31 Day Challenge Ends (Fresh Start for November- Invite!)

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Congrats to all of you who have made it through 31 Days of Fitting in Fitness!
Congratulations, also, to all of my Blogging friends who have made it through the Nester’s #31Days! Thanks to the Nester for hosting this great challenge.

Our 31 Day Challenge is over today. I have been pondering our next phase from the beginning. The Holidays will be upon us in the blink of an eye, and our best intentions to fit in fitness will be squeezed out by festivities, fellowship and fun. I have so much more I want to share with you and yet, realistically, my desire for you and myself as well, is to keep it simple, straightforward and DONE, with regard to fitness. In other words, by “done” I mean that you are not thinking about fitting fitness in, not talking about it, not admiring the plans of others BUT actually to be living out small steps to building a new habit into your (our) life (lives)- or reviving an old habit that has died, as the case may be!   
So, instead of making a new plan for November, after a brief conversation (banter on Facebook) with Susie, I think that the best plan for November is to  DO the Fitting in Fitness Challenge  AGAIN! From the top, and for those of us who did it, we can do it better, for those who considered it but bailed halfway through – here is your FRESH NEW START!
There were a lot more topics in fitness I did not cover, so much more I wanted to share,  BUT maybe could do -going forward. I really felt led to write more on, motivation, inspiration and encouragement with regard to the topic. There were many thoughts, prompts, partial drafts and ideas I had that I felt, due to time constraints and other limitations, unable to share.
Also, honestly, this month has been a very difficult month, personally. The last two weeks of our challenge have been increasingly difficult and I fell short on the C25K routine in Week 4 (only squeezing in 1 of the 3 workouts). I missed 2 days in the last 2 weeks of The Core and More Challenge and did not bother to try to catch up and a couple of times I combined days. There, see. Not perfect. But, November we can try again. Which leads me directly to you…
Will you join me in November as do a Second Chance Fitting in Fitness Challenge?
Shall we join together and take on the Holidays by Fitting in Fitness, aiming for a little or a lot, adjusting as we need to make it doable, right in the middle of our, busy, bloggy, blustering, right NOWs? Something is better than nothing, and who doesn’t love a Do Over?

In December, I am considering a 12 Days of Fitness something- stay tuned for more on that one. Meantime I will be working on our January Fitness Challenge- which I thought I would originally do ast the end of October’s Challenge, but as you now know, am opting out of that plan. 

As for me, I am skipping the Optional Pre/Post Test and will just jump in fresh tomorrow with a new month of Fitting in Fitness:

 Come what may, 
come what might- 
if you are still not in, 
now is the time to make it right! 
Let’s Do it! 
Grab the Scribd Document here or e-mail (dawn.paoletett@gmail.com) me for the Fitting in Fitness Packet. 
Let me know if you have any questions and I will see you for the Sunday Post, for sharing conclusions, thoughts  from the 31 Day Journey. 
Thank you for dropping in, offering words of encouragement and for your participation (however frequent or infrequent). May God bless you with health and wellness all of the days of your life…and secure you in His grace and truth forever.



This post is part of the series: 

Frequently Asked Questions? (#31DaysFitinFit)

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Today I address some random questions about our 31 Days of Fitting in Fitness. Please feel free to ask me ANYTHING today in the comments section and I will be sure and answer. Be nice, though. 

Q. Why did you come up with this challenge, and how did you decide on the details?

A. Truth be told, back in Summer, I came across a “Squat Challenge” on Facebook. I invited others to join, but along the way I started to realize it went against my core beliefs and philosophy as a trainer and person, which include balance. I understood, it was a “challenge” and this is not to say anything negative about this particular person or created challenge; but it helped me realize that this was something I had some pretty serious opinions on and these thoughts needed to be integrated. The defining point came when,  while cooking chili in the kitchen and squatting my 140 squats, I felt my then 48 year old, post injury hip raise an important argument, which was- “I’m not doing this anymore!” Since I believe, listening to the body is key, I immediately stopped. I have studied enough about the body, as well as many different training regimens (even the “History of Physical Education”- a favorite college course!) to know what I think would be a good start for baseline exercise.

Q.  I looked at the challenge and thought it was too easy since I exercise daily. How can this challenge me, I’m a fit rock star?

