I love a challenge!
To be honest, I’m not very good at making changes, especially ones that take time. I need strong motivation and accountability to keep me moving forward. That’s why I love a challenge, especially one I can do with others. Hence our new “Spring Into Summer – 21 Day Challenge for New Healthy Habits”! Because like all of us, I can use some new healthy habits!
We’ve done challenges before at the clinic. Walking, squatting and recently, for those who played along, step-ups. And I’ve done them all and been better for them. This time, however, we’ve decided to go a little bit bigger and get the whole Bod Squad practitioner team involved! And I’m just a little excited!
So how do you play along?
Each practitioner has created a list of activities or challenges. Each week you pick one challenge from a list to do every day for the next week. You can pick something from all 4 challenge lists or just 1. That’s totally up to you. Some people will want to tackle a lot and others will want to put all their energy into just one. It doesn’t matter how many you do just as long as you make a commitment to do them EVERY DAY WITHOUT FAIL!
So what are the challenges?
From our Dietitian – Eat Seasonal and Add an Extra Veggie a Day
Deeni our Dietitian has set the challenge of adding 1 extra vegetable to your diet a day! Sounds easy right? To challenge you a little bit more, each week she will be highlighting a vegetable that is in season right now and wants you to include that vegetable at least once in your weeks menu. Can you do that?
Her highlighted vegetables are: Week 1 – Asparagus; Week 2 – Fennel; and Week 3 – Peas!
And to help you along, each week she’s releasing 3 recipes that focus on the highlighted vegetable so you’ll have options on how you can add them to your diet.
From our Physiotherapist – Stop Being Static
Liv, our physiotherapist has set her challenge around movement. She wants everyone to Spring into Summer! So, she has created 5 ways to put 15 minutes of movement into your day. Pick one activity to do every day for the week. You can change activities every 7 days so you work and move your body in a different way each week. She has also scaled the activity to match your level of previous movement and fitness – thinking of everything is our Liv.
- Treadmill / Outdoor Walking: 15 minute walk on the treadmill or outdoors. If you want to make it more challenging you can include walking intervals.
Level 1: 1 minute slow, comfortable walk | 1 minute fast paced walking or on an incline – REPEAT x 8 sets with rests as needed
Level 2: 1 minute steady, comfortable walk | 1 minute jog / run / sprint – REPEAT x 8 sets with rests as needed
- Body Weight Sets: Repeat each exercise for 1 minute
Level 1: Sit to Stand from a chair / High Knee Marching / Plank Hold on Knees / Wall Push Ups / Glute Bridges – REPEAT x 3 with rests as needed
Level 2: Squats / Knee High Jog or Run on Spot / Plank Hold / Push Ups / Glute Bridge with 5 second hold – REPEAT x 3 with rests as needed
- Rowing Machine: 15 minute timed row (try and get as many meters as you can in 15 minutes!).
- Stairs / Stairmaster: Climb the stairs for 15 minutes (try and get as many stairs / levels as you can in 15 minutes!). Increase your pace as needed and allow for rests where required.
- Lower Limb Resistance Band Training: Loop the resistance ban just above your knees while doing the below exercises and repeat each exercise for 1 minute.
Level 1: Squats / Crab Walk Side to Side / Wall Sit / Clam Shells / Glute Bridge with 5 second hold – REPEAT x 3 with rests as needed
Level 2: Squat Pulses / Crab Walk Side to Side / Wall Sit with arms above head / Clam Shells with 5 second hold / Glute Bridge with leg pulses – REPEAT x 3 with rests as needed.
From our Psychotherapist – Self Care
Our psychotherapist wants you to focus on your emotional health and has set her challenge around Self Care tasks. After the last 18 months this task seems particularly poignant and very relevant.
Taking time to check in on how we are feeling, regulating our emotions, setting healthy self care habits are something that we often don’t do but can have such a massive impact on how we live our life.
So Kirrilly has designed 5 Self Care tasks which are easy to do. Just pick one activity to do every day for the week and feel the difference it can make.
Do a 5 minute meditation focusing on your emotions of the day. Notice what you felt throughout the day, name the emotions if you can and think about what triggered them. Then notice how your emotions ebb and flow.
Take 5 minutes to write in a journal. Some of us find it easier to write down our thoughts and feelings. It’s also a great way to document how we are feeling and experiencing the world and can give us great insight into how our emotions shift and develop over time.
Do a mindful minute every day. Try taking a few deep breaths in and out, noticing how your breath moves in and out of your body. Enjoy a minute out in nature, watch the trees move in the breeze, the birds fly above. Or concentrate on your senses as you perform an everyday task like doing the dishes. Notice how the water feels, how it moves.
Take 5 minutes every day to do a body scan. Close your eyes, and beginning at the top of your head, start to relax each part of your body as you breathe in and out slowly. Tell yourself to relax your scalp, your eyes, your mouth, your jaw etc. until you reach your toes. It’s simple yet effective tool for relieving anxiety and stress.
