I wanted to create a challenge that can help normal, every-day people start to move in a healthier direction. So many of the fitness challenges out there sound good on paper and then four days in. . . . life happens. Or you decide that you don't want to do 50 jumping jacks, 50 situps, 50 pushups, 50 wall squats or whatever it is every day. It's too much to start with. What if you could start with easy things and maybe expand your horizons a little also? This isn't a fitness challenge so much as it is a challenge to get you to step outside of your box and try new things.
There will be suggestions for each day of the month, but feel free to do your own thing. As long as you are doing something each day, that can take you in a healthier direction, you're good. We would love to hear about your progress and which steps you took each week to make your life healthier.
Please link up each week on my Friday Fitness updates with your progress, beginning next Friday (February 5, 2016).
Here is our list of suggestions.
You can use as many or as few as you'd like, but remember to do at least 1 new healthy thing each day, even if it's just writing down three things that you're thankful for that day. For some of you, your one healthy thing might be to drink more water. Did you do it? Track it and let us know! Think of a creative way to keep track of how much water you've consumed! At one point, I was putting a rubber band around my glass for each glass I drank. For someone else, their "one thing" might be to try a new yoga pose. For another person, it might be to finally try a belly dancing video. Or boxing. Have you always wanted to try fencing? Find a class!
For each of the suggestions below, there is a link to information. Feel free to click the links to find out why the activity or suggestion is healthy for you.
Please note: It is always advisable that before you begin any new fitness regimen you consult a doctor to make sure that you are healthy and able.
If you're already super-fit, you can still join the challenge by doing something new-to-you every day.
Keep the challenges you like and build on them or decide they're not for you, but at least you tried!
Get Healthy, Get Fit Challenge.
You can find a printable calendar with the suggestions (minus the links) HERE.
You can find a printable calendar with the suggestions (minus the links) HERE.
Feb. 1 Buy lemons and begin your day with lemon water. Find out how much water you need each day. Although there is no hard and fast rule for water consumption any more, you can find a general equation at several places online. Remember, that it is possible to drink too much water. Most of us have the opposite problem though. Find a general equation here: The Truth About How Much Water You Should Really Drink. Also, print out a February calendar to record your healthy progress!
Feb. 2 Check out this list of the top 25 fitness apps for 2016. From apps that have "zombies chase you" while you're running, to apps that record your caffeine consumption, there's something for everyone on this list. Looks like some of them need to be purchased and some of them have monthly or yearly fees, but some of them are free.
Feb. 3 Go to Bloom to Fit, find out why pushups are good for you and sign up for a new Fitness Challenge every week.
Feb. 4 Do 10 pushups. Do them however you can! Can't do real pushups? Do them on your knees. Can't even do them on your knees yet? Do them on a counter. Still can't do them? That's okay! Do 10 wall pushups. Stand with your feet about 2 feet from a wall and do pushups against the wall. Eventually you'll be strong enough to move to knee pushups and then to real pushups.
Feb. 5 Go Red for Women! Wear red and go to the Go Red for Women website to learn about heart health for women. Know your risk!
Feb. 6 If you're a coffee drinker, replace one cup of coffee today with green tea. This is my favorite right now: Newman's Own Organics Green Tea, 40 Count (Pack of 6) It's organic and I buy it in bulk on Amazon so that I don't have to think about it for a while. Green tea has myriad health benefits that you can read about here: 30 Science Backed Health Benefits of Green Tea
Feb. 7 Buy 1 more organic product than you normally would. If you can't afford to buy any organics usually--just buy one! I know that eating organic is expensive, but you can start by replacing just one item and then take it from there. Go to the EWG website to see the Dirty Dozen list to find out which items you should definitely try to buy organic.
Feb. 8 Try this 5 minute morning yoga routine to stretch and wake up your body. This girl is really, really flexible. Adjust it and just do what you can do.
Feb. 9 If you are a member of a gym, try something new that you've never tried before! If you don't belong to a gym, go to the library and get a new-to-you workout DVD. Be sure to let us know what you did at the Friday Fitness link-up!
Feb. 10 If you usually use white bread, white rice, white pasta. . .. . . you get the picture, give the whole grain version a try. I've been using whole wheat pasta for over 12 years. We prefer whole wheat now. We love it's nuttiness and bite. If you don't want to try brown rice, go crazy and try red or black rice! If you think you wouldn't like whole wheat bread, try an oatmeal bread or 12 grain bread. If you already by whole wheat and whole grain breads, try an organic sprouted whole wheat bread. The point here is to step outside of your box and make one more healthy choice at a time.
Feb. 11 Make a smoothie. Check out this list of 19 smoothies and choose one that sounds good to you. I make green smoothies sometimes with spinach. If you follow me on Instagram, I'm sure you've seen me with my green smoothies!
Feb. 12 Check out belly dance tutorials on YouTube. I have several belly dance DVDs at home. I've checked videos on YouTube to see which ones look the most informative, while being short enough to not take too much time. I really like how Irina Akulenko explains everything, especially since none of my videos have ever talked about the actual posture that you should begin with! Each of her videos are a little over 1 minute long and are very informative.
