Healthy Six Month Check-Up

A few weeks ago, a friend from high school posted that her brother had a bad heart attack and was saved by the use of stents, the same as had happened to me. She said he is doing all right, but asked me some questions about my experience as he was being released from the hospital.

I hadn’t even realized that the day she contacted me was exactly 6 months to the day of my own heart attack. It was exactly 6 months from the day after Christmas. That means the good news is that my life is so back to normal, that I hadn’t even noticed the ‘anniversary’ – nor had my wife, son, or friends.

Since your health is the greatest asset you can have in early retirement, I thought that I would provide an update on a few of the commitments I made to get my health back to 100% and how they have gone.

KEEP MOVING

I’ve been pretty active since I stopped working full time back in 2016 and I’ve gotten back into full shape. I returned to the tennis court – where my heart attack had happened – just 6 weeks after the event and I continue to play a couple times per week. Last week I played 3 times and burned over 4,000 ‘active calories’.

I track my daily exercise with the Apple Watch that I bought back on New Year’s Eve and have ‘closed my rings’ for the last 175 days in a row, as you can see from the image at the top of this post. In addition to tennis, I walk or hike a lot and continue to average ~11,000 steps a day.

Related: FIRE Fitness Gols Evolving

My son recently sent me this great National Cancer Institute chart that shows how important keeping moving is to your overall health. As I’ve written before, few people get even close to 10K steps a day .

EAT WELL

I love eating out, but I haven’t ever loved eating salads. I guessed that I maybe had a salad as an entree once last year, so I made a pledge to eat 2 salads a week in 2020. That would be 104 salads for the year, or about 15% of my total lunch & dinners.

Related: Adulting With Sensational Salads

Through last week, I’ve stayed right on my goal. I’m exactly 1 salad ahead of my goal through the 4th of July. I’ve found a handful of restaurants that have great salads available, even with the CV-19 restrictions. As more places open up – like our local grocers’ salad bar – I have more & more choices. I’ve also stayed away from the junk food ‘crispy/fried chicken’ salads.

I still have a cheeseburger, BBQ, or a Mexican lunch now and then, but you’d be surprised how much less time you have for indulgences when you are trying to fit salads into your week more often.

MEDICATIONS

One of the frustrating parts of having had a heart attack is the number of medications I take when I get up and go to bed. I have blood thinners, statins, and other pills that I have to take and haven’t even bothered to find out what they do. I just take them and figure the health professionals have me on the right stuff.

Thankfully, none of them are very expensive on an ongoing basis. One is just baby aspirin and another is nitro glycerin, which I keep with me, but don’t take unless I have another ‘event’. Thankfully that hasn’t happened.

LOOKING FORWARD

I’m happy with the progress I’ve made in these three areas over the last 6 months and will try to keep ‘on plan’ through the end of the year. It’s inevitable that my streak of closing my Apple Watch fitness rings will come to an end at some point, but I’ll do my best to stretch them as long as I can.

I really appreciated all of the encouraging comments folks made on this site at the start of the year and suggestions of things to read or watch. I’ve incorporated many of those into my cardio recovery, so let me say THANK YOU to everyone that shared them!

How are you doing in your 2020 health & fitness goals?

Image Credit: Pixabay

7 thoughts on “Healthy Six Month Check-Up

  1. Congrats on keeping your fitness goals. My 2020 fitness goals are not doing so well. Working from home I am too close to the fridge and I started baking more. Whole wheat, chocolate banana muffins are not the worse things to eat but making them every week during this pandemic has not helped my waist line. The fact I only have to walk downstairs and work from my home office is great for commuting but all my meetings are virtual now so I am stuck in front of this screen for hours on end with no activity. At work I never took the elevators and would get 20 or more flights of stairs in a day walking to different meetings and working on the 11th floor. My bike ride commute is gone too. I still try to get out for an hour bike ride after dinner but lately this heatwave we are having makes it a challenge to get motivated to venture outside. Still trying to lose these extra 25lbs one way or the other. Want a fresh baked muffin?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually would like a fresh-baked muffin, but I’m not much for anything with banana in it. Just the chocolate would be great. I agree that being too close to the kitchen is a problem though. We have leftover brownies from a BBQ last weekend and that’s after two weeks of leftover brownies from Fathers Day. Really need to cut back!

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  2. May and June were perfect months for me. April I missed out on 2 or 3 days. But the better news is that my wife and I have been walking a little over 2 miles each day for the last 3 months or so and I’ve started back to jogging a few days a week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Perfect May & June is great! Terrific weather for walking lately. We’re in MN, so the winter is tough to get steps in. In the middle of summer, the steps come relatively easy!

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  3. I’m on schedule. I am sticking to my goal of three weight lifting days per week, but I’ve struggled a little on my cardio workouts, since some knee issues over the winter. I’m still not back to my pre-knee issue level, but getting there slowly and carefully. I am averaging just under 11k steps per day, which is off my 2019 average of 14k/day (again, directly due to a drop in running). I’m hoping to take my first short jog next week though! Had a great check up last week…blood pressure was good, cholesterol was good… so on track!

    Congrats on your six month anniversary!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OK, ThomH – I’m at 10,887 average steps per day and you said you are a little under 11K. We’ll have to compare at the end of the year to see how close we are at that point!

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