In the last couple of years, I have spent a lot of time trying to learn more about effective workouts and better dietary habits. While I have always exercised and been cognizant of diet issues I've made a lot of changes/improvements after doing a lot of research (this is an ongoing process). There are two big reasons driving this, one is my desire to age well and have an increased healthspan (be able to do the things I enjoy to an older age than what is typical, like fighting fires), all the better if it results in a longer lifespan. The other big reason is something that a more experience fire chief told me quite a few years ago which is that a chief of a small department needs to be able to get it done (that is actually my takeaway from a slightly different message).

This is of course about setting an example. If the chief doesn't put serious effort into being fit then why should the rest of the firefighters? I wouldn't tell other chiefs they should do this, it is simply what I think is right for me and Walker Fire.

The natural tendency as we age is that we become frail, people generally start to very slowly lose muscle mass in their late 20's and it accelerates as we get older. Also, as we age it becomes more difficult for the body to process certain types of food, all things being equal we become more resistant to insulin, you can look up why that is bad, but it leads to a lot of negative metabolic outcomes.

As best as I can tell, there isn't much debate about the above mentioned realities. There are several behavioral components to managing these realities which is where the arguing begins. Actually I don't think people say lifting weights is bad up to a certain age. I would argue the "certain age" is BS with the 78 year old dude at my gym who decline benches 500 pounds as exhibit A;

Prescott seems to be a mecca for successful aging, and I see people who appear to be older at the gym doing various forms of resistance training with weight. Age is only an issue if you make it an issue. The list of musculoskeletal and metabolic benefits of lifting weights is incredibly long and touching on a lot of them would take thousands of words.

There is far more controversy over diets and I am aware of two big arguments; low carb versus not and carnivore versus vegan. I think there is universal agreement on all fronts though that processed foods are bad for us. I also think that everyone accepts that too much sugar is unhealthy. If you believe in low carb then what you think of as "sugar" is a much broader definition than soda and candy. I have come to buy into the idea that carbs, all carbs, are sugar. A breakfast consisting of a glass of orange juice with a bowl and a half of raisin bran is a sugar bomb combo that will cause your insulin to spike (you can look up why that is bad). Bread, pasta, rice and so on are all carb heavy and if you believe that carbs equal sugar then you would greatly reduce your intake of these types of things.

There are quite a few more related topics like intermittent fasting which promotes autophagy (look it up) that I have learned about and I share what I find on Twitter and with friends on Facebook as well as at fire training with the firefighters. I try to frame it as this is what I have learned and the conclusion I have drawn for myself but you should do your own research and draw your own conclusion.

These posts draw a lot of interest and discussion, quite a few friends and firefighters have made some changes for the healthier.

There's a lot of a complicated science here that you could spend all day every day sorting through but there is a simplicity to it also which is that on some level we all know we should exercise more and eat less sugar. That is simple to understand even if there is debate on the details but it is not necessarily easy to do. People love their Starbucks Frappuccinos, Pizza and so on and finding time for the gym is always challenging; it's not easy. People know what to do but doing it isn't easy. We have one relatively young firefighter who has not been able to successfully packtest (minimum fitness standard to work on a fireline is a three mile hike in 45 minutes wearing a 45 pound pack) for quite a while, they seem to pride themselves that they drink a large Dr. Pepper every morning which is about the worst thing anyone could do metabolically and I believe single handedly accounts for their inability to pass.

"I can't give up..." or "I don't have time for..." is what makes these things we know we should do difficult to actually do but they are simple to understand. Repeated for emphasis.

There is a direct corollary to personal finance and investing. On some level, just about everyone knows they should save money, live below their means and not sell low in some sort of panicked state. These are all very simple to understand but not necessarily easy to do. It is very common, during a large sell off in markets to wonder if this one is somehow different, it isn't, the details will be different but the market manifestations will be the same. It is very common to react to a neighbor/relative/friend getting a very expensive car and to feel some envy and want to go out and get something similar. In reality, having a brand new vehicle that would incite envy in others is probably pretty low on most people's list of priorities but nonetheless people stretch anyway.

I wouldn't push on anyone's lifestyle "I can'ts...," people need to sort that out on their own but not panic selling is a crucial building block of success for investing. The next one won't be different. If right here right now while you're probably not that stressed about markets you do believe the next one will be different then you should sell right now and never look back because you're likely to sell at some lower value than you have now.

Every aspect of your life will be easier if you do the simple things to be physically healthy and financially healthy and the good news is you already know what to do.