Poll

How has FIRE affected your health?

Positive effect
24 (46.2%)
No noticeable effect
2 (3.8%)
Negative effect
2 (3.8%)
Too early to tell
3 (5.8%)
Not FIRE yet
21 (40.4%)

Total Members Voted: 52

Author Topic: How has FIRE affected your health?  (Read 4686 times)

dougules

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How has FIRE affected your health?
« on: January 06, 2020, 03:18:57 PM »
I get from what I read that FIRE has had positive effects on some people's health.  It seems like having less stress and more time to cook healthier and exercise would have a whole lot of positive benefits.  I'm curious to get an idea from those of you who have been there a little while what your personal experience is there. 

herbgeek

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Re: How has FIRE affected your health?
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2020, 04:37:51 PM »
Because I now have the time, I signed up for 2 weekly strength training classes and a yoga class, on top of the 5.5 hours of exercise I'd already been doing.  I no longer sit statically most of the day.  I also don't have to keep my self going mentally by indulging in little treats throughout the day.  I'm not stressed, I'm getting more and better quality sleep.  Its been really good.

rachaelandthegoose

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Re: How has FIRE affected your health?
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2020, 05:19:56 PM »
FIRE gave me the sense of empowerment I needed to move to a lower stress, less ambitious job with a shorter commute. That alone has helped me to drastically reduce anxiety-related health issues that I had for 10 years prior to that. There are other small things, too. Knowing I won't be at the grind forever makes it easier to work out on weekdays when I really don't feel like it.

I also just feel like FIRE re-ignited (some pun intended) a love of learning in me that had been dormant up to that point. That "hey, what a cool idea!" feeling we got from first discovering that FIRE was actually possible became infectious. This has helped me learn a lot of skills that make me more self-sufficient, and some are definitely health-promoting - honing my cooking skills, learning about fermentation, working on more gardening projects, researching at home bodyweight workout routines, etc.

soccerluvof4

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Re: How has FIRE affected your health?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2020, 04:46:43 AM »
I marked Positive but it wasn't easy. I lost 60lbs really quick when I first Fire'd and for the first 3 years things were great. Overtime though things turned as I need double knee replacement and probably hips along with some other issues BUT in being honest with your question they most likely would be worst if i didn't take care of myself as soon as I fire'd. I will be 5 years Fire'd April 2nd

Malcat

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Re: How has FIRE affected your health?
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2020, 05:28:36 AM »
Not FIREd, but mostly retired.

I don't even want to consider how my body and mental health would have ended up had I not left full time, gruelling work in my 30s.

I was overloaded though. DH on the other hand isn't at all overloaded by his job, he exercises quite a bit daily, could give or take alcohol (as in, he doesn't drink for stress relief), sleeps well, meditates, and is healthier and happier than he's ever been.

It all depends on whether or not you are able to craft and sustain balance. For me, dropping the majority of my work was critical, but for him, I seriously doubt working less would cause any improvement to his health.

Greystache

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Re: How has FIRE affected your health?
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2020, 08:41:16 AM »
My physical and mental health have both improved. I used to have pretty constant low-level back and hip pain. It's amazing just how destructive siting at a desk for 8 or 9 hours a day can be.  I still get aches and pains, but now I have to earn them by over working my body in exercise and sports.  I think the biggest improvement is in my mental health. Much less stress and no sense of dread every Sunday night.

sui generis

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Re: How has FIRE affected your health?
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2020, 09:12:04 PM »
I said no effect.  We ate quite healthily before I retired and that hasn't changed.  We're making some moves to more of a plant-based diet, but we're mostly vegetarians anyway and this will be a marginal change.  I do work out a little bit more now that I did before, maybe just a notch up on the amount of time and intensity of my workouts, but otherwise life is similar (my volunteer gigs are mostly sedentary, and I spend a lot of time on those).  Combine that with the fact that I'm also almost two years older and am definitely noticing a few new aches and pains and feel like maybe any increase in exercise is just enough to counteract some age effects.  I don't see much if any difference.

firefamily

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Re: How has FIRE affected your health?
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2020, 09:50:52 AM »
My health is the best it has been in many years. It's hard to know how much is being FIREd and how much is that we relocated to Florida immediately after FIRE with sunshine and climate that affords us the ability to be outside year round, etc, or what, but here are the main improvements in the 2 years since FIRE:
-no doctors visits for anything but well-person checks (before I had some major issue at least once every year or so)
-haven't gotten sick except one small short-lived cold (I used to get a cold/sinus infection/bronchitis about 4 times per year)
-I lost a couple inches around my waist (only about 5 lb lighter on the scale, but no need for weight loss) and now run faster than I did in college cross country.

dougules

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Re: How has FIRE affected your health?
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2020, 10:15:09 AM »
My health is the best it has been in many years. It's hard to know how much is being FIREd and how much is that we relocated to Florida immediately after FIRE with sunshine and climate that affords us the ability to be outside year round, etc, or what, but here are the main improvements in the 2 years since FIRE:
-no doctors visits for anything but well-person checks (before I had some major issue at least once every year or so)
-haven't gotten sick except one small short-lived cold (I used to get a cold/sinus infection/bronchitis about 4 times per year)
-I lost a couple inches around my waist (only about 5 lb lighter on the scale, but no need for weight loss) and now run faster than I did in college cross country.

If Florida has been good for your health, and FIRE made the move to Florida possible, then I'd say it's still an indirect benefit of FIRE. 

firefamily

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Re: How has FIRE affected your health?
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2020, 10:44:42 AM »
True. We couldn't have moved to FL without FIRE.

