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Archive for June, 2010

Five things worth buying for your health

Friday, June 11th, 2010

What is worth buying?  Its something I get asked fairly frequently and something I seem to think about frequently.  The funny thing about it is, it seems to vary from one day to the next what I think is worth it.  Some days I think my collection of tequilas was worth buying and other days (particularly mornings after) where I think they were the worst investment I’ve ever made.

All joking aside, there are things that I never regret buying and have told myself over and over again what a great investment they were.  For today I am still on quite a health kick that my wife and I got on before we went on vacation to Mexico (another thing worth spending on, that I will talk about sometime soon!).  So today here are five things worth investing in for your health that I do not regret spending money on.

1)  Ipod
I have had a second generation ipod nano for what feels like forever.  Its the little black square one that holds I think 2 or 4 gigs.  It is by far the most long lived $100 I have ever spent.  I listen to music everytime I work out and I have a psychological dependence on music for some sort of rythm while running or lifting.  If you do not need that, more power to you.  If you find music motivating, get yourself one.  You don’t need a brand new shiny one, get a refurbed old model.  In fact, I have gone through more ipod armbands than I have ipods (3 to 1).

2) Comfortable Clothing
When I was a kid I used to run with my dad.  We would routinely run two miles.  Since then I have never done any serious running outside of a sports environment.  I started to try to get in my cardio when I realized that I was much fatter than I had been in years and I did not have time to joing 4 sports leagues to get my cardio in.  I quickly realized that it was not as simple as when I was younger; aside from being winded quickly, I was uncomfortable.  To be blunt, I was chafing badly and it made it miserable to run.  I went to a local running place and bought a pair of running boxers for $30.  Immediate difference.  I could focus on running instead of focusing on being uncomfortable.  I soon was up from half a mile to nearly 4 miles.  As a side note; if you have not run in a long time and are out of shape, be careful of shin splints, that was my main limiting factor.  I went from 223 lbs to a very lean 197 lbs.  See picture.

3) Gym membership
I know many people think this is a waste of money but I disagree.  If you use it, it is an excellent investment.  I simply cannot exercise at home.  I dont have a weight set but even if I did I would probably use it as much as the treadmill we do have; not at all.  The gym is close to my work and I try to go at lunch.  Even if you are intimidated by the people there, give it two weeks and suddenly the huge musclehead is not intimidating but rather a familiar face.  There was a very very overweight older gentleman that was going at roughly the same time as me and when I saw him in there I admired his sticking to it and actually found it motivating that he was trying so hard.

4) Healthy Food
My wife and I grill fish.  A lot.  Fish is more expensive than hamburgers.  We do not care.  The healthier food is worth it.  This does not mean you need to go to an organic food shop and spend 10x as much as you usually would.  It just means means choosing healthier foods from your regular supermarket even if it does cost a little more.  For example; try getting lean turkey burgers instead of 70/30 hamburgers.  Buy spinach and steam it.  Buy cucumbers and cut them up and make a salad.  Hell, right now, corn is selling for 3 for a dollar.  Another big winner here; protein powder and skim milk.

5)  A regular checkup
I am terrible about this.  I hate going to the doctor and I had paying to go to the doctor.  I hate waiting in the waiting room.  I hate waiting in the office once you get called back.  Pretty much I just dont like any of it.  But lets face it, as you get older you need to get examined once a year.  You owe it to yourself and your family.  Most people have some sort of insurance particularly around preventative care.  Use it!

Everyone feeling motivated?  Alright, lets spend (a little) money!