The Mental To Physical Connection For A Healthier Lifestyle

La Paz, Mexico boat on clear water
Balandra Bay, La Paz

The mental to physical connection is so important for your well-being. If you only focus on one, you will feel unbalanced.

After my parents pep talk in the 9th grade, I realized there were two things I had to do in order to survive high school: 1) use my brains and 2) develop some pythons.

In other words, getting good grades, joining student government, and being a history buff wasn't enough. Sure, I may have an easier time getting into some fancy college, but how was I supposed to get into girls? “Hey pork chop, did you know that General Lee surrendered on April 9, 1865, marking the end of The Confederacy and the Civil War? Lez go out tonight!” “Girls, Girls, Girls” by Motley Crue played incessantly in my head at the time. Frankly, I can't imagine it being much different for a lot of other teenage boys.

I made it a rule to balance the mental with the physical by playing sports. As a teenager, I had a strong fear that I was going to be stuck in nerdom if I didn't. I was a study machine who needed balance. The sports that attracted the most groupies were football and basketball, but I was too chicken sh*t to bang down low. I chose tennis instead, which had decidedly less groupies. Good thing all you really need is one!

In the 11th grade, this cute girl slipped a note in biology lab with a cut out from Teen Magazine entitled, “You Know Your Boyfriend Is A Keeper If…”  To my surprise, #1 said: “Your man is the captain of his high school varsity tennis team!” Shwing! As captain of the HS varsity team, needless to say we had a frolicking good time….. studying for our biology lab final of course.


As an old man now, I look back fondly at high school and chuckle. For some men, physical attributes seem to take a back seat to career and wealth accumulation. “Who has the time?,” we often think to ourselves.

Rationally, we let ourselves go once we find our honey because we figure that our quest is done. If she likes our big guts, she must really love us. Maybe some women feel the same way. 

As soon as I get married I'm chopping off my hair!” confides a girlfriend. Chopped hair post marriage is a big fear for many men, but I'm sworn not to tell her fiance. What to do?!


It's not easy getting old. My knees creek and it takes longer to recover from any physical activity.  Yet, the physical pain feels so good afterwards, I can't help but keep on going. The problem with doing anything to the extreme is that things break down. We burn out, we get bored, we just stop doing it all together.

Part of the reason why The Yakezie Challengers are encouraged not to post everyday is because the risk of burn out is so real. Every single Yakezie Challenger shall succeed and nobody shall drop out!

Part of the way to ensure longevity is to match all mental activity with proper physical activity.

Examples Of The Mental To Physical Connection:

* After every written post, do 120 sit-ups and 60 push-ups. Write 3 posts a week, end up doing 360 sit-ups and 180 push-ups. The more you write, the more you exercise!

* After every hour of reading (work or pleasure), do 10 minutes of yoga or stretching. Read 6 hours a week, ensures an hour of peaceful limbering.

* After every TV show or sports game you watch, play an hour of your own favorite sport. If you don't play sports, go for a hike or a bike ride. If you can't go outside, spend the time cleaning the house.


By creating a mental to physical connection, you create better balance in your life. The link encourages you to do more of something you should do, while reminding you to do less of what you are already doing too much of.

Now if I can only remember the name of the girl from bio lab who slipped me that note. Off to do some sit-ups!


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69 thoughts on “The Mental To Physical Connection For A Healthier Lifestyle”

  1. Interesting, you’ve just described my early morning routine: a little keyboard time, a few reps of pull-ups, answer a few comments, do some push-ups, work on the budget, then swing the hammer around…

  2. I agree with the need to have balance between the sedentary work activities and physical exercise. I think it really helps to move slowly regularly(i.e. walking for 30 minutes a day) as well as doing stretches,joint mobility work or yoga to keep from developing the slumped posture that many desk jockeys develop from too much time at the key board and bodyweight exercises like pushups,pullups,cartwheels,sprints,fartlek,etc.

  3. Sunil from The Extra Money Blog

    for video game lovers, get a Nintendo Wii system and games that make you move around – like the sports package

  4. I’m yet to age I reckon… Though now i’ve found my “honey” i don’t really care about what I look like. I still keep fit though but thats for me. I’m just not worried about appealing to the broadest possible audience of women.
    .-= Bankruptcy Ben´s last blog ..FFJ – 44 Ways to Save Money =-.

  5. diyworkouts

    Definitely sounds like a great idea. I have some trouble pushing myself enough when I’m at home. The way I was able to offset that was with at home workout programs. It’s helped me save a ton of money off of a gym membership that I never found the time to drive over to and get a good workout in. There are some great at home exercise programs out there such as P90X, Insanity and others depending on what type of exercise you like.
    .-= diyworkouts´s last blog ..Tony Horton on Avocados: The Poor Man’s Butter =-.

