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Old 01-29-2020, 08:07 AM   #41
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I always hated to exercise in the morning, but about 13 years ago my DW pushed for us to give it a try in the morning. When working, we would get up at 4:00 AM to do an hour of workout every morning. (Yes, everyone thought we were crazy.) However after many years of trying to maintain an exercise schedule, this one finally stuck. Now in retirement we still exercise at least an hour a day, but we get up later now (~5:00) and we lounge around for 1 to 2 hours prior to starting our daily exercise. We do a lot of other outdoor activities most days, but that is all "In addition to...not instead of".

I completely understand the best things of retirement from your original post...

Quote: ........My goal/desire is to go first thing in the morning, but therein lies one of the hardest problems for me. Getting up early is a lot like work and goes right to one of the best things Iíve found in retirement - getting up and having no commitment to do anything...

However in the end, nothing is free. Only you can decide if a healthy retirement is more important than a "no commitment" retirement.

Below are a few things that help my us to continue our exercise program:
- DW and I do it together, such that one of us can always push the other person on days we might not feel like exercising.
- Since we rarely exercise on vacations, we make it a point to start back up the FIRST morning upon our return home.
- We exercise at home (in a dedicated spare bedroom) to cut down on the time commitment required each day. I too like my hours of "no commitment" within retirement.

Well, got to go now. It's past 7:00 now. It's time to exercise.
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Old 01-29-2020, 08:13 AM   #42
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I started doing sprint triathlons. The sprint are the short races, typically 700 meter swim, 12 mile bike and 5k run (or walk). They really aren't that hard and training for them can be a lot of fun as you will mix up the three disciplines. Yesterday I went to the gym and ran 2 miles and then swam 1/4 mile. These are called "brick workouts" because your feet feel like bricks. I have encouraged my wife, kids and a few friends to sign up and we train together too. Last summer we raced as a team in the Nantucket Tri. I swam, my daughter biked and my DW ran. Turned it into a vacation and had a blast. If you're interested there is a wealth of info at:

The big thing is, once you sign up for an event you rarely miss a workout.
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Old 01-29-2020, 08:15 AM   #43
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I don't like the gym, so that doesn't work for me. I like being outdoors.

I walk at least two hours a day with my dog, sometimes three. He keeps up a pretty good pace. I also go for a bike ride a couple times a week. I enjoy both of those activities in their own right, apart from any exercise benefit. I never feel like I am pushing myself to do them.

That's the key for me -- find something you enjoy doing for its own sake, regardless of the health benefits. I've tried "disciplining" myself to stick with a regular exercise routine that I did not enjoy (e.g., treadmill, jogging), and although I did it for a while, it never held up over the long run.

In the evenings, I'll do a little resistance exercise -- push-ups, squats, that sort of thing. Helps me relax my body before bed.
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Old 01-29-2020, 08:15 AM   #44
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I developed the habit of running 5-6 days a week while I was working. I was what we call a Clydesdale runner...I was just into the obese category on the BMI. I did lose a little weight but not much. My other health numbers improved significantly, and I grew to enjoy and look forward to my morning runs. I got serious about it in 2016, and instead of just running, I “trained”, meaning each run had a specific purpose and goal, to help me get faster, have more endurance, and in the end lose weight. My goal was to be able to run a 5k in under 24 minutes and a half marathon in under 2 hours. Having this goal, in addition to loving the feeling I was getting from running made it pretty simple to get up and go. And I met those goals...not in an official race, but in my own time trials for upcoming races, and I lost a lot of weight in the process. I ended up not being able to do the races because my wife got sick. I’ve never liked weightlifting nor the gym, but we did get a membership and had a personal trainer for 6 months. That drained the budget without producing much in the way of results for me because I didn’t enjoy it. The biggest problem was that we travel a lot, and if you put the weights down for 3 weeks, then pick them up again where you left off, you get sore again. So, I was sore, all the time. Not the good kind, but seriously sore. We ended up dropping the personal training.