A. My heart’s desire is for those who struggle with fitting in fitness…at all. But for those who are already exercising regularly, I say, I have often done additional “challenges” when I was in the best shape of my life. Since the program is adjustable you should have no problem, exceeding all recommended ranges. Rock on. Oh, and be sure to record all of your journey- you may even exceed your own expectations…

Q. What if I meant to start and then didn’t start on Day 1? 

A. Please. Start. Now. Right now. Like, give me Day 11. Or if you are one of those, I need to start at the beginning, give me Day 1. I don’t care what you give, give me, actually yourself, something! Just do it. Write it down. No judgement. If a 10 second plank is all you can do. Fine. If 3 push ups is a ll you got. Great. Something is better than nothing. Or if you are looking at the Be Gentle With Me Option- same deal. I gently implore you to get moving. Now… said in a calm quiet voice.


Q. I can’t perform some of the exercises, due to health constraints, what do you suggest?

Obviously a Fitness Challenge, by nature,  is not for everyone. I understand completely that some exercises and even starting a program of exercise might be contraindicated at this time for some individuals. You may also need the help of a professional before moving forward. Check with your doctor and then enlist support and guidance from a professional or based on your doctor’s input. I suggest American Council of Exercise or American College of Sports Medicine for basic information and/or a Fitness Professional. There are many good certifying organizations available for fitness professionals. But you are worth it, so take small steps, and don’t give up- you will find an appropriate fit for you!

Q. I hate your guts and think you are a bully. 

A. You are not the first one, and you are entitled to your opinion. Have you fit in fitness today, then?

Q. What can we expect in the days ahead? 

A. I seriously jumped into this challenge because it has been on my heart to share fitness thoughts and concepts for awhile. Some of the posts I will be sharing (and have shared),  are posts which I am recycling from a blog I kept for a short time, called, Fitness For The Fainthearted. However, I am updating and editing them as I go. On the other hand I whipped this little The Core and More challenge up in July as an alternative to the Squat Challenge I participated in online. Since October came and it was still sitting in my journal (untouched), it seemed dragging you all along with me was a good idea. I also asked what my readers would like most for me to focus on and it was Fitness so…in the days ahead I will be sharing a mix of motivational posts with exercise basics inter-dispersed along the way. I am hoping to squeeze in a video perhaps. It really is unplanned…I am fitting in fitness these days just like most of you. My days are full, and many demands fill my time. Please know I am not “above” being challenged to fit in fitness, on any given day myself!

PS. I am planning to keep us going after the 31 days…so please jump in and join me for a healthy and fit holiday season!

 By the way if you want to tweet your fitness activity, feel free to share with the hashtag #fitinfit. I think I have been doing that, but I am still figuring out tweeting etc. Join me and tweet, tweet your way to Fit in Fitness! Fly with me on Twitter @breathoffaith!

OK, your turn- QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, THOUGHTS? 



This post is part of the series: 

Check In and Fitness Journal (Week 1)

So is anyone on the planet actually doing this Challenge with me? Anyone at all? I have gotten requests for the printout to be sent through e-mail and Scribd has lots of views…but are they all just me? HA! Well, I hope you ARE doing this challenge, and if not, you better give me a good excuse. Which of course I refuse to accept, because you need to do this. Besides, I’m doing it…and if I’m doing it, it means YOU need to do it, right? I will be posting Frequently Asked Questions next week. Because I had like, 400 e-mails asking, so well, ya know, I guess I better make a post. Ahem. (not really but anyhooooooooo)

 I decided to record my thoughts and very useful (cough) input here so my friends could have the opportunity to  benefit  be  blessed  laugh along the journey with me. Here are my thoughts following week one.

Day 1 (Monday) Couch to 5K Treadmill workout – used watch, treadmill dashboard lights not working, oh well- carry on. Did the Anytime Stretch Routine…remembered mom’s dog had to go out…remembered to come back and do Optional Fit Test, forgot to do lunges (whoopsi!) and really I get bored after like, say the number 15. Unless I am counting for, say someone like you, in which case I would not be bored until you did say, 67 of whatever exercise. But I digress. Bonus activity credit: Dog walking 1 hour: leisurely pace. Banjo is not ready to do the Couch to 5K for dogs…yet. We are discussing it, between our discussions about territorial peeing and barking at the UPS and Fed Ex Delivery guys (who by the way recently referred to Banjo as “Bitchy”. I won’t mention which one, so you do not hold it against a specific delivery provider)

Day 2 (Tuesday) Sit ups 3×15. Easy Peasy. Hooray, no cardio today. I am nothing if not lazy. I also stretched hips, groin and hamstrings, I love lying down stretches (I will show you those soon). I miss lunges. Oh well…better to want to do more than skip a day. Trust me. Start slow, stay the course is my motto. Bonus activity credit: Afternoon neighborhood walk with Banjo.