    1. Home work outs sound like a good medium. I do home Yoga for 20 minutes a session, which I find enough to capture my attention and do enough body elongation. More than that though, and I get bored.

  6. I’m not sure if I can answer the reason as to why there are more groupies in b-ball and football instead of tennis – maybe because the balls are bigger! LOL

    In all seriousness though, you hit the nail on the head when it comes to striking a balance in life as it related to physical and mental connections for a healthier lifestyle. Recently, I’ve been working harder on the physical side of the balance to ‘balance things out’ (if that makes any sense).

    Great thread. It’s a good motivator in a sense that it stresses the importance of balance for a better life in general.
    .-= The Rat´s last blog ..100th Post From The Rat =-.

      1. Thought you’d like that one! LOL
        Thanks for wishing me good luck in the challenge; great work.
        .-= The Rat´s last blog ..100th Post From The Rat =-.

  7. You picked up the old Latin adage, “Mens sana in corpore sano” – a healthy mind in a healthy body, didn’t you? I try to follow that adage, too, but like so often I take everything to the extreme. For example, after sitting through the 6-hour Level II exam for the CFA designation I ran 22 miles right afterwards. My challenge is to get myself back into balance. A few beers do wonders. Can we add a third leg to this adage somehow? Something with “cervesia” maybe?

    1. Great saying! Actually, I’m kinda uneducated so I appreciate you highlighting it. I will have to use it. I’m a Samurai, so I use Japanese proverbs instead.

      You pass Level II? That’s one arse kicker yeah? 22 miles sounds like the right amount of balance for the amount you studied!

      1. Also passed Level III but without running. Went straight to beers with that one. How many beers do you think balance Level II and 22 miles? Or should I ask, how many glasses of sake?

  8. I didn’t have such a good balance in high school tending toward the “I’m too cool to study hard side”. My mom would always say to me, “Kelly – the kid’s you call “the nerds” now will have the last laugh in the end, ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK!” And she was right and I smartened-up, MARRYING the nerd and the captain of the tennis team:)

    I love the idea. I’ve always had a tough time with balance of any kind and managing stress. I think my weakness is getting motivated to clean the house and the mental havoc living in messiness creates . So I’m going to take your idea and tweak it, after I post to my blog, I’ll commit to cleaning one of the million things on my to-do list! Thanks for this.

    1. Haha, nice. Your mom is a wise one! However, you enjoying life in HS and then going after the nerd tennis team captain was ultimately the smart move.

      I will be really interested in reading your post on how you “beat the system”!

      You must be very attractive, b/c according to my knowledge the successful nerds who were ex HS team captains always get the ladies in the end! lol

  9. Wow, I do almost exactly the same routine after each blog post….

    100 sit ups/ 100 push-ups/50 leg raises.

    It helps clear your mind, get some blood running, and keeps you in shape.
    .-= Kevin Khachatryan´s last blog ..The Best and Worst Housing Markets of 2010 =-.

  10. savvysavingbytes

    @ Admin Reply:

    Actually when my stomach starts resembling a basketball, I do pick up a weight or two to stave off blimptom.

    Your comments on indoor NYC tennis brought back memories of past tennis days when in the winter, we used to play at the ultra-cheap (or maybe it was even free) uptown Armory. The catch? Hardwood floor surface. With all the tennis ball bullets torpedoing back and forth, it was like playing on a firing range.

  11. I’ve spend so much time working and writing that I’m often putting off my exercise schedule. But, now I’ve been reminded that I need to get in gear. Thanks for the push in the right direction.
    .-= Craig Ford´s last blog ..Christians, Is Money Really Neutral and Amoral? =-.

  12. I try to go to the gym during lunch a few days a week. It breaks up the day, takes my mind off work, and doesn’t eat into my evenings when all I want to do is go home and relax.

      1. hahah I’m a green banana with spots already =)

        Okay I will, hopefully we’re both still around then!
        .-= youngandthrifty´s last blog ..Yakezie Challenge Mid-Week Round Up Volume 2 =-.

  13. Hi, Sam,
    Yoga is a good practice… I am convinced that 10 minutes help a lot if you practice consistently.
    I highly recommend the book “Core performance” by Mark Verstegen. The exercises in that book are amazing. They seem simple, but once you practice them, you feel the transformation.
    So I do some days some exercises from Core performance, other days yoga or abs…
    The important thing is regular practice and enjoying what you do.
    All the best!
    .-= Boris´s last blog ..Your mission, should you decide to accept it… =-.

  14. savvysavingbytes

    For our mental and physical balance, I’m not much for prescribed activities such as two-sit-ups-for-each-completed-blog-paragraph, etc. To balance all my hours at the computer, I like to walk a few miles daily around Central Park and various city neighborhoods. The walks are energizing, fun, educational, entertaining, high on drama sometimes and a tension reliever all in one shot.