BECABECA

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Re: How has FIRE affected your health?
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2020, 11:17:01 AM »
Looks like so far Iím the only negative effect vote...

FIRE has allowed me lots more time to help family on house projects, which has resulted in various injuries: a hairline crack to my knuckle, a gash in my knee, foot pain and swollen stiff hands.

FIRE has also allowed me lots more time for my hobbies. Iíve played lots more guitar and piano, which has caused my hands to be stiff and ache in general. And I joined 2 softball leagues and have since pulled both my quads, strained my shoulder, and now Iím dealing with a broken finger.

spartana

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Re: How has FIRE affected your health?
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2020, 03:53:37 PM »
I'll say positive. Was fit and healthy pre-FIRE but majorly stressed and probably borderline crazy trying to "do it all". Serious crying jags and no sleep and just wanting to GTFO NOW!! Crazy is not fun.

Just had my annual physical yesterday and am fitter and healthier now then pre-FIRE ( minus random injuries) even though I'm much older. And I'm much much much more relaxed and less stressed. FIRE life has been very good for me.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 03:56:01 PM by spartana »

Caoineag

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Re: How has FIRE affected your health?
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2020, 04:57:45 PM »
Positive. And I say this as someone who didn't wait until retirement to whip myself in shape and improve my diet. I started that two years before retirement and made dramatic progress. But work stress was insane, all free time was dedicated to down time or chores and exhaustion was permanent. Once I retired I had time to improve my diet and exercise routines further and it was easier than when working because I wasn't constantly exhausted and had more free time.

blue_green_sparks

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Re: How has FIRE affected your health?
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2020, 08:46:15 PM »
Weights and aerobics everyday. The first catnap since I was six. Time to prepare fresh food. I'll pass on the wine, thanks. Some of my older coworkers did not do well once they retired.

Monkey Uncle

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Re: How has FIRE affected your health?
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2020, 06:04:12 PM »
Definitely positive. 
More time to exercise.  Not chained to a desk all day any more.
More time to do physical labor a little at a time throughout the week instead of cramming it all into one or two days on the weekend.
I eat reasonable breakfasts and lunches, healthy snacks, and don't feel the urge to over-eat at dinner.
I drink a little less beer because I have less need for stress relief.
I've lost a good bit of weight.  Not sure how much because I don't have a scale, but my waistline is now similar to what it was 25 years ago.
My blood pressure declined from the pre-hypertension range to normal.
No more low back pain.
Of course I still have some stress from various life issues that are mostly beyond my control, but overall I am much less stressed than I used to be.
I sleep much better.
I'm more regular than I used to be.

freeatlast

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Re: How has FIRE affected your health?
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2020, 12:22:02 AM »
Positive!!! I early retired 1 year ago at 50. Took up kickboxing, spend more time spin cycling and fitness dancing.  Changed my diet to mostly unprocessed foods (still love my half bagel in the morning!) So far have lost 20 pounds and counting. I have actual muscles! I could not be active this much and eating as much fresh food that needs prepping if I were still behind a desk.

openroadadventure

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Re: How has FIRE affected your health?
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2020, 09:08:48 AM »
Super positive! My girlfriend and I can now hit the gym every morning without rushing to make it to work. We are also getting far better/more sleep which has been a huge plus. And most importantly, we have adjusted our diet to be way more whole-food oriented and balanced. When I was working (especially with travel) the chaos of a continuously changing schedule made having the discipline to do these things very hard (at least for me). Now it is almost second-nature and we feel the best we have in a long time (and only 6 weeks FIRE!).


JoJo

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Re: How has FIRE affected your health?
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2020, 12:53:10 PM »
This is super promising.  I'm on the cusp of retirement but having a problem that will likely greatly improve if I can get in better shape... one friend is giving advice to keep the job to keep the insurance. 

BigMoneyJim

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Re: How has FIRE affected your health?
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2020, 01:06:50 PM »
I put "too early to tell" on the poll, but I think it's going to be positive.

I'm a few days short of 4 months retired. In 2018/2019 I lost about 30-35 lbs while working but then went up as much as 20 lbs during the stressful 2019 where work was busy and I was mentally grinding hard on when to retire and if it was "safe" enough, so I was dining out more (less stressful than trying to stock & cook), and I dine out a lot in the first place.

The trend has reversed since retiring since I'm eating more at home, and I'm down 10+lbs since retiring, so another 10 lbs to go before I can start setting 20-year lows again.

But I've been *very* sedentary. The past couple of days I'm moving around more in preparation to hopefully move this year, and I expect to be more intrinsically motivated to get outside and walk around after the move.

dougules

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Re: How has FIRE affected your health?
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2020, 10:22:14 AM »
Super positive! My girlfriend and I can now hit the gym every morning without rushing to make it to work. We are also getting far better/more sleep which has been a huge plus. And most importantly, we have adjusted our diet to be way more whole-food oriented and balanced. When I was working (especially with travel) the chaos of a continuously changing schedule made having the discipline to do these things very hard (at least for me). Now it is almost second-nature and we feel the best we have in a long time (and only 6 weeks FIRE!).

Sleep is very underappreciated in terms of its health effects.  Honestly being able to sleep in is a major driver for me. 

PhysicianOnFIRE

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Re: How has FIRE affected your health?
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2020, 07:50:20 AM »
I said "positive."

I am exercising more regularly and just ran my first official half-marathon.

We always have time to prepare meals at home.

Less stress, as well. Sleeping better and longer.

I'm definitely living healthier since pulling the FIRE trigger six months ago.