My point here is that you’ve got to find something that you enjoy doing. I never enjoyed weights, so without a trainer I wouldn’t really do it. And with our travels, well it just made things worse, because I wouldn’t do the body weight stuff our trainer gave us to do, because I didn’t enjoy it and couldn’t see any results anyway. But I did enjoy running (I’ve been suffering from an injury, so it isn’t as enjoyable at the moment, but I still do it, just less than I’d like). You may find that you like something that is a different kind of exercise that what you’d do at a gym. Maybe ballroom dancing. Maybe beach volleyball. Maybe running, supplemented with some swimming and biking. If you get into that, you may find that setting a triathlon goal might be helpful to keep you motivated. You don’t even have to do the event itself...just compete against yourself. Or compete against the results from a local triathlon, or 5K race, or half marathon. I’ve done that for all three. Loved it. But finding something you really enjoy doing, and setting goals to get better at it is, in my view, the key. For me, without these, I just won’t do it.
Find Joy in the Journey...
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Old 01-29-2020, 08:24 AM   #45
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I used to need to exercise in the morning. 1.5 years into retirement, I'm enjoying the fact that it can happen at any time of the day.

I go to a yoga class 2-3 times a week. Only exercise I've been able to stick with (12+ years now) because I truly like it. You many not like yoga, but keep looking until you find something you do. Weight lifting, whatever. Liking it (and the instructor) makes it much easier to get to the class.

I was afraid of falling off a two wheel bike, so I bought a Terra Trike. I love it, but we live where it snows, so there's usually a month or two where I can't ride it. In the summer, I do make myself get up early and go before it gets too hot. We also bought a used, step through stationary bike which isn't as fun, but gets the heart pumping when the weather isn't cooperative.

I recently bought a Samsung Active 2 watch, and it pesters me if I don't move enough each day. It's pleasant pester, so I'm complying.

Finally, the dog's pathetic eyes get to me every single time. "Mom, walk me, PLEASE". Lots of dogs in our neighborhood, so it's also a social activity.

Good luck and I hope something in my diatribe helps.
FIRE Class of 2018 @ 61

Old men and women sit in the shade of trees they planted long ago
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Old 01-29-2020, 08:26 AM   #46
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There are many small things that count as exercise. Gardening, mowing, parking far away, vacuuming, cleaning, taking the stairs even traveling. Walking distances in an airport, carrying luggage. Before we bought our ranch style house, we had many stairs to bedrooms and to basement. I used to run up and down the stairs. We also lived near good sized hills. We walked up and down those hills everyday. Now we live in corn/bean land, flat and boring.
"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
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Old 01-29-2020, 08:30 AM   #47
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I hike on local rural land trust and conservation land/parks every day after lunch with our two dogs. We did 485 miles last year. Been FIRE'd 3 years, and lost 24 lbs since retirement. I don't eat stupidly, but don't deny myself any food, trust me. I do find that when I prepare my own food, I generally make smaller portions.

When I lost all that weight in the first year, I seriously thought something was wrong. I was having some other minor symptoms with energy and nausea that were never diagnosed and have since went away. I used to tell my self my goal was to walk 6 days a week, but in truth, I generally make 7. Goal is 500 mi this year, that is about 1.37 mi a day average. I am not a morning person either and while our hike time is right smack in the middle of the day, it works fine. All my "busy" stuff is on my own schedule and I can make it work.

Our dogs drive me sometimes, the oldest turns 13 this summer. They STARE at me after lunch intently watching my every move, all hell breaks looks when I get my hiking boots. Occasionally on days when I really think I'd rather not walk, I get stared down and they make me go. New England winters can be tough. Cold and ice don't slow us down (I have spikes for my boots) but any moderate/deep snow and we don't fortunately, we are on schedule so far this year, January has been kind.

This is also my 44th year playing racquetball. I play twice a week, evenings, for 2-3 hours. On those days we take shorter walks, usually just about a mile. On most days, when I am playing, I feel like a 35 year old.

The morning after I play hard, I feel like a 78 year old.......!
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Old 01-29-2020, 08:30 AM   #48
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No training scheduled workouts for me, but not that I probably should. I walk, bike, hike, work on everyday projects and do work at the ranch etc.. I split wood all wood by hand(axe) and snow shoe, do many manual tasks during a weeks time.
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Old 01-29-2020, 10:02 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Jerry1 View Post
Getting up early is a lot like work and goes right to one of the best things Iíve found in retirement - getting up and having no commitment to do anything. And, if I donít get the exercise first thing in the morning, then it rarely happens.
I agree that getting up and having no commitment to do anything in retirement is a great thing. However, one great motivator for me is, the better physical shape I am in, the more options I have to choose from in what I decide I want to do. That makes it easy for me to get up in the morning - it will *help* support not having any commitments and give me a wider range of things to choose from.

