Fit and healthy 2019

For 2019, as an exception, I didn’t make the New Year resolutions.  During the last couple of years, I failed half of the goals miserably.  So, I decided to try something different.  At the end of 2018, I joined a virtual health club.

What is this virtual health club?

Oh, this is an online chat group (not a cult group).  Currently there are about 20 members.  All of them are my college buddies.  One of them is our team lead, an enthusiastic fitness guy, and the former soccer star in our class.

No matter where we are, and who we are, we share the common goal: become fit and healthy, and stay that way.  We encourage each other, and give the member thumbs up when he/she did a workout.

This goal sounds easier than done.  You know it involves a lot of hard work.

In my case, I become more motivated when working in a group environment.  If someone has just finished the workout, it reminds me that I got to do mine right now.  Get up from the chair or couch, and move around.

On the other hand, if someone is bragging about gobbling the Beijing Roast Duck in a nice restaurant, it makes me hungry:  I may have to go to the kitchen and look for snacks.  That’s the down side of retiring early.  The kitchen is just feet away …

I really like this health club.  It’s about friendship, fitness, and healthy lifestyle. Sometimes it’s also about humor, and goofiness.

How am I doing?

Walking 30 minutes every day has been my routine for many years.  If you are a gym person, that’s totally fine.  Everyone is so different.  I’m not a gym person.  There are several reasons:

  • Call me stingy if you want to, ha ha. I don’t want to spend money on the gym membership.  I’m very frugal.  Any unused gym membership would make me feel guilty, as I hate to waste the money.
  • I don’t feel comfortable doing workout in the gym environment. I like to exercise alone, and like fresh air outside.
  • Going to the gym means I have to drive there. I don’t want to drive 20 minutes just for the 30-minute workout, I feel it’s not worth the driving effort, though the gas price is low now.

As a result, I walk in my neighborhood every day.  It is cool to get out of the house, feel the nature and the change of seasons.

I do have a treadmill at home, and use it when it rains or snows.  The treadmill has been used for 13 years, and I like it.  It sits next to the window, and gets a nice view.  In this way, no excuse for skipping exercise.

When walking, my cell phone is always left at home.  There is nothing urgent.  After all, I’m retired, and don’t want to let the cell phone dictate my life.  There are much prettier things than the cell phone:  blue sky, trees, snow, sunset, birds, squirrels, and kids’ smile.

Don’t you realize the spring is on the way?  Flowers will be blooming very soon.  The daffodils and tulips are already breaking the ground.  Is that lovely?

I’m a fixture of the neighborhood: walk daily and religiously, on the same route.

During my 3.5-month long stay in China, some of my neighbors came over asking my family: “Where is Helen?  I don’t see her walking anymore.”  I’m glad they didn’t file the missing person report, just kidding.  I was in a rush last October, and didn’t get chance talking to them before taking off.

Now my workout routine has been changed a little bit since joining the health club.

To my neighbors, walking 30 minutes and 1.5 miles daily is quite impressive.  Actually I’m an underdog compared to my club buddies.  They walk 3-4 miles, jog 5-6 miles, or bike 15 miles daily, plus more activities.

Keeping up with the Joneses, huh?  I got to.  I don’t want to be left behind.  I agree with President George W. Bush: no child should be left behind (including adults, please).  So, I increased my daily walking from 30 to 40 minutes, and mixed it with a little bit jogging.  Rope jumping has been added to my weekly activities.

I also try to remind myself to get up and move around the house and yard more often.  As a habit from the years of working, I always like to sit in front of the computer.  This is neither good nor healthy.

To eat less is another thing I’m doing.  This is the hardest part, as I enjoy the food very much.  Did I tell you eating is one of my hobbies?  So far, I don’t have any weight problem, but it would be really nice to lose several pounds.

Another reason to be fit and healthy is the high health care cost in US.  As an early retiree, I can’t afford to be sick, and definitely don’t want to either.  Who wants to stay in the hospital?

I don’t want to live to the age of 100.  No, thank you.  To me, the life quality is much more important than the quantity.  Hopefully this workout helps me to have a healthy life.

How did it go?  So far so good for 2019.  As the weather gets warmer, I plan to jump the rope more, and walk more in the parks.

Dear readers, how do you keep yourself fit and healthy?  Please share your tips with us, thank you.

Now I got to stand up, and get some exercise.  Will chat with you next week.

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8 Responses

  1. Helen, My outdoor walking routing has taken a hit with the cold temps and ongoing snow making for difficult walking. I’ve been trying to keep up with stretching and light weights, but I miss my 3-5 mile walks. Tom

    • Retire Early Helen says:

      Hi Tom, 3-5 miles walk is very impressive. Now I walk 2 miles every day. Yeah, the winter weather in midwest could be difficult for outdoor activities sometimes. I could use the treadmill, but still prefer getting out if possible.

  2. Joe says:

    Great job so far. I prefer to go to the gym so I can use the weights a bit. But I enjoy walking too. Now that we’ve moved, I’ll have to walk a lot more.
    It’s half a mile to the gym and half a mile to the bus stop. I’ll get at least 2 miles in every weekday. That’s pretty good, right?

    • Retire Early Helen says:

      Thank you, Joe. That’s really nice you live within the walking distance from the gym. It makes perfect sense to do the walking and the workout at the gym in one trip. Walking 2 miles every work day, yeah, that’s very good. I just got a simple pedometer, and track if I could hit 10K steps per day.

  3. GYM says:

    I agree with you, I am not one for the gym. The barrier is too high to get there and find parking and too much time is lost out of the day. I just do workouts at home with Youtube, but lately they have shortened. Keep up the good work Helen, great job with your friends encouraging each other. My friend had a Fitbit and she was trying to compete with her other friend for 20,000 steps (or more steps than the other)- she found out he was sometimes just shaking his hand and cheating and she was so disappointed!

    • Retire Early Helen says:

      Thank you, GYM. I enjoy walking. It’s easy to do, and I can do it anytime. Yesterday I used the simple pedometer (the one I got from WalMart for 5 bucks) the first day, and it recorded 11K steps, not too shabby. Yeah, friends’ encouragement helps me a lot.

      That’s a funny story about your friend. She has reason to be disappointed. 20K steps per day is really great. That would be close to 8 miles, I guess.

  4. Caroline says:

    Hi Helen, I am with you on the gym membership. I did do it in the past but it doesn’t last and feels like a waste of money.
    As you know I have a 10,000 steps goal per month , but with the winter it has been compromised! I hate the cold.
    Now with the spring around the corner, I should get back to it. And just like you, I need to watch my food intake a little more:)
    Your virtual health club sounds great , but not for me either.
    Cheers

    • Retire Early Helen says:

      Hi Caroline, yeah, gym membership is a commitment. If people keep using it, that’s great. Otherwise, like you said, it could become a waste of money, which I hate to let it happen.

      10,000 steps daily is very impressive, and not easy to accomplish. I started tracking my steps this week. If I don’t walk outside for that 40 minutes, the 10,000 steps are hard at home, as I have to do the treadmill. Look forward to the beautiful spring.

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