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Four simple ways to be financially and physically fit in 2011

I ran across an article on U.S. News & World Report’s website about having a seven-figure retirement portfolio (http://goo.gl/SDMQ7) and another about retiring oversees (http://goo.gl/gH315).  Yes, these are both ambitious goals that many people dream of but never achieve. But you don’t have to be one of them.

Both of these things – and any other financial dream you may have – are entirely attainable. All it takes is a little planning and some trade-offs. That’s why I’m so excited about this month. I’m focusing on being financially (and physically) fit in 2011. Last week, I touched on automating your savings and other deductions so you’d have no excuses. I also talked about how making a positive change in one area of your life leaks over to others.

This week, I want to talk about simple ways to be both financially fit and physically fit. Your million-dollar retirement or your overseas adventures really start now. Here are four ways to make 2011 your year of all-around fitness.

Shop at farmers markets

You want to be financially and physically fit in the New Year, and a way to knock both of those out of the park is by eating locally grown produce. Fresh fruits and vegetables are good for you, and shopping at markets is cheaper (and less time consuming) than shopping at the store.

Cook more meals

Easier said than done, I know. But his goes hand-in-hand with shopping at the farmers market. Once you’ve saved yourself a few dollars on packaging by forgoing the grocery store, you’ll be more motivated to experiment with different recipes. Cooking more and eating out less means you’ll know exactly where your money on food went and what you put into your body.

Pay more than the minimums on your debt

Stress is counterproductive. It causes premature aging, weight gain and an all-around pessimistic attitude. So instead of letting that debt nag you, be proactive! Pay more than the minimum on three of your outstanding debts this month. If it’s $5, great! Ten dollars? Even better. When you take steps towards paying down your debt – no matter how small those are – you will feel less stress and accomplished.

Walk (or bike or run or roller blade) to work

At the time of this writing, it is 15 degrees (with a wind chill of -2) and there are three inches of snow on the ground here in Chicago. That didn’t stop a lot of people from biking, taking public transportation or walking to work.  Yes, those people are inspiring and incredible to watch. But if they can do it, why can’t you?

Leave your car at home once or twice a week. You’ll save money on gas, cut greenhouse gas emissions by 1600 pounds a year (source: http://goo.gl/tbcYj), and you’ll be getting some good exercise. It’s never too early to get ready for bikini season!

Tags: fitness, fit, get fit, save money, saving money, money saving tips, Julie Murphy casserly, emotion behind the money, jmc wealth, 2011, new year, new years, exercise, healthy eating

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