So I’ve been feeling awfully tired and out of shape recently. That means this year’s February challenge should either be exercise or food related. (Since I have PCOS, eating sugary/refined carb foods can have an especially detrimental effect on my health and moods.)
Last year I tried the 7 min workout and I hated it so very much. I got stronger but I dreaded that part of each day. So that didn’t last past February.
I’ve been debating two different things.
First, I could do a healthy-eating challenge to reset my diet. Basically this means I eliminate sugar and refined carbs entirely for the month. No pastries, no white bread, no white pasta, no white rice, no more TJ’s orange chicken. I know this works out pretty well for me and I tend to feel more energetic and healthier and so on and so forth. But it removes a lot of the minor joys in my life which seems especially hard when we’re temporarily living someplace with good bakeries. So I’m trying to cut back on the lower quality stuff, but I don’t think I want to go straight-up cold turkey. I at least want to be able to partake at work functions, even though I know we can do better at home.
Second, and what I’m going to go with, is an exercise challenge. After some conversation with DH, I’ve decided I should do a step challenge, as in, walk at least X steps per day. Now, the standard step challenge is to do 10,000 steps/day. (Or to average that per week.) There’s not really anything scientific about that number based on my quick internet search (if anything, the “scientific” number is 7-8K, but more doesn’t hurt). I’m not sure how realistic 10K would be for me, so what I’m doing this week is actually carrying my phone around with me and using the iPhone health app to see what my regular step usage is according to the phone. After doing that, I’ll see what a reasonable number to up it to would be. (It’s not as good as a fit-bit, but if I use it as a baseline against itself hopefully that will be reasonable.) I don’t normally carry around my phone, so it says silly things like I’ve done 20 steps/day on the weekends. The most recent time that I was carrying around my phone was at a conference where all the hotels were far away from each other, and on those days I did average more than 10K, but I did what seems like a lot of walking on those days.
A problem I’m not sure what to do about is the weather. It has been unpredictable. On days like today it’s easy to say, oh yeah, if I didn’t get enough walking in during the day I will totally go on a long walk after work. But that’s a bit harder to commit to when it’s pouring rain. Maybe I’ll have to look into youtube aerobics or something. (Yech.)
The end goal is to feel more energetic. If walking more doesn’t work, then I probably will have to do more than just vaguely try to eat healthier.
The plan going forward is to check how much I’ve been walking per day during a regular week, like this one, and then to set a goal for walking that is bigger than that number. If it is embarrassingly low, I will put in an increase to a less embarrassing number each week goes on in February.
(What happened to biking or taking public transportation, you ask? Winter + DH being willing to drive me! And deeply enjoying spending that time talking with DH instead of being on the bus by myself. And one of the bus drivers being kind of a jerk.) (Thank goodness we’ve passed the solstice and it’s started to stay light after work. Still probably gonna stay with the car.)
For those who haven’t been following us forever, why February? Because February is the best month for challenges! January may have that post-holiday guilt and new year optimism, but February has the bigger benefit of being shorter.
How do you exercise/stay healthy?