A Better Body, 30 Days at a Time

I was sat at home relaxing when the bringer of bad news walked in …

“Babe, I have something to tell you …”

Those dreaded words!

I realise you lot are probably thinking the worst. But I knew it was even worse than that.

I could tell from the determined entrance and tone of voice that my partner had some genius fitness idea to get us both in to shape.

Note to all: Circle is a shape!!

And then the dreaded words: “Let’s do a 30-day challenge.”

The basic premise of the challenge is to set yourself a daily challenge, which needs to be completed for 30 consecutive days. The challenge needs to be something that you wouldn’t normally do.

Queue the jokes.

My first response was that I would, “Smoke a cigarette a day.”

(Playful slap)

I took it seriously after that.

Now, I realise that this sounds a little like a non-religious version of Lent. Except it is taken more seriously than Lent, but not as serious as fasting during Ramadan.

The Challenge

So, about this 30-day self-torture. I set myself a simple task, as I didn’t want to screw myself over.

Unfortunately, I screwed myself over.

My daily challenge started well, as the workout (50 crunches, 50 ankle touches, 30 push-ups, 10 leg lifts and 10 roll-outs) wasn’t too difficult. Stupidly, though, I designed a set of exercises that would work my stomach – something I hadn’t done in almost a year.

Day 2: It hurt to laugh, cough or do any other movement.
Day 3: I couldn’t sit down properly.
Day 4: I couldn’t tell if I needed the bathroom, or if I was feeling uncomfortable from the workout.

By Day 5, I was looking for ways to alter the workout itself.

By the end of the 30-day challenge, that pain left it’s place to boredom and tediousness because the workout had become a little mundane, and easy. Don’t get me wrong, I am still incredibly happy to have done the challenge and completed it. As the benefits were visible.

I hated Wednesday nights, though. I really did.

It’s tough to get home from two hours of football and hear the dreaded words, “You should do your workout soon and then shower.”

Colouring Squares
Colouring in that final segment to wrap up a successful challenge.

I can proudly say that I stuck to the original set of exercises, and I feel much stronger for it. I’m still far away from a six-pack, but my belly is a powerful one. The best thing is that I get to share another experience with my partner, and become healthier while doing so.

What Next?

I have set myself a new challenge. This time, I wanted to add more elements to my daily goal.

The New Challenge:

50 ankle touches
15 leg raises
30 push-ups
25 dips
30 second side planks
60 second plank
30 second wall sit
1x fruit and 1x vegetable
Run 8km over the week (not including running at football)
No fast food

WechatIMG4
Already looking great. 

As you can see, I have kept the workout, but also added weekly cardio and, most importantly, some dietary requirements. I realise the dietary part isn’t very demanding, except, I am absolutely terrible at eating fruit.

Verdict

The challenge was a very good idea, and definitely worth doing, as it gives each individual the chance to decide their own challenge.

So, for anyone who is interested in getting healthier, I would advise the 30-day challenge, but there are some things you should consider:

  • Share the experience with someone, as you will motivate each other.
  • Set goal-orientated challenges and not time-orientated ones.
  • Create a chart that you can colour in on a daily basis. Visually seeing your progress helps keep you motivated.

Good luck!


Quick Note: Portions of this blog previously ran on my partner’s site, as she detailed her own experiences during our 30-day challenges. You can check out her pieces here:

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