Take 5 minutes and review your day. What messages did you tell yourself? Were they helpful and supportive or critical and negative? Try replacing any negative thoughts with a more positive narrative e.g. I didn’t get all my tasks done today but I did the best I could.
From our Chiropractor – Stretch, Stretch, Stretch
Our final challenge is from me, our chiropractor. My passion is your spinal health! I want your body to move more freely, to feel more flexible, to be stronger and to function better so you can live your best life. With more flexibility you will have more energy and better posture which leads to much better health and well being. So it’s stretch, stretch, stretch from me.
I’ve put together 5 different stretch challenges with each one containing 3 stretches taking you approximately 5 minutes to complete! You know the drill, all you need to do is pick one and complete it every day for the week.
- GROUP 1:
Trapezius: Sitting or standing. Gentle tip your ear towards your shoulder. To increase stretch use opposite hand to gently increase pressure. Hold for 30-60 seconds – REPEAT 2 -3 times.
Chest: Stand in an open doorway. Raise each arm up to the side, bent at 90-degree angles with palms forward. Slowly step forward with one foot. Feel the stretch in your shoulders and chest. Hold for 30-60 seconds – REPEAT 2-3 times.
Shoulder Rolls: Standing with feet shoulder width apart and arms by your side, lift both shoulders up towards your ears. Move your shoulders back, gently squeezing your shoulder blades together, and then drop your shoulders back to the starting position. Do slowly – REPEAT action for 30 seconds and then do in reverse for a further 30 seconds.
- GROUP 2
Downward Dog & Up Dog Combo: Start on hands and knees and push hips up and back, coming off your knees so that you form a “V”. Now lower your hips to the floor so you are in a plank position with hips lower than shoulders and close to the floor. Now move back to “V” position – REPEAT action for 30-60 seconds. To reduce difficulty hold one position at a time for 30 seconds.
Runners: Start in hands and knees position. Take one leg and bring it forward to the outside of your elbow so your leg is extended . Gently rock forward into a lunge then return to starting position – REPEAT action for 30-60 seconds with rests as needed.
Side to Side: Stand with feet together and arms raised above head and hands together. Gently lead to one side and then the other- REPEAT for 30-60 seconds on each side.
- GROUP 3
Hamstring: Stand with your spine in a neutral position. Place your right leg in front of you and slightly bend your left leg. Gently bend forward while resting your hands on your left leg, make sure to keep your back and your right leg straight. Return to start and repeat with left leg – REPEAT for 30-60 seconds on each side.
Child’s Pose: Start by kneeling on the floor with your toes touching and your knees hip width apart. Bend forward from the hips so that your belly and chest are on the floor and your arms are extended above your head. Gently lower your body to the floor and hold for 30-60 seconds.
Hip Flexor: Kneel on one leg and place the other leg out in front of you, with that foot flat on the floor (if uncomfortable on your knee place a towel or cushion under it). Keeping your back straight, slowly push your hips forward until you feel a stretch in the upper thigh of your back leg and hip – REPEAT for 30-60 seconds on each side.
- GROUP 4
Adductor Rockers: Start on hands and knees with one leg kicked out to the side and the foot facing forward, make sure your foot is in line with the bent knee. Holding this position, gently push your buttock backwards until you feel a stretch and then return to the start – REPEAT for 30-60 seconds on each side.
Seated Twist: Start by sitting with both legs out in front. Bend your left knee and cross it over your right leg, with the foot flat on the floor (the left ankle should be touching the right knee). Place your right elbow on the outside of your left knee and your left arm should be extended behind you to provide support. Gently twist your body to the left as though you are trying to look over your left shoulder – REPEAT for 30-60 seconds on each side.
Seated Piriformis: Sit upright in a chair. Place your left ankle on your right knee so your knee is pointing out to the side. Keeping your back straight, lean forward until there is a stretch in your buttocks – REPEAT for 30-60 seconds on each side.
- GROUP 5
Rhomboid: Start by stretching your arms out in front of your body with your hands clasped together. Turn your palms so they are facing away from you and gently reach forward, arching your upper back so you feel your shoulder blades sliding apart. Hold for 30-60 seconds – REPEAT 2-3 times.
Triceps: Stand with your back straight and your feet shoulder-width apart. With your arm bent, bring your left elbow straight up beside your head and with your right hand grab your left elbow. Now with gentle pressure, pull your left elbow towards your head (if you’re more flexible you can pull your elbow behind your head) – REPEAT for 30-60 seconds on each side.
Neck Flexors: Start by standing or sitting comfortably. Gently lower your chin to your chest as far as you can. You should feel a stretch in the back of your neck. To increase the stretch place both hands on the back of your head and apply gentle downward pressure. – REPEAT x 3 holding for 30 seconds.
So that’s our Spring into Summer Challenge. 21 days of activities to help you move, feel and eat better!
I hope you can find at least one, if not loads of challenges that you would like to join us in doing throughout October. You know I’ll be doing them and so will the Bod Squad Team.
So pick your challenge(s) and let’s all have fun getting ready for our best Summer yet.