My current schedule is going to the gym for a 90 minute elliptical/aerobics/weights workout every other day. On days I am not at the gym. I look for another activity to keep me active for at least 90 minutes. Examples including golfing by walking the course with a pushcart (a side benefit in in cold weather is that it keeps me warmer that riding in a cart, so I can golf in colder temperatures), a brisk (at least 3 miles/hour) walk, mowing using a push mover, bowling, a hike with changes in elevation, etc. Then there are the informal things such as running errands and doing as much walking as possible.

Getting those out of the way early makes me feel better for the more sitting (but not for too long) activities later in the day. In fact, I find that this level of exercise helps to clear my mind and helps with the mental pursuits I enjoy, like writing programs and playing with various software and hardware technology.

DW always kids that, because she has received compliments about me from her female friends who go to the same gym, perhaps she should "ban" me from going there. In truth, a big motivation is that DW really, really, likes the way I look... and that I have the stamina to back up what she sees . The compliments from her friends do not hurt .

At 61 I have no idea how much longer this will go on. That in itself is a motivator. Make hay while the sun shines.
FIREd date: June 26, 2018 - wwwwwwhat a rush!
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Old 01-29-2020, 01:10 PM   #50
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It is one of those things you just need to decide to do. I've always been a runner and enjoy getting outside, so that part is not a big deal. However, I prefer to run somewhere between 10AM and 3PM, keeping early morning free and relaxing. Late afternoon I rarely have the energy to go.

Lifting weights, which Dr. Doug says I need to do more of these days, is a different matter. I despise doing it though, over time, I do see benefits. I decide each week when I will do it. I try to balance lifting 2 days a week and running 3+ days a week. I hope to keep it rolling forever...I know...
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Old 01-29-2020, 01:16 PM   #51
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Basically, I don't like being weak and I very much enjoy the quality of life that comes with strong muscles, bones, and ligaments. I never have a sore back and I can pick up heavy thing without worrying about hurting myself. The benefits are countless and the negatives (when lifting is done correctly) don't exist. Plus my girlfriend thinks my muscles are attractive.

All that for 20 minutes of lifting 3 times a week....that's less than 1% of my waking hours. Best return on investment ever. That's my incentive.
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Old 01-29-2020, 03:34 PM   #52
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In winter, if i am going outside to walk or bike, I usually go in the afternoon when it is warmest outside, or work around the weather. In summer, I go when it is most comfortable but outside of commuting hours.

When I go to the gym it varies-usually afternoon. To me it makes no sense to hurry to the gym when it is most crowded. I do avoid evenings though.
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Old 01-29-2020, 03:40 PM   #53
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45 minutes on the treadmill 4-5 times a week and 30 pushups every day before my shower.
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Regular Exercise, How do you do it.
Old 01-29-2020, 03:59 PM   #54
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Regular Exercise, How do you do it.

I must admit that those of us to whom exercise is necessary but boring often find it hard to make the time. My goal is to exercise efficiently. I have a few daily exercises I do every day such as planks, stretching and some leg/knee exercises that help me recover from my surgery. Then I alternate others every other day, 6 days a week. Sunday (or a replacement day) is a day of rest. My goal is to get it all done at home in under an hour. I often listen to a recorded book or interesting podcast to alleviate the boredom.

The best exercise is to do active fun things. So, a hike, a bike ride on a local bike trail or just a walk on a sunny day is always good. Sometimes I will put a gallon or so of water in my day-pack to up the workout of a walk. If it gets to heavy, I just pour out some or all of the water.
The worst decisions are usually made in times of anger and impatience.
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Old 01-29-2020, 04:14 PM   #55
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For those who don't like exercising there are a few things that can help:

1. Find an physical activity you may not be the "best" way to get exercise compared to something else but some exercise is better than nothing. I lift weights and used to run and swim because that's what I enjoyed. But I'll never use an elliptical machine or go to yoga and if those were my choices I would do nothing.

