When I get to FI or early retirement, I would hope that everything is healthy – my finances, my body and my mind. Looking around at many PF/FI blogs, this is something which many bloggers strive towards and I’m no different.
Of course, just as you don’t know what the stock market will throw at you to disrupt your investments, you also don’t know what life (and age) will throw at your body and mind.
In an attempt to keep disruptions to my finances to a minimum, I try to diversify my investments and live a relatively frugal life to keep expenses down.
In trying to keep my body healthy, I exercise regularly and have a (mostly) healthy diet. I drink alcohol moderately (on occasion, excessively) but I don’t smoke.
I try to keep my mind active by reading a lot (books and internet) and learning new things. I used to enjoy doing puzzles, eg crosswords and sudoku – maybe it’s something I need to start doing again.
While things continue to rumble on in the background at work
, I’m still able to enjoy the little things the company provides us from time to time – such as free mini health checks
The last one we had was to check our cholesterol and blood sugar levels – I was fine for both, which is good as diabetes runs on my Mum’s side of the family, in particular among the females..
This time round, we were checking our blood pressure, Body Mass Index (BMI), body fat / muscle mass and Metabolic Age.
My blood pressure was normal – in fact, low blood pressure generally runs in the family.
My BMI is 21.5, which is in the ‘healthy’ range. BMI is a number that’s calculated using your height and your weight. You can calculate your own here
My muscle mass is apparently quite a bit above average (for my gender and age group) – I guess this might be because I have included more core strength and weight-training as part of my gym routine this year.
My body fat mass is conversely very much below average, which surprised me until I saw my muscle mass number. Nothing to be concerned about anyway, it’s not like I’m skinny or underweight!
Metabolic Age is a number that comes from comparing your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) with the BMR average of your actual age group. BMR is a measurement of your body’s use of energy and is usually interpreted as the minimum level of calories your body needs in its resting state (including sleeping) each day.
The generic formula for figuring out BMR is based on gender, age, height, and weight. Depending on how you compare, you are assigned a metabolic age number that can be lower or higher than your actual age.
A metabolic age number younger than your actual age generally means that you are fitter and in better health than the average, the lower the age the better in shape you are.
Anyway, my metabolic age was 15 years younger than my actual age, so based on this test, it looks like for now, I’ll just carry doing whatever it is I’m doing (diet and exercise-wise) as it seems to be good for me!
If only doing this test actually turned back the clock on my actual age, haha! 🙂
One of the guys in our department whom we all know leads a very unhealthy lifestyle had a metabolic age 14 years OLDER than his actual age. When this happens, it generally indicates poor health and fitness concerns. The nurse who was conducting the health checks told him to make an appointment to see his doctor ASAP as his blood pressure was also dangerously high! Bit of a wake up call there!
All these checks are obviously just a basic indication of overall health – if anything untoward was flagged, people were advised to visit their doctor for a proper physical health check.
Apart from all this being pretty positive on the health front for me, it’s also good news because I had been concerned that when I set myself my budget of £25 per week on groceries, I would end up not being able to eat properly and that my health could suffer. It turns out this isn’t the case – I probably pay more attention to what I’m buying and eating to ensure my money goes further in the supermarket.
Some people also thought that with me brewing my own beer, I might end up drinking more but fortunately, this hasn’t been the case either although it has reduced my grocery bill somewhat as I no longer include alcohol in my weekly shop.
So my current plan appears to be working, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement as I’m finding I have to work harder to maintain my health and fitness as I get older (and I’ll be another year older next month!), just as I have to continue to work at saving / investing smarter and continue to keep my costs down to stay on top of my financial goals.
Keeping My Mind Active
Hot on the heels of this mini health check, the company organised a quiz night for us to exercise our brains! Sadly, my brain wasn’t as up to scratch on trivia and we couldn’t answer questions such as what was Elvis Presley’s best selling song, which was the 21st century’s best selling single in the UK and what is the name of the largest tectonic plate? Yes, it’s all very well Googling the answers now but no phones were allowed at the quiz table, so we had to rely on good old brain/memory power!
We came 4th (out of 7) but the main thing was that we beat the boss’ team, although as you can imagine, we didn’t rub it in too much!
Hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend!