Five challenges…putting them altogether...
On occasion I reflect back on my training and see where I need to add, cut back, or maintain. It got me thinking of the self-imposed challenges I set this year so far. There were many good things gained from having done them and knowing I need to incorporate these further, I thought I would provide you a summary of these challenges. Here are five of the challenges I have completed this year so far:
Sit-ups, push-ups, and squats for 21-days - The first week complete five sit-ups, five push-ups, and 10 squats each morning and evening for a week. The second week you double it to 10 sit-ups, 10 push-ups, and 20 squats. The third week you triple that number. If you miss a morning or evening you start back over until you have completed that for three weeks. Fortunately I didn’t have to start back from scratch. The most challenging part was just the increase of repetitions of each exercise. Read GreenNote Fitness newsletter, “Challenge yourself…”
Cold shower for 5 min and 30 min cool-vest for 21-days - Each day spent time being cold. This was one of the most difficult challenges as it’s uncomfortable to be really cold. I did feel amazing after each session which made it easier. Read GreenNote Fitness newsletter, “My 21 days…cold shower…and a cold vest”
Yoga 15 minutes per day for 30 days - begin each morning with 15 minutes of the Kokoro Yoga challenge. Each day I really looked forward to doing this. It was very easy to set aside 15 minutes in the morning before the day got underway. Read GreenNote Fitness newsletter, “Is yoga worth your time…”
Pull-ups and push-ups for 21-days - each day did three pull-ups followed by ten push-ups and repeated three times. This low repetition kept the pull-ups manageable for proper form. Read GreenNote Fitness newsletter, “Five exercises to master…”
24-hour fast - this was a water fast for 24 hours that was challenging on mental toughness which I was looking for. Read GreenNote Fitness newsletter, “Why I fasted for 24 hours…and other curious things...”
There a few things that I want to take from each challenge and incorporate for the next 30 days.
These include doing a small number of repetitions at a time throughout the day. This is called ‘greasing the groove’. Specifically I’m going to be doing more bodyweight exercises than heavy lifting of barbells, dumbbells, etc.
Cold shower and cold vest - going to be doing one, the other, or a combination of both. The benefits are endless and I need to get back to incorporating cold thermogenesis into my life
Yoga - this past Sunday, in addition to my morning routine, I did about an hour of yoga. It felt great and is really needed for longevity. This will be more of a staple in my practice and will fit in nicely with doing more bodyweight exercises
Fasting - Another great practice for longevity. In addition to my regular 12-hour intermittent fasting, will incorporate a longer fast once per week, in the range of 12-18 hours without eating
Why do any challenges? Challenges bring focus and awareness - From setting what your challenge is and then performing that challenge, your mind and body have to engage and be present. With this focus we can measure areas we need work on and discover new levels we didn’t know we were capable of. Without trying to complete a push-up or a pull-up, for example, how would you be aware of your physical strength? What have you tried that challenges your strength? Did you keep at it or stop all completely? Challenges have benefits of the specific action itself - As Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool discuss in their book, Peak, “The fact that the brain and body respond to challenges by developing new abilities underlies the effectiveness of purposeful and deliberate practice.” The book explains homeostasis - a system’s tendency to do what it needs to do to maintain stability. Every cell in our body and brain is constantly working to maintain a sense of stability - adjusting our “system” like blood pressure, heart rate, pH balance, and blood sugar. This summarizes it very eloquently, “With deliberate practice, however, the goal is not just to reach your potential but to build it, to make things possible that were not possible before. This requires challenging homeostasis - getting out of your comfort zone - and forcing your brain or your body to adapt. But once you do this, learning is no longer just a way of fulfilling some genetic destiny; it becomes a way of taking control of your destiny and shaping your potential in ways that you choose." Challenges are needed to learn life lessons - As former commander Mark Divine reminds us, you want to go to a challenge, don’t wait for the universe to serve one up to you as you surely will not like it. This fits in quite nicely with what’s stated above, “...it becomes a way of taking control of your destiny and shaping your potential in ways that you choose.” We impose challenges on ourselves to shape who we are and who we will become. What are you doing to get out of your comfort zone? Embrace a challenge, take control of your destiny, and shape your potential. Reflect...and...repeat... To your journey, Lisa Schaffer GreenNote Fitness P.S. Checkout my Facebook page for inspiration. **Do you have a friend that would benefit from this information? Please forward it to them!**