Happy Friday, friends!
With the New Year, and the evolution of life and self, the bloggy is going to start transitioning to the health, wellness, and lifestyle platform that I want it to be. It will remain a zero-judgement zone, and I’ll continue to write lengthier, raw pieces when it feels right, because I truly believe that experience is what shapes and defines our present and future selves, but I am feeling firmly grounded in the present, balanced with a healthy dose of future-focus, and thus it feels organic to me that the look and feel of this space will trend toward health and wellness – one of my favorite topics.
That said, two days ago, on February 20th, I decided to kick-off a 30 day abs and push-up challenge.
Why? For one thing, I feel super bummed every time I read literature that highlights how “your daily 6 mile run doesn’t mitigate sitting at computer for 8 hours a day” – especially because my work/school demands often require a minimum of 12 hours of daily screen time. Thus, the first goal is to move more during the day, for short bursts. This will clear one’s head, help regain focus, and contribute to both mental and physical health gains.
Secondly, it is empowering to feel strong. Taking one simple step daily to feel like you are working on improving your health and strength can make the difference between feeling overwhelmed and lacking control of your own daily routine, and feeling like, if you can get through those push-ups, you can get through that board presentation (…fill in the blank).
Thirdly, push-ups are consistently still ranked one of the best full-body, functional, body-weight exercises you can do. Along these lines, abs (crunches, sit-ups, whatever you want to do) and push-ups require no cost, hardly any space, and no equipment. You can carve out 2 minutes or you can carve out 20. Make this yours.
Finally, I am always up for a challenge that marries physical and mental toughness. I know that a strong core is so important for everything we do, from carrying groceries and hefting toddlers to participating in sports. I also know that when we put mental focus into physical tasks, we are training our brain to handle every challenging task (work, parenting, etc.) with aplomb and confidence.
So, without further ado, here is the challenge.
- Choose your start day. It can be today, tomorrow, Monday (although why put off what you can do today? 😉 ) … but whatever day you choose, make sure to max out on push-ups so you have a base. If you can only do push-ups on your knees right now, do that. If you can only do one push-up – there’s your base. Do what you can now and use that number (yes, zero totally counts) as motivation and to test your fitness gain 30 days from now.
- Count 30 days out and mark that day on your calendar.
- Every day for 30 days do something re: push-ups and abs. My goal is to do full sets of push-ups/abs every day, but there might be days where all I can do is one set of push-ups followed by a minute of abs. Just do something. Every day. Remember – a major goal here is to be conscious of moving more every day. The amount you decide to do will depend on your baseline fitness level, time/life commitments, and overall fitness goals.
- On the 30th day max out again on push-ups and see how far you’ve come.
A caveat – this is not meant to be another chore, nor is it meant to be another tool for comparing yourself to others. It is meant to give you a small daily task to hone your physical and mental health. This is a practice in daily self-care, in ensuring you carve out some time for yourself (even if it’s 2 minutes!!), and, perhaps more than anything, to practice viewing physical challenges with zero-judgement so you can continue to improve your overall health and wellness and sense of confidence and strength.
And if you happen to start shaking out the cobwebs from Winter and prepping for Spring? Even better.
As far as accountability, like all things health and wellness, this is for YOU. The reward is intrinsic. I write all my training on my calendar because I love metrics and I love keeping all the things organized. But you can do whatever you want. And if you want a daily check-in or cheerleader for accountability, use me! I’ll be your cheerleader. Post your daily mini workout on the Running in the Sun Facebook page or send me a Tweet (@ljsunrun) and use the hashtag #30DayChallenge.
Here’s to a happy, healthy 2019!
Run on, my friends.