Day 3 (Wednesday) But seriously, I remember the days when I lived at the gym, now it’s as if there is one long list of things to do and the only gym I have time for is the postal man…I think his name is Jim. Close enough. He drops lots of books and stuff off here. Today I squeezed in Day two of the Couch to 5K program and did three quick stretches. Too busy. Squeezed in my pushups at 9:54 PM. Well actually that’s what time it is right now and I am about to squeeze them in. It was THAT kind of day. Don’t ask about Bonus activity, puhleeze!

Day 4 (Thursday) After Homeschool, housework and randoms of the day, I rolled out the mat to Lunge. I have always loved lunges, have been referred to as the “Lunge Queen.” Today, I had a change of heart, I wonder what I have been thinking all of my life. Where is the love? I managed to get three sets of 12 and realize I can do a hundred lunges while barking out orders for others to lunge, but actually getting through them without people to boss around feels, well, kind of empty, shallow, boring. I need a reason to lunge…beyond the buns. I need a victim. Lunges, anyone? Bonus activity credit: nada

Day 5 (Friday)  My buns are sore! I forgot that I actually like that feeling. Does this make me a masochist? Now, I remember why I love lunges…it’s the “quicker picker upper” – for Buns.
I did ONE  (see me, all conservative) Set of 21 of the following Sit ups, Push ups, Lunges. Why 21 repetitions, you ask? Why just one set, you wonder. Twenty-one is a nice number, right? No reason. One Set, because I was either:  A. Lazy, 2. I plead the 5th B. Bored, C. Distracted, 4. I am silly like that. D. All of the above E. practicing a secret formula for success. You get a smirk if you picked number 4.  Bonus activity credit: Walked with Banjo. LOVING the C25K workout!

Day 6 (Saturday) OFF– whoohoo! See you next week!

Next Week:

Week 2 of the Couch to 5K Program for me!
Which Track are you trying and if you are NOT doing this challenge, tell me how CONSISTENT you are with your own program? If you are not consistently working out, why wouldn’t you want to try this challenge? 

  Core and More
Week 2
Exercise
Day 8
Lunge
4 sets 8- 20
Day 9
Sit Up
4 sets 8- 20
Day 10
Pushup, Lunge, Sit Up
1-3 sets of 8-12
Day11
Plank, Superman, Wall Sit
2 x Hold as long as can each
Day 12
Lunge
2-3 sets 10- 25
Day 13
Sit Up
2-3 sets 10- 25
Day 14
Pushup
2-3 sets 10- 25

Be Gentle With Me Option

Week 2
Get Moving
Stretch
Strengthen
Day 8
15 Minute Walking
1-3
Wall Sit (45 sec)
Day 9
17 Minutes Walking
4-7
Quadruped (45 sec)
Day 10
15 Minutes Walking
8-10
Plank (45 sec)
Day 11
20 Minutes Walking
1-5
Wall Sit (45 sec)
Day 12
17 Minutes Walking
1-10
Bridge (45 sec)
Day 13
20 Minutes Walking
6-10
Plank (45 sec)
Day 14
off
off
off

You can Find more HERE!

SO How did you do?
Did you stick to the challenge? If you did not, PLEASE jump in ASAP. No worries, no looking back. I promise I won’t judge. Well, a teensy bit? OK, NO! No judgement- You can do this! Promise. And for those who are like, “Oh, too easy”. See me for Frequently Asked Questions next week. You, I will judge, and make grovel. I will deal with the likes of you then. Sweet Dreams, Peeps! 

This post is part of the series: 


Just The Stretches (31 Days of Fitting in Fitness)

To make this easier, I thought I would post the stretches and exercises on their own stand apart posts. This is the handy dandy Anytime Stretch Routine. It is not all inclusive but just a sequence of stretches that I think flow well. I will show you some great stretches, sources and links in the days ahead so stress not and stretch on
Oh, I need to add: generally it is beneficial to hold stretches for 30-60 seconds. I like to just go by how the muscles and stretch feel, as opposed to a time. So if my calf muscles feel tight I will spend however long it takes to relieve that tightness. 
This means an area that is less tight will get less attention sometimes, but not get totally neglected. You have some flexibility to determine what is right for you on any given day. Did you catch my cute little play on words. I know, I am so stinkin’ cute. Sigh. Cute now, object of hate later…I know it’s true. 
1. Standing Quadriceps: stretches front thigh-feel free to use wall or chair for balance. You can also catch foot/ankle with strap or belt if trouble reaching. Try not to lean or lock standing leg. 
2. Standing Calf Stretch: Stretching back with same leg, plant heel on floor and lean slightly forward, keeping chest upright. Think of gently pressing the heel into floor and leaning forward to feel stretch in lower leg.

