Something struck me the other day as I was watching yet another documentary on good food to eat and that kind of stuff. If you want to attain financial independence, you have to live long enough to get there. It’s true that a lifestyle change will bring happiness during the process as well as to ensure that you have the most chances to reach this goal, putting all odds on your side you must (copyrights Yoda)! This post states what I think is the best path to long life, take it or leave it!
I’m a big fan of odds especially when they’re easy to figure out. Sometimes too easy that people just can’t believe it. An example I’ve given in another post is lottery. The odds are so not in your favor that everyone seem to believe that they are. Quite weird isn’t it?
The point of this post is to try to tell you to start moving and cook great food instead of eating crap and doing nothing all day long! Straight up like that! To FI everyone!
That’s a given, we don’t do enough exercise. I am no exception and surely not teaching you anything by saying that. The books and studies on the subject speak for themselves. Diabetes and cancer are way too frequent and killing more and more people every day. I’ve found a few small tricks to include exercise in my daily work life and save money at the same time!
Biking is a great thing because you can get somewhere fast and build up some leg muscles at the same time! It gives you the opportunity to spend time outside and with your partner if you have one or your friends. Most cycle pathways are in great shape since no big trucks are rolling on them (yeah! no potholes!). Mr. Money Mustache has a lot of articles on biking if you want to read a bit. Here is one example.
Something I do every day, three times a day and especially when it’s sunny outside. I get out from my seat in front of the computer to get around for 5 to 10 minutes and then come back in. Not only does this give me more energy to write code but it also refreshes my ideas. Whenever you have a job in which you’re stuck at a desk you really should take time to rest a bit.
Taking the stairs
No pain no gain! No elevator is allowed here! Why take the elevator when you have legs to walk, it’s just too easy to be lazy, I’m always telling myself: if one day I lose my legs for whatever reason then I will be allowed to take the elevator. The guy in a wheelchair must be looking at us telling himself just how stupid we are. Avoid the elevator if you can!
Training or Any Other Sport
Training is great for health if done correctly and it’s not the only activity you can do, any sport would do at least once a week for one hour. I know changing habits is not easy but it’s worth it. Personally I would say to start with the three above and then get to this one later, that’s what I’ve done and training or a sport comes naturally.
Create Excuses to Move Around
One funny thing I do is to actually put the garbage and compost bins farther away from my apartment so that I have to walk more. It’s an idea like any other to make sure to move as much as possible. I’m sure you can find other ideas to make you walk around a little more and keep that heart beating and strong!
Food is this area that makes most difference in the health and quality of life (my opinion). Taking the time to cook good food and reduce the meat amount in your plate can really make a difference in how you feel and how long you will live. Don’t take my word, take the word of the head scientist of a research center on cancer in Montreal, Dr. Richard Beliveau.
One other factor is biologic food, it’s most probably good for you but as Dr. Beliveau says, if it’s just for the price then it’s way better to eat standard vegetables than not at all, eat veggies (from Decouverte, Radio Canada/CBC).
Less Milk Products
It seems like we’re not made to digest milk products as much as we were when babies. Dr. Beliveau says it might also reduce the rigidity of our bones rather than strengthen them. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not because milk is white that it equals bones.
I’ve always been a big fan of milk products but I’ve reduced them to the point of a once a week thing which is plenty if you get your calcium from a lot of other greatness!
More Veggies, More Beans!
If you’re going to cut meat a little, you will need it replaced by something! Beans and nuts contain proteins in huge quantity and can cover for the meat that you won’t eat. You can add beans in just about anything and there are plenty of types that exist. Need more information on the subject? You can buy this book.
Eat at Home
Eating out is good from time to time but honestly, we all know it’s not good for health and for the wallet. Most of the time the food in low-medium class restaurants is filled with sugar, salt and fat. It’s a much better idea to cook at home and take the time to pick what you like and what’s good for your health at the same time, while saving money!
Quit Smoking Now!
Smoking not only costs a lot (around 2000 to 3000 $ per year) but also decreases your lifespan and increases your chances for a lot of diseases. I don’t even need to quote any research for that, it’s a given, everyone knows how bad this habit is. Bullshit for the body.
Sugar is the worst and it’s most probably not the first time you hear that. We eat too much of it and it ends up feeding diseases more than we can beat them. Sugar in the sense of refined sugar because it’s too easy to process to our body and gives sugar rushes that are not good for our organs. If you want more information on the subject and to get a better idea of how what we eat affects us, please refer to Dr. Beliveau’s article on the subject.
The Impact of Lifestyle Change
As Dr. Beliveau says, lifestyle change accounts for most part of cancer prevention. That means that if you want to increase your chances of living long enough for financial independence, you must confront one of the deadliest disease on earth. That by making sure you keep an healthy lifestyle!
Feel free to read through the pages of the linked post, they explain a lot and give multiple statistics you can base your opinion on!
Reduce your Stress Level
Yoga, meditation, whatever, try to find something to reduce your stress level as it’s been identified as a potential cause of many heart diseases and even cancer. Any activity to calm down and do something else than work can be good. In my case, it’s writing this blog.
Get Some Sleep!
I have to admit that I still have a bit of work to do on this one! I am not the kind of person who likes to sleep but sometimes I have to listen to my body. We need to sleep to reduce stress and think faster and sharper. I suggest you invest in a good mattress to make sure you can recover properly from your work day.
The Goal is to Start!
In the end, the goal is simply to start somewhere and keep adding and adding until you reach the point where you feel more comfortable living. In my opinion, living an healthy life is not bound to be expensive but the other way around. More healthy people, less crowded hospitals, more money to put elsewhere. Remember to always do your research because something might work for one person and not for another, you know your body better than anyone else.
Happy life changing!