For me, last year was The Year of Fitness. I spent all of 2010 focused on losing weight, building muscle, and generally improving my overall health. I had great success. And since the end of the year, I’ve managed to maintain my fitness with very little effort. (Meaning: I eat what I want — within reason — and I try to be active, including Crossfit workouts several times a week.)
That said, I feel like I’m still not exactly where I need to be. I don’t want to obsess over my weight, but I think ideally I’d be ten pounds lighter. Also, my flexibility sucks. It’s so dreadful that my doctor once told me, “You’re as flexible as a two-by-four.”
To that end, I’ve decided to spend two months making fitness job one again. During May and June, everything else takes a back seat to eating well and getting exercise. This is tough. Like everyone, I have a full schedule, and it’s difficult to squeeze in more time for exercise. But I’m going to do it.
Inspired by April and Sierra, I’ve started taking yoga classes to help with my flexibility. Now that the sun is here, I’m trying to walk three to eight miles per day. (Today, I may bike instead.) And I’m doing more yardwork, too. Plus, I’m diligently tracking my calories again.
My goals for May are to get my weight below 170, to drop my body fat below 23%, to boost my muscle mass over 37%, to burn more than 3000 calories per day, to walk more than 10,000 steps per day, and to get more than 110 minutes of exercise per day (100 minutes of moderate exercise and 10 minutes of vigorous exercise). Each of these is ambitious but doable. The only question is: When will I write about money?
Speaking of money, here are some of my favorite articles from around the web over the past week:
First, the folks over at The Motley Fool (home of GRS writer Robert Brokamp) shared two words that will save your retirement. The Fool’s advice isn’t anything you haven’t already heard before. In fact, if you’ve been reading Early Retirement Extreme (as I have lately), you already know what the article is going to say: Earning more is great, but spending less is the best insurance you can give yourself. Really folks, personal finance actually is that simple.
My friend Neal at Wealth Pilgrim had the germ of an interesting piece last week. He addressed the question, “Should we sell our home and become renters?” People are surprised lately when they hear me say that if I could do it all again, I’d rent. But it’s true. Sure, renting has its disadvantages, but there are plenty of reasons to consider it, too. Neal looks at some of the pros and cons. (In fact, I wish he looked at them even more in-depth!)
Kiplinger has a round-up of fifteen websites for finding online deals. We’ve discussed many of these before, but it’s nice to see them collected all in one place. And if you’ve never looked at deal sites before, you’ll probably want to read the article to familiarize yourself with them.
Finally, despite some recent GRS posts questioning the minimalist movement, it still has a lot of draw for me. It’s not that I want to own nothing. I just want to own less. Because of this, websites like The Tiny Life appeal to me. The Tiny Life is a blog all about tiny homes and tiny living. Here’s a recent Portland news story about “micro homes”:
(This comment from YouTube makes me laugh: “Moronic and a sign of socialism and communism that is now HERE in America. This is a dream? THIS IS A NIGHTMARE.” I just do not grasp how somebody makes the leap from tiny homes to socialism. It makes my brain hurt.)
To me, the drawback of the tiny homes in this news story is the price. Roughly $150,000? Holy cats! Part of the appeal of a tiny house is the cost savings. There’s no cost savings there. Sounds like a racket for the developers to me.
GRS is committed to helping our readers save and achieve their financial goals. Savings interest rates may be low, but that is all the more reason to shop for the best rate. Find the highest savings interest rates and CD rates from Synchrony Bank, Ally Bank, GE Capital Bank, and more.
This article is about Spare Change