Yes, Yes, I know. I’ve joined enough challenges. You are absolutely correct. Yet, my snazzy friend Christine has started a fitness challenge.
Yes, I know. I detest dieting.
That’s why I’m joining Christine here’s what she says on her blog:
Last year was the most athletically active year of my life and I’m so excited to see this year be even better. Last year, I biked a total of 640.7 miles between April and November, ran at total of 150.7 miles from January through December, and spent literally hundreds of hours at the gym in fitness classes. I had visions of running upwards of 250 miles last year, but I’ve been nursing planter fasciitis [inflammation of the tendon that runs along the bottom of your foot from your heel to your toes, resulting in sharp pain in the heel area] on my right foot since early last spring. If you’ve ever had this injury before, you know it takes a really long time to heal. My case is almost completely healed, but I am still being very cautious about the frequency and duration of high impact workouts, i.e., running and jumping type activities.
So what am I going to do in 2011 to make this year even more athletically active than last year?
I’m going to strive to be even more consistent than ever with my workout schedule. I had been exercising 3-5 days a week for many years and thought I was doing a the best that I could. Turns out I could have been doing more. I started working out 6-7 days a week last year and my fitness levels took gigantic leaps. To be fair, I started carefully tracking calories during this time, as well, which lead to weight loss, which in turn lead me to a better overall health and fitness level right there. I’m not saying I follow a perfect diet or that I’m an exercise expert, and I still have 20+ lbs. to lose before I’m at my goal weight, but I have learned first hand the benefits of keeping your diet in check and exercising every day. I feel better than I have since … well… since maybe forever. I don’t want to lose this edge on life and not only that… if I feel this good now, I can only imagine how incredible I’ll feel physically [and emotionally] when I’m at my absolute best shape. And frankly, I don’t want to just imagine all that. I WANT it to be real, so I'm going for it!
Which brings me to my Fitness Challenge for 2011. The idea for this type of challenge is not my own. Many companies and gyms sponsor fitness challenges that have participants track their progress in fitness miles which are measured by actual mile per mile walked or run or mile per specified time intervals spent in other cardiovascular or strength training activities. My inspiration for this challenge comes from the ladies at the 100 Mile Fitness Challenge blog.
Fitness Challenge 2011 Rules:
1. The challenge will run month to month throughout the year.
Anyone can join at any time for however many months you chose, although I’m hoping for company throughout the entire year!
2. ONE mile walked or run = ONE fitness mile
Note: If you use the metric system, divide the number of km walked or run by 1.6 to convert km to miles.
3. 15 minutes of ‘other exercise’ = ONE fitness mile
You must exercise continuously for 15 minutes without stopping for it to count. If you work out for 20 minutes, it only counts as 1 mile, and you don’t get to save the 5 minutes to pad onto the next workout. You may as well keep working out for 30 minutes to get full credit and then you’ve got 2 fitness miles to your name. A 60 minute fitness class at your gym would equal 4 fitness miles. 40 minutes on the elliptical counts as 3 ‘miles.’ You may as well stay on another 5 minutes to get credit for 4 ‘miles’! Get it?
4. ‘Other exercise’ is specific only to designated workouts such as fitness classes at the gym, fitness videos at home, exercise machines, biking, swimming, weight lifting, etc.
5. Do not count daily activities such as shopping, cleaning, etc.
This is because those types of daily activities are already accounted for in our daily caloric needs. You do them all the time as part of your daily or weekly routine, so you don’t get exercise credit for them. You’ll only be shortchanging yourself if you count them. However, some activities that are strenuous and not routine, like shoveling snow or manually tilling a garden bed, can be counted. Use your own judgement regarding distinguishing routine daily activities and exercise specific activities.
6. Decide how many miles you want to challenge yourself to finish in a month.
It might take you a month or two to figure out how many miles will offer you the best challenge. You don’t want to set the bar so high that you get frustrated, but at the same time, you also don’t want to make it too easy that you’re not pushing yourself.
7. Keep track of your ‘fitness miles’ on a piece of paper, a file on your computer, or even on your blog on your sidebar or in a post like I do at See how she runs… . Then share your success and struggles with the group at the end of the month.
8. Share your progress in the Fitness Report Card post here on the first day of the month.
The first Report Card post for January's challenge will be on February 1. I'll also try do a Progress Report type post in the middle of the month so we can check in on each other.
9. To join, leave a comment below telling me you’re up for the challenge and how many miles you’re going to challenge yourself in January.
10. IMPORTANT: Please consult with your physician before starting any new exercise program. This challenge is for camaraderie and motivational purposes.
Looking forward to many happy, healthy miles with you in 2011!
My plan is to TWO fitness miles at least twice a week. Generally this will be 30 minutes on the elliptical or walking/jogging on the track around the soccer complex.
Let’s see how long I last.
So, are you in?
I’m off to visit my elliptical…
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