    My a post on daily exercise was from a different angle:

  15. myfinancialobjectives

    You just struck a nerve! TENNIS is my game and I can’t play enough of it. I am so happy its Spring soon so I can start playing much more! I lvoe the sport, but its darn expensive when you have to play indoors!

    Also, I don’t know how you had such coherent thought processes in high school! I was always just playing sports, and hanging with friends, never trying to balence myself, or engadge more in activities other than sports…impressive!

    1. Nice! Fellow tennis player. Addicting ain’t it? Just came back from playing indoors actually, and although it costs $20 for two people, it’s cheaper than $80-100/hr for two people in NYC!

      I was coherent b/c my parents knocked some sense in me in the 9th grade to stop screwing around so much. I hint at it in a previous post linked in this one. I’m thankful my parents didn’t allow my to slack off too much, but I could have done better. Oh well!
      .-= admin´s last blog ..The Government Is Sexist And Nobody Seems To Care =-.

  16. I was the football meathead in school… the tennis guys were too preppy and skinny for me to fit in and there wasn’t much of a following at a school that worshipped football. As for the following aspect that you bring up… At least in Wisconsin it’s just part of the culture. Friday night high school football means hanging out with friends late at night and beating up on the rival school. More of an us vs them feeling I think than tennis which is just 1vs1.

    I get my best blogging ideas at the gym so I bring my notebook along… maybe I should lift with my glasses on?
    .-= Ryan @ Planting Dollars´s last blog ..Planting Dollars on Blog Talk Radio with Ask Mr. Credit Card =-.

  17. Mark me under the basketball crowd! I just started playing again in a local city league, and sometimes play pick-up at a local church on another night. I’m also trying to hit the gym two or three times a week too.
    .-= Jason @ MyMoneyMinute´s last blog ..Links O’ The Week =-.

    1. I love basketball too, but the injuries, oh the injuries have forced me to stop. I’ve twisted both ankles and wrists, and got in fights. It’s not worth it anymore.

  18. Credit Card Chaser

    Great advice – I started working out with my trainer again after a long absence and every MWF I feel like I might puke but the other 23 hours of the day make it worth it lol
    .-= Credit Card Chaser´s last blog ..Warren Buffett’s $50 Million GEICO Credit Card Business Loss =-.

  19. Experimently

    A really good thing to do is to juggle, as it requires both your left and your right cortex to work.
    It’s a little easier than squatting too.
    Besides that I often stretch, it’s good to increase the bloodflow. After sitting down or typing in a cramped position, that’s a nice change. I’m sure you can read all about it on RSI websites if you want more detailed info
    .-= Experimently´s last blog ..Interview with Maren Kate from =-.

  20. I’m a desktop licker too, sitting and writing, writing and sitting, and then a little more.
    After every 4o minutes or so I throw on my favorite music, and dance manically to it. It’s the best workout I’ve ever come up with.

    After 5 minutes I’m so exhausted that I can continue with my desktop work.

    .-= Mars Dorian´s last blog ..Whatever you think, think the opposite =-.

  21. Simple in France

    Why are basketball and football more likely to attract groupies? Could it be that they are cheered on by the cheerleaders? I dunno, I always had a thing for smart, quiet guys in high school (nerds? maybe but who cares?).

    I did not know that bit about men fearing the hair chopping. . .but it all makes sense to me now. I mentioned chopping recently and my husband kind of said, “uh . . .” I’m not talking about a brush cut, sheesh. I’m actually laughing out loud at this right now. You have taught me something . . .

    As for bringing balance to a non-physical activity like blogging (or studying, or writing or whatever). I like to do yoga–but I need to do an hour of yoga. Not 10 minutes. I also like getting outside for a walk or bike ride (but it’s sooo cold right now!). I also find cleaning and cooking therapeutic. After this morning’s blog posts, I made a batch of tortillas, double chocolate cookies and lunch for my in-laws. (I think if you can cook like that, you should be allowed to have any haircut you want ;).
    .-= Simple in France´s last blog ..Vegetarian nightmare: Meat greener than spinach? =-.

    1. Hour of yoga is tough for me, but hey, like I wrote in the post every one hr of reading = 10 min of yoga, so 6 hrs of reading for 1 hr of yoga a week sounds pretty balanced!

      I’m glad to have given you some insight on how guys think regarding chopped hair! It’s very true, and frankly, most guys realize it’s inevitable that women cut their hari short after enough time during marriage. It’s just the way it is. But, to give you more insight, b/c guys FEAR chopped hair and other things, many guys don’t want to get married.

      Just read Monevator’s comment above!

      Yes, with all that yummy food, you should DEFINITELY be able to cut your hair whatever way you want!

