Reflections on Body, Mind & Spirit: Cardio Fitness, New Year Challenge, Saying "No" to Distractions
The month of January is now in the books. How did the first month of the new year go for you? I'm excited to share with you some of my workouts that I'm having great success with as well as the challenge that I completed. Lastly, I'm keeping my awareness tuned to stillness, focus, and saying no to those things that take me away from valuable small moments.
Rowing for cardiovascular fitness
This trusty machine can be very beneficial. I like the rowing machine, as pictured here, as it is very easy on the joints and can return big dividends with regards to cardiovascular fitness given that it's a full-body workout. It also helps the brain. Studies have shown that regular cardio workouts can help to improve memory, concentration, and overall brain function. In addition to all of those health benefits, I'm noticing great improvements on my Sleep and Readiness score that I track daily with my Aura Ring.
Lisa's rowing regiment
Warm-up on stair stepper for three to five minutes.
Perform an AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) for 30 minutes of the following:
Rowing machine 400 meters
Squat jumps body weight - 12x
Walking lunges with KB (kettle bell) 15 lbs - 24x
So far I'm able to complete five rounds in 30 minutes. I'm improving with speed and recovery and could have squeaked in a sixth round (next time!). I've also noticed that my sleep is very good having longer periods in deep sleep.
Challenge for you:
Could your cardiovascular system use some improvement? If you answered "yes", put a time/place/activity on your calendar to make that happen.
This was another of the thoughtful challenges that Ryan Holiday and his team have put together. Every day in the month of January was a new actionable challenge. One of them required keeping a "time diary" - write down everything you did during the day. The purpose was to put intentionality behind what we do each day and awareness to why.
Think of it like a food journal in which you keep track of everything you consumed during the day. There are multiple studies that show keeping a food journal for several weeks or months is a great way to lose weight. The simple awareness of everything you consume often reveals shocking patterns.
This was a great exercise to see what was occupying my time and where I could do more useful things like reading and journaling.
Challenge for you:
What do you do during a typical day? Do you feel like the day passes quickly but you wish you could do more? Try this "time diary" for one day or two. List out everything you do during the day. Do you see any opportunities to adjust your activities? Were you surprised by the amount of time you spent doing a specific activity?
Saying "no" to distractions
Now more than ever, it is easy to constantly be distracted. Just look around while you are driving and you will most likely see a number of drivers texting or looking at their phones. Which makes me think of this term I recently heard, "distracted living". That begs the question, how can I be less distracted? The more clear we get on our vision of our life, the easier it becomes to say no to distractions.
But there are so many things to do, I don't have enough time. Author of Atomic Habits, James Clear says it like this. The obvious way to buy back your time is to pay someone to do something for you. Take your clothes to the dry-cleaner instead of ironing them yourself, for example. The other way to buy back your time is to say no. Passing on your promotion might buy you more time with your family. Declining the dinner invite might pay for the time you need to exercise. We buy back our time not only with the money we save but with the opportunities that we decline. The more clearly you know how you want to spend your days, the easier it becomes to say no to the requests that steal your hours.
Challenge for you:
Do you suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out)? Take some time to sit with your journal and write out how you want to spend your days.
Idea I’m pondering
The more clearly you know how you want to spend your days, the easier it comes to say no to the requests that steal your hours. ~ James Clear
To your reflection and health,
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