From the Blog

Exercise and Wellness Streaks

Exercise & Wellness Streaks

As many of you know I often offer a fitness challenge to you.  They have varied over the years but they’re usually a 30-day challenge or a weekly challenge.  I try to make them manageable and beneficial to most of you, but factors including your age, fitness level, and the difficulty of the challenge might make them hard to complete.

The June fitness challenge is over:  300 pull ups, 1500 push-ups and 3000 sit ups. The sit ups were the most difficult because they took longer.  Without them, the challenge was very quick and easy (for me, at least!).  I found the sit ups to be very one-dimensional, so I modified them by adding twists, bent knee sit ups, wide leg sit ups, etc. Mixing it up is always good, especially if you are doing the same thing every day.

I hope you saw my July fitness challenge on twitter @paulfezza, burpees to match your age.  Check it out and finish the month with some burpees if you have not yet started.

I read an article in Runner’s World the other day that I wish I had read sooner:  there was a challenge to run one mile a day for 38 days, starting on Memorial Day and ending on July 4th.   Click the link to check it out.  It’s a great article that made many excellent points about how doing something everyday benefits you.

Here are some key points from the article.

  • Completing each day’s challenge is an accomplishment that releases dopamine (the feel-good chemical in our body).
  • A streak keeps you accountable and consistent.
  • Taking different routes lets you see new places, either where you live or when you travel.
  • Running a mile does not take very long.
  • Small changes and habits can lead to much larger gains and surprises.
  • It can take as few as  18 days to create a new habit, although some say longer.
  • Habits become automatic, as do things associated with the habit, such as getting your running clothes out without even thinking about it.
  • Repetitive stress is good for the body.  It builds bone density and tendon strength.
  • Almost anyone can do it.  The youngest “streaker” to complete a mile a day for one year started at age 3 years and 9 months. What a great habit to build, ensuring a lifetime of a high level of muscle endurance!
  • Combine other streaks with it, such as eating something green every day or doing a set number of burpees or lunges daily.
  • Share it with friends and be accountable to others.  This really helps.
  • Running definitely becomes easier.
  • When you decide to end your streak, it feels good.

I am challenging everyone to participate in a 42 day one-mile run/walk challenge in September from Labor Day on September 2 through Columbus Day on October 14.  Try it, and get a family member to do it with you.  All ages.  Walk a mile or run a mile each day.

Remember, consistency of movement is an important key to staying healthy in both mind and body for a long time.