ‘quality’ of my steps by boosting the share that happen with an elevated heart rate.  I don’t have a good way of tracking this, but have gradually boosted my walking speed from 3.0 to 3.8 mph (+27%) on the treadmill and also getting back to playing weekly tennis (for ~90 minutes) now that warm weather has returned.  I am also playing softball weekly in a league and my brothers and I have set up a golf date every other week.  I love the variety and see many more opportunities to spend more time outside as the cold weather recedes.

Since I am wishing for a long, healthy retirement – over three or four decades – I would hardly say that I have my full retirement fitness focus locked in.  I wouldn’t even say I am doing as much as many (working) friends of mine are doing.  That said, I do recognize that staying in shape is truly ‘my job’ now.  I am so fortunate to have the time and resources to do my job however I want.  I have a terrific treadmill at home with a big screen TV and my iPad to utilize.  I have also set a goal of exploring one local park a week now that the warm weather has returned.  I certainly have the time to get in the car and check out spaces around our metro area.

To boost accountability, I track all of my numbers in my iPhone and then put them in a spreadsheet.  Last year I reached 4,000,000 steps for the year and already this year I am at 1,500,000 steps.  At this rate, I will beat last year by more than 500,000 steps.  I’m already up by 300,000 through the end of  April.  It’s funny that I used to track daily sales, weekly budgets, and monthly profits in this way when I worked for MegaCorp.  Now I’m tracking my own returns – and loving what they are adding up to!

How will you stay/get focused on your health & fitness when you reach FIRE?

Image Credit: Pixabay

11 thoughts on “Fitness Activity In Early Retirement

  1. Completely agree! Every season is key season for those who stay active daily and track output daily, forllowing trends over weeks, months and years. The decade track should be really interesting! Unprecedented.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. After years of tracking business performance day after day, tracking fitness numbers is a good mental surrogate. And the results are completely controllable!


  2. I’m with you, MrFire! I have a Google spreadsheet that I make available on my blog, holds me accountable! I swim and jog during the work week, and walk the dogs 3 miles/day when I’m home. Check out the book “Younger Next Year”, it’ll keep you motivated, and is well worth the read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Younger Next Year – I will definitely check out that book. Sounds like the perfect title for me. I’ve also been reading an older book called The American Way of Life Is Hazardous for Your Health.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, that’s really good. I’m getting a little over 7,000 steps per day so far this year. Once the weather warms up, I should improve. Probably won’t hit 10k, though. Good job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The weather makes a big difference on our ability to exercise, doesn’t it? Believe it or not, it snowed here in the Twin Cities yesterday. 32 degrees and windy kept me in the house most of the day. No fun.


    1. Wow – that’s awesome! When is the event and how high is Pikes Peak? Sounds intense, but a great bucket list accomplishment.


  4. Next Friday is my last day at MegaCorp. My wife retired last December. Our daughter gave us both FitBits as gifts this past Christmas, in an effort to motivate us as we entered into retirement. They have been awesome. (No I don’t own stock in FitBit!…any tracker will probably do just as well.) But we’ve become addicted to them, constantly pushing each other to out step the other. I’m averaging just over 11k steps/day, and my wife is averaging just over 12k steps/day so far this year. (I probably only averaged like 4k steps/day before.) I’m also now up to 2 miles running each morning. We also recently bought bikes, but have only had time for an occassional weekend ride so far, so I can’t wait until next Friday, when I can final up my exercise game even further every day. We are planning a weekly tennis date, lots more biking, and a lot of hikes. I am so excited to make exercising my new “full time” focus. Great timing on your post for me personally! Here’s to being Fifty-one…and working on being fifty next year! …Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is GREAT to hear! The one thing I learned (after posting this article on Monday) is the importance of STRETCHING. I tore my left quad running to first base on Monday. Ouch! I think I will be layer up for at least 10 days. Have fun, but take it easy!


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