Class is in session! I am so excited to start this Exercise Challenge with you! I decided to start with exercise because it is one of the best changes you can make in your life. We’re doing it for a month because it takes 28 days for a habit to form, and the hope is that the habit of exercising lasts well after the month of August! This challenge focuses on the Physical Health Dimension. Whether you are a marathon runner, a cross-fit guru, or new to the exercise world, this challenge is to get you (or keep you) on track with fitness and reap all of the benefits exercise has to offer!
The Challenge: Workout every day for a month
I have a background in teaching physical education and was a collegiate volleyball player. But, I, like most of you I’m sure, have experienced times where I was in awesome shape and times where I hadn’t worked out for a while. I think all of you can agree, you feel a lot better when you’re working out regularly.
For those of you not regularly exercising right now: As a PE teacher, I often heard, “But I’m not athletic”. That doesn’t matter! Exercise and sports are two entirely different things. Exercise can help you improve at a sport, and sports can be exercise. But, working out doesn’t require much coordination. Exercise is moving your body. It’s that simple. It’s important that you choose an exercise that you enjoy, or you are not very likely to sustain it. If you enjoy dancing, there are workout videos that involve dance (jazzercise anyone?) or Zumba classes. If you hate running, you don’t have to run! The elliptical, bike, and swimming all have very similar benefits. If you were an athlete, get back into your sport or pull out some of your old weight lifting routines that you enjoyed. Try a bunch of different things if you aren’t sure what you like. Starting is the hardest part. Once it becomes part of your routine, it gets easier, and you will even look forward to it! Whether you want to do it for health reasons (ex: combating osteoporosis because it runs in your family), to run a 10k, to lose weight, or to combat stress, it is guaranteed to help you with that and so much more!
For those of you regularly exercising right now: Good for you! This challenge can be a way to help you stay committed and possibly reassess your workout plan if you’d like. If you aren’t exercising every day, it can be a great way to supplement your current workouts. Recovery days are a great time to add in a walk or yoga routine. I find it helps keep me on track when I keep moving in some way on my recovery days. It also helps cross-train or work on different areas of fitness that your current plan may not be reaching. It is important to make sure your workout includes each of the Components of Fitness. The Components of Fitness include: muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, and body composition. I’ll go more in depth on these components in a later post. If you aren’t working on all of these, it’s a great time to start!
Prep: In preparation for the challenge:
- Decide what workout routine you are going to do- make sure that it is something you enjoy and matches your abilities
- Make sure you have all of the equipment, space, clothing/shoes, and materials needed for your workout- if you decide to join a gym, make sure you get that taken care of ahead of time
- Schedule a time that you can work out each day- time is one of the top reasons people don’t exercise. Even if you do a 5 minute tabata workout every day, this is great! But, be realistic with the time that you’re willing and able to commit to working out
- Be prepared to adapt your routine as you go- I usually tweak workout plans or even make my own because workout plans can’t fit every individual’s needs. If you find your workout is really easy, really hard, you don’t like it, or other circumstances get in the way, change it up and stick with it!
My Plan: I’m going to be using the Nike Training Club app for a few workouts, using my own lifting program I created, and doing a mixture of yoga and running the off days. My workouts normally take about 45-60 minutes. There are so many kinds of workouts! I encourage you to find something that fits you. If you are interested in the same exercises as me, then feel free to join me! I’d love to hear what your plans are too! Contact me and let me know!
Disclaimer: make sure that you see your doctor before beginning any new workout routines especially if you have heart-related health issues. Also, make sure to get proper instruction before starting weight lifting to make sure you are preventing injury.