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  • Writer's pictureThe Thrifty Pilot

Investing in yourself

One of the most important and cost saving methods in life is staying healthy. As a pilot, staying healthy is extremely important as not only are you trying to ensure that you pass your medical (or continue with your BasicMed), but you have a responsibility to others to ensure that you can complete your flight safely.

So, how do you do all of this?!?

Set goals.

You plan everything in flying and you do this so to help ensure a successful mission. Just in flying, the key to success in health is setting SMART goals.

S.M.A.R.T Goals

  • Specific (simple, sensible, significant).

  • Measurable (meaningful, motivating).

  • Achievable (agreed, attainable).

  • Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).

  • Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).

Make sure that you set milestones and reward yourself for meeting your goals; this will keep you motivated. Set short term and long term goals. For example, when I completed my workouts I would reward myself by setting up some time where I could make and enjoy a protein shake. As a longterm goal, I promised that after 90 days of not missing a workout, I would buy a new headset.

So, how do you "get healthy"? Here are a few ideas to get you going:

Go for a walk!

This is the easiest way to get active. To help, measure yourself by downloading one of the many pedometers available for both iOS, Android and mobile windows platforms. Most of these applications are totally free and a great way to see how you are doing in your milage.

Don't Smoke

I know, more easily said than done. However, quitting will give you a huge boost in health. Of course, buy quitting you will save a ton.

Join a team

There are many opportunities for individuals now to join sports teams. These teams are at most times community, school or work based. These teams usually include other people that want to have fun while staying active. Don't worry even if you don't think that you are "good" at a sport just go out and give it a try - you might be very pleasantly surprised.

Join an online group

There are many...many on-line groups that will help you maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. There are many groups that are available that provide support. Check out Facebook to join one of the many groups that are there to provide support and advice to achieve your goals. Make sure that you check with your doctor before starting any programs (especially ones that are found online).

Limit your alcohol

Again, easier said than done. However, an easy way that I was able to limit alcohol was to only have drinks during the weekend. This worked better than I thought, as after five days of not drinking, I actually noticed that I didn't want to drink over the weekend! The want just wasn't there to drink. You will also save a ton by not buying these types of drinks.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Working out is only half of the equation to becoming a more healthy person. Stick to eating more fruits and vegetables and reducing sugar. Sticking to healthy foods is a much better approach to any type of dieting.

Workout without leaving the house

From a very personal perspective, the most impactful way that I was able to get in shape was to start working out in my house. By working out in my home, I really had no excuse to not work out as the only travel I would have to do was walk upstairs. The program that I utilized was P90x. This is a tough program and really kicked my butt - even more than going to the gym for a couple hours. In this program, you perform different exercises every day. There are 12 DVDs that workout all areas. I went from 200lbs at 5'9" to 165 after I had completed the program.

Even if you do not go for P90x, working out at the house has many benefits. You always are close to your workout area, you don't have to worry about being bashful or self-conscious, you can workout when you want and wear what you want!

No matter what method you chose to workout, the decision you make to get/stay healthy will dramatically change your life. The costs associated to an unhealthy lifestyle are much more than those associated to healthy people. No one will be able to fly forever, however staying healthy will greatly increase the probability of you flying longer.

Links to everything you would need for P90x:

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