01 August 2013

First of the Month Fitness Thoughts: Aug 2013

Like a lot of folks, I get jazzed about new things at the first of the week or the first of the month. Monday feels like a sharpened pencil and a brand new notebook to me, and the dawning of a new month feels like another chance to build a new habit. If there is a routine or regimen I want to try, that is usually when I start. This month is no exception. I've got three fitness-related challenges that I've started for August and I want to share my thoughts on them.

The first challenge is intermittent fasting. I read a book at the end of July called The Fast Diet: The Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, Live Longer that is based on a British documentary called Eat, Fast, and Live Longer. Although the premise sounds gimmicky, it is not too far off from the ebb and flow of my normal eating. Some days I am ravenous and eat everything in the house, while on other days I barely consume 1,000 calories. The concept of intermittent fasting takes that and makes it more purposeful. Basically, I will be limiting myself to 500 calories on Mondays and Thursdays, and then eating whatever I want on the other five days. This is my first week doing it and it is tough but not impossible. If I sacrifice 150 of my calories in order to put a small amount of sugar and cream in my coffee, it goes a lot more smoothly!

The second challenge is a mileage challenge. We did a family mileage challenge in June, which I lost, of course. This time I am using a new feature of my Nike+ Running app to challenge an online friend to walk 30 miles in August. I think this is achievable as long as I don't take off more than a day between workouts. This is more of a mental challenge than a physical challenge. While I can safely say I've reached a fitness level that allows me to walk a mile straight without too much trouble, making myself get off the computer and go do it is what's difficult.

Lastly, I'm doing a month-long plank challenge. I recently discovered, thanks to some online friends who are much more fit than I am, that there are all sorts of challenges online where you start out doing a single exercise or routine and ramp up your reps or your time as you go through the month. With the plank challenge, you start out doing one 20-second plank a day and by the end of the month you should be doing a five-minute plank. I was doing an arm challenge last month, but I tapped out around day 15. Hopefully, I can stick with this one longer than that.

There is actually one more challenge that I've set for myself, and that is to remember to check in with my fitness thoughts at the beginning of every month -- hence, the title of this post. This should help me meet two goals: getting more fit and blogging more often. Let's see how it goes.
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