2. Get a workout's a lot harder to blow off a workout if you know you'll be letting someone down.

3. Join a league if you can find an activity you like. You'll have scheduled games or events and you'll be more likely to attend.

4. Do the little things that increase your activity in your daily life. Park far from the store entrance, take the stairs instead of the elevator, etc. One of my former co-workers used to live on the 15th floor and made it a point to climb the stairs three times a day...she usually took the stairs after work, changed into shorts and then did them twice more.
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Old 01-29-2020, 04:20 PM   #56
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When Iím having the internal battle of working out vs doing something I feel more like doing at the moment, one mental exercise that works well for me is along the gratitude path. I remind myself that lots of people are totally unable to do this stuff, and would love to be able to run on a treadmill for a half hour again, but never will.

Or, that thereís a chance that later in my life Iíll not be able to do anything strenuous like this, and kick myself for not using my healthy body when I could.

Also, just committing to small steps can make a big difference, like ďIíll just start with 5 minutes.Ē
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Old 01-29-2020, 04:31 PM   #57
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A lot of people struggle with regular workouts. I can tell you, at least in my experience, it gets to the point that it is required every day and you look forward to it almost every time you do it. The feeling after the fact is great! Good luck!
Hoping to get out around September 1, 2022... I hope, I hope, I hope. Until then off to work I go....
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Old 01-29-2020, 04:54 PM   #58
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Like most good habits, I've found the key is to "just do it" for a couple of weeks, then it's a routine and is easier to maintain. Easy to say and hard to do, maybe. I'm in a similar situation to you in some ways; recently retired with a goal to exercise more, a reasonably-priced facility not too far from home, etc.

It was hard to get started, but I kicked myself in the tuchus until I finally got in the habit. Now, I can't say I always meet my goals, but I find it gets easier as time goes by.

I actually like going early but I've found it's more crowded than I would like if I go too early. I don't try to go at o'dark:30 but I'd like to be there around 8 or 9. However, that's when a lot of the other retirees go and frankly, too many of them treat it as their social hour and shuffle four abreast along the track having a party, park on the machines and yak it up, etc. I like to soak in the hot tub after working out sometimes, too, but the pool closes at 1:00. So I've found that going late morning is my sweet spot. YMMV of course.

Good luck! I lost 30 pounds without even trying the first couple of years of ER.
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Old 01-29-2020, 05:36 PM   #59
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I make a real effort to get to the gym every other day, sometimes every day. On non-gym days if the weather is halfway decent I'll go for a walk of about 30-45 minutes but I don't get stressed if that doesn't happen. DW is less committed to the "every other day is gym day" but does make it most of the time. The gym is ~15 min. drive (walking would be suicidal) and my workout is about 1:20 so including travel time we allocate two hours. Now I know why it's so hard to do that when you're working!

Yes, sleeping in is one of the luxuries of retirement and I'm sure not giving that up! So it isn't uncommon to arrive at the gym about noon or an hour or two later. A plus of that time frame is that the only people there are staff and very clearly retired people, with one or two exceptions. I suppose they're on lunch breaks since it's the same ones all the time. Having to wait for a machine is rare.

At 69, soon to be 70, I'm not trying for six-packs or anything either, I'm just trying to hang on to what I've got. Another strong incentive is noticing how scary fast the atrophy sets in if I skip even one day, let alone a week.
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
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Old 01-29-2020, 06:16 PM   #60
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I have always been an early riser. I can't shake the feeling that I will miss something. So that part and the fact that the cats get me up really early to be fed makes sleeping in impossible.

I use to be fairly active with running, bicycling, canoeing, and sprint triathlons. Unfortunately for more than a few years I was laid up with multiple surgeries and rehab. Since riding a recumbent trike is the only activity I can do these days I am out on the road every morning that it isn't raining. What really got me back into getting some exercise regularly was finding a friend that already had the daily habit. We typically ride early morning (about 7am although I usually get out a little earlier to put in 4-5 miles) and ride about 12 miles before going to a coffee shop for tea and socializing with other locals.

So get a friend and a couple of cats.

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