  22. David @ MBA briefs

    I like Don’s idea of balancing sports with TV for his kids. Since we’ve been cooped up for so long this winter mine have been watching way too much TV.

    Since I haven’t been able to hit the gym at work as often as I would like to I’ve taken to using my littlest ones as free weights. My two year old loves it when I lift him from the floor to the ceiling and we practice our counting, and my five year old likes me to lift her up and do military presses. I sneak in some exercise and they get to have some fun.
    .-= David @ MBA briefs´s last blog ..Not-so-bad news is the new good news =-.

    1. Money Reasons

      LOL, sounds like a good way to get the kids involved in physical fitness at a young age! Smart move!

      If the kids have a positive experience with working out, and have fond memories, they’ll be more apt to also workout as they get older. And be happy to do it as they do.


  23. Money Reasons

    I really like the following line in your post:After every TV show or sports game you watch, play an hour of your own favorite sport

    In fact, I like it so much, I’m going to create a system for my son that tracks hours spend watching TV and hours sent on sport or physical activity! The make sure they cancel each other out weekly!

    How does that affect me? Well, I’m planning on doing the non-team sports with him.

    I’ve so glad spring is almost here, I’m tired of being stuck in the house!!!

    Great post, I like how you tied in your other post to make a more complete article!!!

    1. Sounds like a plan to me Don! Don’t let your son fall into nerdom like I almost did, or maybe still am.

      I don’t intentially tie any of my other posts into my post funny enough. It just so happens that I remember I wrote something that ties in with the current topic and voila! Best, S

      1. Money Reasons

        It’s funny this article flows very nicely, with the links just adding to the great flow!
        You’ve had some in the past that had a more important messages, but this one hits at home with me. Maybe it’s the Motley Crue reference :)

        Ahhh, memories!!!

        1. The man who wrote Automatic Wealth for Grads makes everyone in his family exercise while watching TV. He figures that if you want to veg out and not think, you might as well do something for your body and not sit on a couch.

  24. Without question there is a mind/body connection! For me I work out 5 days a week. Play with the kids and talk with wifey. Read and learn, learn learn! I’ve gotten much better with handling stress and an important factor.
    .-= Investor Junkie´s last blog ..Ginnie Mae Investing =-.

  25. Tennis, eh? Well there’s worse for your knees. (Do I hear squash!)

    I’m falling to bits a little too, but it’s not through want of trying. Old age does catch up with us.

    Not wanting to play the coach, I’d suggest older people be a bit wary of dropping straight from a hunch blogging position to doing squats and pressups. Ideally go for a 5 minute walk to warm up first, and swing your arms! :)

    Anyway, a long-winded way of saying I totally agree. Fitness is a bit like saving money, which is a bit like blogging – the more you put into all of them, the more you get out, but a little and often and regular is fine.

    As for your lady friend who is planning to cut her hair the second she gets married… you wonder why I don’t get married? ;) I’m too romantic for it. And I need a woman who is able to let her hair down!

    Obviously goes twice for guys letting themselves go, too.

  26. “Chopped hair post marriage is a big fear for many men, but I’m sworn not to tell her fiance.”
    – This was a battle in my house! But, at least, from the pictures you have seen thus far I am winning.

    I don’t excerise nearly enough! I really really like the idea that every time I write a post I am going to throw in exercise into the mix. Challenge Accepted
    .-= Evan´s last blog ..Evan By The Numbers March 2010 =-.

    1. Ah, so you are one of the men who fear chopped hair! Yes, you are winning. The good thing with women who chop their hair, is that if there is really a tussle in the household, women can just grow it back.

      Whereas for us guys……. we can’t grow back our lean abs!

  27. I hear ya on the knees creaking! In my case it’s actually my hip joints popping, ouch! However, I do stay active and I love biking! So I guess that’s how I balance my indoor/outdoor activities and mental peace of mind.

    As for the whole groupies thing, women lust after men who exhibit huge amounts of testosterone, but we marry men that are just the opposite. This may explain the groupies flocking to basketball and football games, but marrying men who play tennis or don’t play sports at all (like my husband!).
    .-= Little House´s last blog ..The Young and The Homeless =-.

    1. Ouch, that does sound a little painful! Biking is great, and one of the #1 activities here in the SF Bay Area. I think we invented mountain biking up in the Marin headlands!

      Hmmm, marrying men who play tennis or don’t play sports at all… interesting theory!

  28. If you are passionate about you do, be it for a corporate employer, blogging, athletics or a hobby do you really need to worry about “balance?”

    I walk a lot, play soccer, bike, scooter with the kids but abhor exercise for the sake of exercise. Does this mean if I write a post then do my sit-ups that I would have to write another post to remained balanced :-)
    .-= LeanLifeCoach´s last blog ..Are You Earning A Living or Living An Earning? =-.

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