The Top Ten Exercises For Early Retirement


Clearly. If you can get it.


To a point. It needs to be vigorous and it needs to be regular. I have a Fitbit and “all” it asks is you rack up 10,000 steps a day. The shocker to me was that on an average day in the office I’d maybe manage just over 2,000 steps. An average day hanging around the house will see maybe 4,000 maximum. So 10,000 a day, every day, is quite an ask. I did manage it for a year and, during that time, did not shift a pound in weight.


A great all round exercise marred only by the sheer boredom of it.


The thing I like about this – and I use the word “like” in a relative way, in the same way I “like” The Voice more than the X-Factor when I actually hate both – is that you always feel this is giving your body a work out. Running or jogging is tough and feels like work.

Kettlebell Swing

Check out the book Simple and Sinister by Pavel Tsatsouline to find out about this old Russian technique as a strength builder. Then add in the Turkish Get Up and burst into tears at the demands it makes on your old, fatigued body, you sissy. If you would like to know why you are a sissy, listen to this excellent podcast of an interview with Pavel conducted by Tim Ferris.

The Royal Canadian Airforce 5BX Plan

This is a set of five basic exercises (5BX) that can be done almost anywhere. It’s harder than you think, and demands that you follow the programme as laid out, ordering you to “Defeat the desire to skip a day. Then skip all such desires as they occur.” Tried and tested, it might put you off when you hear Jeffrey Archer is an advocate. Possibly because you can do it in a cell.

Joining a Gym

Attention all pensioners. When you join a gym, this means you occasionally need to use the equipment as instructed on the induction you received when you joined. It does not mean you do five minutes on an exercise bike, followed by a sauna, a dip in the jacuzzi, two lengths of the pool (breast stroke) before retiring to the cafe where you sit and read the free newspapers, FFS.


I’m putting this in despite a book that informed this was “almost meaningless” in terms of exercise! Well, yes, if you use one of those electric buggies, maybe. A round of golf at my course clocks up 18,000 steps on the Fitbit, so it counts in my book.


Like many of you I’m sure, I am beginning to despise the MAMIL’s (Middle Aged Men In Lycra) who increasingly populate the roads. It’s a great sport or pass time though, gives you plenty of fresh air, is a real skill to do quickly, confidently and safely, takes you amazing distances in not too much time and doesn’t put too much pressure on your joints. Your backside is another story, but eventually you get used to that.

Weight Training

You should really be doing some of this. Yes, it’s boring, you might feel like an idiot and surprisingly puny when you begin, but you progress quite quickly and most bodies seem to respond well to it. Body building, well, frankly, that’s for idiots.

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