Exercise Challenge – Quick Start Guide

IMG_4309Good morning, Challengers!

Have you been watching any of the Olympic trial coverage in the past couple of weeks? I have to admit the tears have already started falling with all the inspiring and heartbreaking stories. I definitely have Olympic fever!
I spend the early part of my summers at our local pool. I have always loved the water, but my husband is a good swimmer. He never liked the competition of swim team, but my kids inherited his skill and we have been swim team parents since my oldest was five. I have yet to really learn strokes and lap swimming. Maybe during this July exercise challenge I will hire my kids to teach me (I’m sure they would love the chance to tell me what to do).

Why an exercise challenge?
I’m so glad you asked. 😉 
I was recently reading a fitness or food blog and the author said they were going to work out everyday for a month. It literally made me laugh out loud! Not because it is ridiculous, but because the thought NEVER OCCURRED TO ME. Your Wellness Coach never thought about exercising everyday for a month. I have even seen where people try to run everyday for so many days straight, but still I was laughing hysterically at myself at the novelty of it. SO…since I clearly need to challenge myself in this way – I am dragging you guys along with me. It’s going to be a blast!

What will I need for this month’s exercise challenge, Amy?
Really nothing. If you want to buy a new pair of shoes or a heart rate monitor (ask me about mine!) or a fancy water bottle, great. But the goal is to get you moving your body every day. It is a challenge. You will need to push yourself, get creative, feel better and discover something new to do or about yourself. You will build habits and strengths you can return to in the future.
The best thing you can do is map out your exercises for the next several days. Take it in small chunks, like a week at a time. Or just through the holiday weekend. Running, walking, gardening, yoga, pilates, moving boxes, step, barre, kayaking, chopping wood, hiking, biking, exercise classes, the dreadmill, DVD’s, hitting the weights, stretching, Aqua Zumba (its a thing…), or swimming laps all count.pexels-photo

So, what are the parameters?
In consultation with the team at Amy Abell Wellness, LLC (party of one!), we have decided your minimum requirements will be a minimum of 20 minutes of exercise per day. So a ten minute stretch before bed is fantastic, but not enough to count for the day. The goal is to make it doable. If you tried to get to the gym for an hour everyday in July, it just might not happen. But you can move your body for 20 minutes each day. Every body can. It might be 5 minutes before you jump in the shower, 10 minutes of squats at lunch and 5 minutes of stretching before bed. Just get in the 20 minutes.

Isn’t that just asking for an injury?
Nah. I am not asking you to kill yourself. I am challenging you to s t r e t c h yourself, literally and figuratively! Try something you have never done before, but don’t over do it. Many of you may have done a challenge like this before, but it will be fun to do again. For those in my camp, it will be fun to get creative, challenge myself to make the time and bring some friends with me along the way.

Why on earth would I do this?
You know you need to move your body. As long as you are breathing, you need to move. Life happens and we need to figure out how to keep doing it. Don’t over think it – just get it in! The habits will build. And you will learn so much along the way.

What do you have planned for us?
Each Monday I will post an idea, a tip or a thought for the week here on the blog. You can also follow me on social media (look in the margin to the right ——-> to find me on Facebook and Instagram). We will talk about the best kinds of exercise. How to fuel your workouts. The latest research on working out for weight loss. And answer your questions. I am not a fitness professional or personal trainer, but I know some great ones if you need a referral! This month’s posts are going to focus on the “whys” behind the exercise.

My job is to provide the education to motivate you to work out, explain how exercise fits into your total wellness, and guide you through the behavior change to realize your goals.

When do we start?
The Exercise Challenge starts Friday, July 1st and runs the entire month to Sunday the 31st. Thirty-one days of exercise. Thirty-one days of a stronger, fitter, more confident YOU. (I’m thinking I should write greeting cards or magazine headlines…)

Get some sleep tonight, Challengers. We start tomorrow!

Week 1: Make a Plan
Week 2: The Best Exercise
Week 3: How Do I Sweat Myself Skinny?
Week 4: HIIT Me Up for a Great Workout