Today kicked off Week 4 of our New You 12-Week Challenge!
And if you’ve just joined us as a newbie, or have dropped off the bandwagon and are climbing back on or just realized your shorts from last summer have magically shrunk in your drawer – welcome (or welcome back) to the party!
Our Weekly Focus Point for Week 4 is very straightforward. For this week I want you to go harder in your workouts and cleaner in your diet. Let’s give ourselves a little nudge (ok, a push) into an area that might cause you some discomfort.
In order to progress, see results and/or improve, you need to make some changes. Sometimes little changes are enough, but every now and then you need more to reap bigger rewards. Hence, the reason to go hard this week.
Here are some examples of how to do it.
- Add fast intervals to your cardio. Every 3-5 minutes of walking, running, elliptical, hiking, swimming, biking – add a 1 minute burst of fast activity.
- Stop strolling – start power walking. Walking is a wonderful exercise but strolling is not going to help you reach your goals. Think quick feet, strong arms and walk with purpose. How do you know if you’re working at the right intensity? You can speak but won’t want to. Or you can carry your coffee without spilling it. (This is a not-so subtle call out to the many Las Gallinas amblers I see every day).
- Practice “Active” Rest. Many of us are in the rut of working out 3 or 4 days a week, allowing puh-lenty of “rest” days. Active rest is where you participate in another activity (say swimming or hiking instead of running) to give your overused muscles a chance to repair and recover.
- Challenge yourself with strength training. Can you do 10 pushups? Try 12 or 13. Can you do 1 pull up? Work to making it to 2. Can you hold a wall squat or plank for 1 minute? Try adding 15 seconds on to that. If you always grab a blue band out of habit (a-ehm) go for the purple next time. (You know who you are.)
- Work out like you are training for an event. Bring intensity and fire to every workout.
- Eliminate chips, crackers and other nutritionally vacant snack foods. Pop some popcorn in 2 tsp. of canola oil, sprinkle with cayenne pepper and salt or have an ounce of almonds. Crunchy, salty? check. Healthy? check.
- Invest in high quality treats. I have a sweet tooth and sadly, it is activated with cheap, sugary treats like mass-produced cookies and cakey things. These treats are neither filling nor satisfying so 2 cookies can go to 4 or 6 in a quick second. Opt for some good chocolate or buy a premium pint of good ice cream or sorbet. Eat the proper serving size, eat slowly and savor your treat.
- Ditch the booze. Just for a week. See if it changes the way you eat and your commitment to getting out of bed early to exercise. Especially on the weekend.
Hard core? Yep. Manageable? Yep.
Listen, it’s just for a week. You’ve got this.
Now go run!