My Fitness And Health Routine

Something that is personally very important to me is that I stay fit and healthy for as long as possible in life. While I wouldn’t label myself a “fitness nut” or perhaps even a “fitness enthusiast” I’ve been happy overall with my attempts at staying decently fit for someone with a decently busy schedule of managing a career and a family with 2 young children. Lately I’ve been reading a book titled 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the wisest Americans, which is a book that’s largely made up of bits and pieces of interviews with older Americans (mostly people in their 70s and beyond; many of the interviewees are in their 90s). This book has reminded me that it’s not really death that people should be concerned with but rather it’s diseases–especially chronic diseases and especially diseases that are largely preventable (say, heart disease or diabetes) that we should be concerned with. I agree. One of the chapters in the book is “Act Now like You Will Need Your Body for a Hundred Years” and even just that chapter title really hit home for me. Not only do I want to live for a long time (reaching 100 is my goal & I believe I’ll get there) but I want to be healthy and active for as long as possible so that I can be be fully present for my family.

Anyhow, here’s a list of what I do (and most of these are things I’ve now been doing for at least a couple of years) to stay in decent shape. And by decent shape what I mean is:

  • I am by no means super fit. No 6 pack abs. I can’t dunk a basketball. I can’t run a 5-minute mile. You get the point.
  • I am content with my overall health & fitness considering my age and the stage of my life I’m in. Other than my cholesterol being slightly on the higher side, all my other numbers have looked good year after year.
  • I’ve been able to maintain my high school weight, which is kind of a silly goal that I have for myself, for life. I never want to exceed my high school weight into my 40s and beyond.

My routine, which doesn’t take up too much time is pretty simple.

Mix of weight training & cardio

During the course of an average week I work out 3 - 5 times, roughly 30-45 minutes at a time. I have 3 types of workout that I do and switch off consistently, which are: Lower body weight training, upper body weight training, and cardio. Due to the pandemic I have not been to the gym in nearly a year and while I initially had concerns about not being able to hit the gym, this has turned out to not be an issue for me at all. My weight training workout setup is pretty simple, which is as follows:

  • An adjustable workout bench (something that can be flat as well as go on an incline)
  • A set of dumbbells. I have a set of Ironmaster adjustable dumbbells, which I really like and I’m pretty certain will last decades as they’re built super well.
  • Resistance bands

For weight training exercise ideas I’ve often referred to the book The New Rules of Lifting. Having said that there are countless helpful weight training tips on the Internet.

For cardio I usually do one of the following:

  • Running: When the weather is at least semi-decent, I run outside (I hate running on a treadmill). While I don’t particularly enjoy running I do love how I feel after I finish a run. I usually run about 3 miles at a time.
  • Biking: Since about a year ago I’ve really been enjoying bike riding. I was riding a hybrid bike for awhile and then last year I decided to pick up a used road bike from a co-worker for $200. This has been perhaps my favorite purchase in all of 2020. I put on a pair of clipless pedals and have been spending a lot of time on this bike. When the weather started getting cold I decided that I would splurge on a nice bike trainer so I picked up a Wahoo KICKR Core, signed up for Zwift, and I’ve been loving it. I usually ride for about 30 minutes at a time.

Measuring & Tracking Progress

Many years ago when I started working out regularly I got into a habit of tracking my progress and I think this has helped me immensely with staying consistent for 15+ years now. Anytime I’m lifting weights I record how many sets, reps, and how much weight I am lifting. My cardio exercises are measured and tracked pretty much automatically for me thanks to technology (I mostly rely on Fitbit, Zwift, and Strava).

The other thing I do is that I regularly weigh myself–a few times a month on average. I have a Fitbit Aria scale that measures my weight & body fat and although I’m not totally confident that its body fat measures are always accurate, I’ve felt that it’s probably accurate enough for my needs.

Eating

Eating healthy has always been a struggle for me (like it is for so many people). There is one thing I’ve been doing for the last couple of years that’s been helpful for me, though, which is to limit how much meat I am consuming. I have a daily goal of having a meat-free lunch and/or dinner every day and what this has done for me is to get me into a habit of eating salad for lunch nearly every day. I’d like to think that this habit has had a meaningful impact on my overall health and fitness. 1 meat-free meal a day has been just-challenging-enough-but-not-too-hard for me to accomplish on most days which is another reason why I’ve been able to stick with this for a couple of years now and I intend on continuing for the foreeseable future.

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