Hello and Happy Monday! How was your weekend? I hope it was just what you needed – I know ours sure was. After what’s been s0me extremely busy and full weeks, a weekend with nothing planned was exactly what we needed to recoup before the busyness picks back up. Saturday was perfect – relaxing to the max! I slept in and had a slow wake up in my robe (Mikey and I live in those things!) and enjoyed a leisurely morning that consisted of reading, programming clients’ workouts for next week, and drinking great cups of coffee – black, hot, and strong – the only way to enjoy a Saturday morning of no plans.
I decided since the sun was out and it was a slow, lazy Saturday, I would commit to a run. Let’s not discuss how I spent about 30 minutes getting ready up the nerve to get out the door. 😉 Bandanna (dread ear warmers – my head stays warm as it is with all my extra hair!), gloves, and layers on, I took off running with one goal in mind: shoot for 8 miles. My main goal for the run was to hit 10 miles (there’s nothing better than a Saturday morning long run in the double digits!) and even though I was moving slow, I knew I wouldn’t stop at the 4 mile turn-around point. I was right! 5 miles later, I found myself hitting the turn around point averaging just under 9 minute miles. Happy and content that either way I would complete my goal, I headed home, enjoying the sunny moments and sprinting through the shady ones, finishing up at 1:30:30 – almost exactly 9 minute miles.
Achieving a goal like this, especially on a weekend morning, sets the rest of my day up for success. I’m inclined to eat better, to smile more, and to enjoy the day more fully because I set my mind to something and finished. It wasn’t the time or the distance, but rather the fact that I got outside and completed what I set out to do. In fact, I’m learning that in order to achieve one of my winter fitness goals of “embracing winter running,” I’m going to need to change my expectations and simply celebrate getting out the door – that’s the accomplishment!
So as January 1st edges ever nearer, here’s the third part of your Holiday Challenge: set some active but non-fitness goals this week. Rather than give you another boot camp workout to try, I’m encouraging us all to put ourselves out of our regular fitness box and recognize that just “getting out the door” is an accomplishment in itself. Such active but non-fitness-related goals might include:
- Take the stairs! There are SO many benefits to taking the stairs – you’ll get your lungs pumping, use your leg muscles, and give yourself a mid-day challenge if you’re shopping at the mall or heading back home to your apartment on the 8th floor.
- Change your evening routine. Instead of plopping down on the couch after dinner and watching TV, why not jump on your stationary bike at home and read a magazine or book? If that’s not an option, enjoy your TV programs but do something active during all the commercial breaks – see how long you can hold a plank, do a wall-sit, do jumping jacks for one commercial, or go cut up some veggies for tomorrow’s snacks. Small efforts for big, cumulative effects.
- Take advantage of your lunch break. Rather than stay at your desk and work through lunch or stay huddled at home, get out for a 15 or 20 minute stroll. Although it’s not exercise in the sense that you’re intentionally getting your heart rate up, it is movement and you will most certainly feel better after you do! And feeling better is a big part of fitness!
- Try a hot yoga class. Ever tried one of these heart pumping, sweat inducing workouts? If not, give it a shot! You may love it, you may not, but even if you don’t try it again, at least you’ve gotten out of the cold and have sweat some toxins out of your body – and you’ll definitely be glad you tried it either way.
- Stay consistent with resistance training. While this is a fitness-related goal, if you’re not in the habit of resistance training, giving it a shot for a week is a great thing to do – the benefits are incredible and it’s such a great thing to focus on being strong rather than skinny! Try a routine from a credible fitness magazine, try one from my fitness page on this blog, or take a body pump class at your gym and pump it up!
- Become more aware of your eating habits. Don’t “go on a diet,” but use this week as a week to simply be more aware of how you’re eating. Are you mindlessly munching? Do you need to chew gum while you bake to help prevent you from eating too much of the dough (again, that one’s for me!)? Keep a food journal for a week and see if it changes anything and if you realize anything you didn’t before.
- Work on your flexibility. A long muscle is a strong muscle, so if you want to be strong, you must also stretch consistently (ahem – I need to take my own advice!). Make a goal to touch your toes or hold a yoga pose for a little longer than you have before.
Any goals for the week ahead? Share ’em here! My goals are to get out for 3 walks for mental/emotional release and to get some Vitamin D as well as to keep a food journal this week – I’m going to do it and see if anything changes! I’ll let you know if I complete them by the end of next week. 🙂
Have a great week staying active and keep working towards a better YOU by Jan. 1st! Live well and be well,