3. Modified Hamstring/Pyramid: Using wall for support bend forward from hips, keeping chest lifted, until you feel stretch in back of the front leg. 
a. If safe proceed to chest to knee forward bend. 

4. IT Stretch: This one is tricky and can be done a couple of ways-see what works- While standing cross left leg in front of right, bend to the left at waist- I like to use the wall sometimes, You should feel it at the hip and along side of leg.

5. Whoohoo, let’s get physical, physical…
Reach to one side then the other. Nice and easy, right?
6. Forward Bend- You can modify this stretch by keeping knees bent – mine are actually softly bent here, also I have long arms, so don’t feel you need to touch floor. 

7. Overhead stretch- think of lifting chest to sky-as if a plane flew right over your head. 

8. Executive Stretch: Support head with palms of hands, lift chest while opening upper body.

9. Chest Opener: Reach arms behind you, 
clasping hands is optional- feel stretch in shoulders and chest

10. Neck: grasping left wrist with right hand, tilt head to right shoulder then slightly turn to adjust stretch. (feel left side) 

a. Upper Back: Palms together, press shoulders away and adjust to feel stretch in upper back.

b. Pressing palms together we end in prayer! 
Just the Exercises are HERE!

Week 1: Details (31 Days of Fitting in Fitness)

My sweet daughter “flicking” me from afar during our photo session.
Sweet soon to be teen- love that kiddo!
She takes credit for all the photos for our challenge!

Well here we are at Week 1 for our challenge. I hope you have had a chance to peek at the details but each week I will post the breakdown for both tracks. Remember you can jump in anytime and you can modify as needed. The one thing I will say is write it all down. I have provided a tracking document but you can use your own method, planner, journal or calendar -whatever works. 

My plan for tomorrow (Monday) is to start the C25K program and do the test. But this means I will probably go into my challenge slightly compromised as I have not done much at all over the Summer.
Actually let me rephrase that: my last workouts were more than three months ago…which means my muscles may not be thrilled with my little plan initially. However, since they are made for movement, ultimately they will be overjoyed. Joints over the age of 40 are generally skeptical of these efforts; I am sure we will be having a few words. If you are wondering whether you should do the test, I think I would say NOT if it will set you back at the onset. I just wanted the option available. 
There are 7 total exercises and @10 stretches in the Challenge base. 
My girl did some photos of me modeling the stretches and exercises.
They are not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination. I am sure when I am rich and famous, I will pay someone to make them go away. Meantime, pardon the greys, but you have me, more real than need be.  BUT hopefully you will have a clue somewhat how the exercise should be performed. 
Anytime Stretch Routine
Follow this sequence for an all over
 body stretch break anytime!
Follow Sequence and Repeat for Each Side
Stretch
1
Standing Quadriceps
2
Standing Calf
3
Forward Hamstring
4
Standing Crossover IT
5
Lateral Bend
6
Forward Bend
7
Overhead Stretch
8
Executive Stretch
9
Chest opener
10
Neck/Upper Back/Pray
Test Yourself 
Max Test
Day 1
Day 31
Push Up (as many)
Sit Up (as many)
Wall Sit (as long)
Plank (as long)
Lunge (as many)
Superman/Quadruped 
Bridge (as many) or (as long)

Be Gentle With Me Option (BGWM)

Week
Get Moving
Stretch
Strengthen
Day 1
10 Minute Walking
1-3
Wall Sit (30 sec)
Day 2
15 Minutes Walking
4-7
Quadruped (30 sec)
Day 3
12 Minutes Walking
8-10
Plank (30 sec)
Day 4
15 Minutes Walking
1-5
Wall Sit (30 sec)
Day 5
10 Minutes Walking
1-10
Bridge (30 sec)
Day 6
15 Minutes Walking
6-10
Plank (30 sec)
Day 7
off
off
off
Core and More Challenge (CAM) 

Week 1
Exercise
*Suggested reps/sets
Day 1
Sit Up
1-3 sets 6-20 reps
Day 2
Pushup
1-3 sets 6-20 reps
Day 3
Lunge
1-3 sets 6-20 reps
Day 4
Sit  Up, Pushup, Lunge
1-3 sets 6-20 reps
Day 5
Off
Day 6
Plank, Superman, Wall Sit
1 x Hold as long as can each
Day 7
Pushup
4 sets 8- 20
*To compliment the CAM Challenge I will use the Couch to 5K program: either the treadmill or road version (not sure yet- will decide tomorrow!)

Exercises and Stretches pictures will be posted Monday, September 30th.
I’m already exhausted from all this planning… phew! But you have no worries since you get to follow along, more or less!

Please chime in and share which challenge you will be participating in for the next 31 Days.

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