If there is one thing I’ve learned from the last 6 months, it’s that working out shouldn’t seem like a chore. You should find a workout you like to do to stay motivated. If you don’t like to run, don’t run. Personally, I like a lot of different workouts. I love spinning when the music and instructor are good, I like running, I like yoga – but I need to mix it up. If I run down the same blocks, I start to get bored. If I do the same Jillian Michaels Yoga video day in and day out, it loses its luster (sorry Jillian).
This month, I’ve definitely been struggling. I’ve gotten in a fair amount of workouts, but they feel like torture. Part of the problem comes in the fact that my pillow has been beating out my will power to get to the gym in the morning. By the time I get home from work, I don’t have the energy to go to the gym, and I find the streets too crowded in the evening to run. Instead, I’ve just been hopping on my mini at-home elliptical and doing the same 45 minute routine over and over again. Not gonna lie – it’s getting stale.
To solve my workout woes, I’ve tacked a new challenge on to June. I mentioned last week that my goal for the month is to get in an ab workout 3x a week. I’ve stuck to it so far, but it seems like such a drag on top of my other blasé routines. So, I went online and found a 30 Day Fitness Challenge. Basically, you sign up (it’s free) and everyday you get an email detailing different challenges for the day. Each day, you’ll receive an active challenge, an exercise challenge, a flexibility challenge, a nutritional challenge, and a mind/body challenge. It seems like a lot, but they’re all very do-able.
Day 1 was all about preparing for the challenges ahead. I had to get rid of all diet/weight loss materials (including my scale), start a food and workout journal, and get mentally prepared for the month ahead. The point of tossing out (or at least hiding) all diet/weight relating materials is to help keep me focused. This challenge is about getting healthy, not about losing weight. It’s also to give me a fresh start.
Day 2 (today) was my first day receiving the variety of challenges. My active challenge was to accumulate at least 15 minutes of walking up stairs or a hill. I accomplished this first thing in the morning. My gym is a half-mile away and sits 7 stories up on top of a parking garage. I walked there and all the way up the stairs. Once there, I got right onto the stair stepper for 10 minutes. Active challenge? Check.
Then I got in my exercise challenge: complete at least 30 minutes of cardio exercise. The great thing about the program is it provides you with tons of options to accomplish the challenge. I picked out a treadmill workout that used hill intervals. I usually avoid the treadmill (running outdoors is more my thing – lots of changing scenery for my scatter brain), but I wanted to step outside my comfort zone and try a new workout. I actually really liked it! All the intervals made it seem like a bunch of mini workouts instead of one big one that never seemed to end. 30 minutes later, another challenge was complete.
The flexibility challenge was to stretch for at least 5 minutes after cardio. The program even provided me with new stretches to do! Flexibility done.
I was done with half my checklist before 8am, but all the other challenges were meant to be accomplished throughout the day. I had another stretching challenge to do at my desk during work, and my nutrition challenge was to eat veggies with every meal (it gives a pass for breakfast if you sub in fruit which is what I did). A little stretch here, a salad there, and veggie stir-fry for dinner and I’m two challenges away from being done with Day 2!
The only things I have left to do are record my workouts and meals in my journal and complete the Mind/Body Challenge. Today, that challenge is to find a quiet place and do a deep breathing mediation for one minute. Wait for it….
I’m only on Day 2, but so far, I would definitely suggest the program. Challenge yourself. I guarantee if you step outside your box, you’ll be impressed. Do you want to take the challenge? Check it out here.