Starting the year on a fitter note…
The end of 2018 has been a complete stormer professionally, but that has gone hand in hand with a slowing down of my training (shock horror – a personal trainer admitting to not exercising as much). I’ve still been exercising, but the Active Retreat took up so much mental space and demanded so much of my time that I couldn’t really train to my usual level.
I’m not complaining, we delivered an amazing holiday for our guests and I’ve delivered some writing work that I’ve been really, really proud of. My fitness paid a slight price though and it’s time for me to repay that debt with a new year fitness challenge. I’d like to extend the invite for you to join me too. Read on and you’ll find out how. Before that, more details…
The New Year Fitness Challenge…
My new year fitness challenge is simple – I want to hit at least 100% of my daily activity target every day of January. No excuses because it’s cold, wet, dark, windy, I’m tired etc.
In part this has been inspired by my friend and personal training client, Mark. In January this year (2018) he did a 5km run per day, every day throughout the entire month. He completed the challenge and I was really, really impressed. It takes a lot to drag yourself out for a run every day without fail – especially in the January weather!
Anyway, he did it, lost some weight, improved his times and felt mentally better too. There wasn’t a down side (apart from when I joined him for the final run of the lot, tripped over a branch and cut my hands, knees and hips!)
So, inspired by Mark (and my growing waistline), I’ve decided to open up the year with a month of daily exercise.
I track my training with a Polar Heart Rate Monitor. On the monitor I use (the M400) allows me to set a ‘training load’. My training load has been set to ‘heavy’ which is 5-8 hours of intense exercise per week.
The type of exercise doesn’t matter, but the quality and quantity does. It means I can balance out the training I do to prevent overtraining and risking my health, which is the absolute opposite of what I’m trying to achieve! I’ve learnt from experience what happens if I overdo one type of training and it’s not pretty…. Overtraining and CNS Fatigue!
Why open the year with such a challenge?
There are a number of reasons really…
The first one is that I’m a big believer in momentum, especially when it comes to fitness. Making something a regular habit means you’re far more likely to stick with it. I don’t need any help with sticking to an exercise routine, but a challenge is a way to push me beyond my normal.
The next reason is I want to lose weight. I’ve probably gained around 10lbs since October, when the Active Retreat work really started to ramp up. This isn’t a welcome guest, so I want to get rid of it.
The third and final reason is because I love how being fit feels. I don’t mean ‘not fat’, but that feeling of health and vitality you get from being truly fit. I’ve spent a significant chunk of my adult life feeling really fit, but since business took over, the back end of the year has left me feeling unfit. It’s time to change that.
How am I going to train?
Here’s the beauty of this challenge – I don’t have to overthink it. I’m going to continue pretty much as per normal, but with a higher level of frequency. That means I’m going to base the majority of my training around Weight Lifting and my cardio will be football (mostly), but on non-weightlifting days I’ll mix things up.
Mixing things up could be more bodybuilding style workouts, more CrossFit style workouts, yoga, walking, cycling – there’s no limit on the creativity I could apply. The goal is simple though – train every day throughout January, regardless of the weather, the time of how busy I am.
It’s key that you don’t overthink your exercise. The point here is to develop consistency in your exercise, not perfection. Just move – run, swim, lift weights, ride a bike, swing a kettlebell, attend classes – just do something every day. It’s just about increasing your health and vitality.
What about food?
I realise that one of my motivations for the new year fitness challenge is to lose weight, but rather counter-intuitively at this point, I’m not going to focus on food at all. I’m just going to make consciously good choices, but one thing at a time – training at the moment, food will come later.
Food is of course, important. Despite that though, I think there’s an element of spreading yourself too thinly, so I’m going to devote most of my focus and attention to exercise. It’s only a month, plus it’ll get me onto a great footing and allow me to transition from fitness to fitness AND food in February.
Want to join me on the new year fitness challenge?
I’m opening it up to all – man, woman, dog, cat, child or goldfish. I’m going to do this whether people join me or not, but if you want to join me on giving your year the fitness kickstart it needs, get in touch via email and I’ll add you to my New Year Fitness Challenge Group!
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