Welcome to my Monthly Fitness Challenge 2023.
As you can see, I’ve got a “new look” for this year’s challenges. And I think you’ll also notice – as the months pile up – that the challenges are more focused this year, and will build on one another as the year progresses.
Let’s get started!
Let’s talk about . . . planning for our fitness.
This is not about . . . making resolutions. This is about creating a plan to keep fitness at the heart of your days. Last Friday, I wrote a Museum of Me post about where I want to be in five years. My answer? I want my life to look much like it does right now, today. And based on your comments, most of you are right there with me! We want our lives, five years hence, to be much like they are right now.
But you know what that means, don’t you?
Yeah. We’re going to have to fight gravity for that to happen!
There are all kinds of studies out there explaining that our muscles melt away as we age. You know the drill; you’ve heard it all before . . . Our muscles begin to deteriorate in our 30s. When we hit 40, we lose an average of 8% of our muscle mass every decade — and this continues to accelerate even faster after age 60. Loss of muscle limits mobility, speeds the onset of some diseases, and is linked to premature death. As we age, we need to focus on building and maintaining our strength. If we don’t? Well . . . let’s just say we’ll be worse off in five years. Not “just like we are” right now!
So, let’s make a plan – a 2023 Fitness Plan – to keep fitness at the heart of our days. So we CAN show up in five years as strong (or stronger!) and as healthy and as active as we are right now.
How do we start?
First . . . Find your WHY. Get really clear about WHY you want to pay attention to your fitness. (Spoiler alert: If it’s because you want to lose weight, please reconsider. Increasing your fitness will not do all that much to help you lose weight. Sorry.) For me, my WHY . . . is so I can put myself in the best possible position to remain strong and active as I age. I really DO want to be able to do everything I can do now (gardening, walking, crawling around on the floor, yoga, etc.) in 5 years . . . and 10 years . . . and 15 years. I want to prevent falls and remain healthy. Maybe that’s your WHY, too. Maybe you want to keep travelling. Maybe you want to be able to keep up with your grandchildren. Maybe you want to be able to just defy your genetics. (I’ve got that WHY, too. . . ) Start with finding your WHY.
Next . . . Set some specific parameters for yourself. WHEN will you work on your fitness? (Be specific about the days and the times.) WHAT will you do? WHERE will you do it? And for HOW LONG? Be realistic! You know yourself; you know what you like to/can do. I do recommend that you push yourself a little bit, and commit to following through. But . . . be realistic about it, too. If you know you can only manage 15 mintues a couple of times a week, then go with that, y’know? 15 minutes is better than 0 minutes!
As an example, here’s what I do: Every week, I take a look at my schedule and figure out where I can best fit in my fitness workouts. I get out my calendar and I schedule my workouts for the week: cardio days, core day, strength training. I also schedule rest days. It helps me know when I’m doing what (then I don’t have to think about it). I also know that I’m much better off if I get my workouts done earlier in the day. If it gets past noon, I know I’m less likely to actually do them.
So use what you know about yourself, challenge yourself a little bit, and set up your own parameters.
Then . . . Begin! Work your plan. Do it! But be gentle with yourself. Build in some flexibility. (Like I mentioned, I look at what I’ve got going on each week before I commit to my workout schedule; some weeks I need to be more flexible than others.) Be patient with yourself. (It takes a while to build up new habits or to get used to new schedules.) And be kind to yourself. (You can begin again ANY day, y’know?)
So the challenge this month . . .
Create your own Fitness Plan for 2023.
I’d love to hear about your plan . . . as we head into this year together . . . with fitness at the heart of our days.
See what happens!
Looking for past Monthly Fitness Challenges? I’ve moved them! Now you can find them in the Field Notes section of the blog (just click on Field Notes in the top menu) and look for Monthly Fitness Challenges 2021-2022.