Feb. 13 Go for a walk, hike, snowshoe. . . . . . . . . Undie run. I'll be doing the Undie Run today. It's only 1 mile, but I'm sure I'll burn calories trying to stay warm while I walk a mile in my undies in the freezing weather.
Feb. 14 Have red wine or dark chocolate with your sweetie. It's all about the antioxidants. It seems research keeps going back and forth and back and forth about whether or not red wine is good for you. Just remember~~everything in moderation.
Feb. 15 Learn how to do Eagle Pose. This pose is challenging, but it's one of my favorite. I love the stretch that it gives in the upper back. At the end of the video she does Sleeping Eagle and I've never done that one. So for myself, I'll be doing Sleeping Eagle for my challenge. Wish me luck and good luck to you!
Feb. 16 Check out this workout that you can do while sitting in a chair. I love that there are Pilates-inspired ab moves in this one: 6 Seated Moves that Work Your Whole Body
Feb. 17 Look at this list of 35 healthy Meal Ideas that can be made in under 30 minutes. Get inspired and choose one or two healthy quick-cook meals to try sometime soon. Begin making a shopping list. I think I'm going to try the Chicken and Wild Rice Salad!
Feb. 18 Get thankful! Start a Gratitude Journal. You can read my Thankful Thursday post to see why Thankfulness is good for you!
Feb. 19 Eat one of the top detox foods. After searching through dozens of articles on detox foods~~'cause let's face it, I'm not going to do an actual full-blown detox~~several of the same foods kept popping up. The foods that were pretty constant on all the lists were apples, beets, garlic, ginger, green tea, watercress, seaweed. I don't eat seaweed very often, if ever, so I'm going to do seaweed for this challenge. How about you?
Feb. 20 Try this 10 minute Pilates Victoria's Secret Model Workout on YouTube. I can't wait to try this one. I think my booty is gonna be burning!
Feb. 21 Create a meal plan and shopping list for the week. Stick to it as closely as possible. It's easier to eat healthy when you have a plan in mind and you have all of the ingredients. You'll be less tempted to just run out and get fast food.
Feb. 22 Watch this Spencer & Alex squat challenge on YouTube and follow along and laugh and squat with them as they do a Blogilates squat challenge. Just a warning: He does say something inappropriate in the middle and I think he looks like a frog sometimes while he's squatting. They crack me up. It'll make the squatting more fun.
Feb. 23 If it's been more than a year since you've had your cholesterol checked, schedule an appointment or find a health fair near you. Sometimes hospitals offer screenings during the month. While you're at it, learn all about cholesterol at the American Heart Association's Downloadable Cholesterol Tools page.
Feb. 24 Give up sugar for the day. You see how I didn't say give up sugar for the whole month? I'm not trying to kill your spirit. But if you have a sweet tooth, prove to yourself that you can go one day without the sweet stuff. I promise you can.
Feb. 25 Try this Muffin-Top Destroyer workout from YouTube. Okay. I'm not gonna lie. I'm scared of this one. But, I'm gonna try it! While I was watching it to see if I wanted to include it, I was like "Whaaaaa??? I've never seen THAT before!" Once you get there, I ask that you forgive part of the title. There's a little swear word in it, but I HAVE to try this workout.
Feb. 26 If you're a parent, go out! If you're single, stay in! It's opposite night. This one is for your mental health. We all love our kids, but every now and then you need a break and an adult night. And if you're single and go out every weekend night, maybe it's time to stay in, wrap yourself up in a robe and read a book.
Feb. 27 Try this 15 minute boxing workout from PopSugar Fitness on YouTube. When I first started working out again 16 years ago, I had a kick-boxing tape. Yes, a tape. It seems so funny now doesn't it? (I actually still have tapes!) I love learning the different punches and it's a great whole-body workout. I chose this one because it's only 15 minutes and it still covers a lot.
Feb. 28 Make a Salad Bar for dinner. Create your own salad bar at home by having a big bowl of Romaine or Leaf Lettuce. Include extras in separate bowls: spinach, carrots, grape tomatoes, chopped onion, chickpeas, boiled egg, shredded lowfat cheese or feta, sliced avocado, sunflower seeds, diced or sliced bell peppers, sliced mushrooms, pickled beets. . . . . . . .
The possibilities are endless. Try to get every color of the rainbow. Check out the Fruits & Veggies More Matters website for more ideas on how to eat the rainbow.
Feb. 29 Give yourself a big hug and tell yourself how awesome you are! You made it!
Are you in?!?! Stop back by each Friday to let us know how you're doing! If you feel like playing along, tweet & instagram with the hashtag #GetHealthyGetFitFeb
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DISCLOSURE: I am not a doctor, nutritionist or chemist. The things that I post to this site are usually experiments I do that may or may not work for me (I will always let you know which way) . Nothing I post is meant to treat any condition that you may have. You should always ask your own doctor's opinion on any condition that you may have. If you try anything from my site, you do so at your own risk. I'm an experimenter, always trying to make my own way. That's my thing. I'm happy if you find inspiration here. Life for me is always about creativity.