It's Time to Invest in My Health for Today and for Retirement

I woke up yesterday and found there was nothing I could eat in my house. Saturday was the start of the two month Whole Life Challenge and the nutritional guidelines, while not strict, require more thought than grabbing whatever is available. Today, I weigh more than I ever have, 198 lbs. I'm not fat, but I'm not fit and I feel it.  At 48, I want to do whatever I can to set myself up for a healthy life. When my friend Darrell told me he signed up for the 2 month Whole Life Challenge I was intrigued.  So on Friday, I took him out for a beer (you'll learn why in a second) to learn more.

Retirement Means Being MORE Active

Being healthy enough to be active during retirement is probably the top concern people have about retirement.  Baby boomers are changing the meaning of retirement. They're healthier, wealthier and more active than any other generation. They want to DO things when they retire.  They view retirement as the chance to do all the things they didn't have time for during their career. As one of my podcast listeners says, retirement "means the freedom to do what we want, when we want and were we want. We enjoy traveling, cruising and going to major league baseball parks.” I hear this sentiment over and over again from my clients and listeners.

Being Unhealthy in Retirement Can Be Expensive

Not only are listeners concerned about being active, they're concerned about the costs of not being healthy. Investing in your health may be the best returning investment you'll ever make. "According to the latest retiree health care cost estimate from Fidelity Benefits Consulting, a 65-year-old couple retiring this year will need an average of $220,000 (in today’s dollars) to cover medical expenses throughout retirement." (article)

"An unhealthy person earning $80,000 a year may need to replace up to 96% of his or her income -- or $76,800 -- in retirement, according to Fidelity Investments. Someone in better condition, by contrast, might need as little as $61,600, or nearly 20% less." (article)

It just makes personal and financial sense to set yourself up for a healthy retirement.

The Whole Life Challenge

Here's the challenge Darrell and I are doing.

The Whole Life Challenge is a 56-day, habit-changing, community-building game that helps you live a happier, healthier life by playing for points with friends. It gamifies getting healthier to help you build better habits in 7 areas:

(from the website)

  • Nutrition—You start the day with 5 points and subtract a point each time you eat food that is not compliant with the Whole Life Challenge rules at your level. Click here for complete lists of what is allowed and prohibited in each of the 3 nutrition levels of the Whole Life Challenge. (Darrell and I are doing the lifestyle level, so THIS is why we had that beer!)

  • Exercise—You earn 2 points each day for exercising for at least 10 minutes.

  • Stretching—You earn 2 points each day for 10 minutes of stretching.

  • Water—You earn 1 point each day for drinking 1/3 of your body weight in ounces in water.

  • Supplement—You earn 1 point each day for taking a dietary supplement.

  • Lifestyle—You earn 1 point each day for incorporating the weekly Lifestyle habit into your day.

  • Reflection—You earn 1 point each day for writing a short recap of how the Challenge is going, what you’ve noticed, what you’re learning or what you’re going to change.

MY Whole Life Challenge

Over our beer(s) Darrell convinced me to join him in the challenge. I'm a sucker for these things and the fact I am so unfit didn't hurt.

For me, nutrition will be the hardest.  I think I eat healthy but, my guess is, I really don't. Looking at the YES/NO list on the nutrition guide, it's going to be tough. No cheese? No bread? No crackers? No chips?? No beer???  To do this, I'll need to be intentional about preparing my meals before I get hungry.

Each Sunday, I'll post my weekly scorecard. you have my permission to call me out via e-mail, Facebook or Twitter if I fail to stick to the challenge.

Ready for YOUR Whole Life Challenge?

Join me!!  Registration is open until May 10th.  Sign up, let me know and together we'll work to build 7 healthy habits, some friendships and set ourselves up for a healthy retirement.