CHALLENGE YOURSELF WITHOUT TRAINING FOR A RACE; CHECK IT OFF!
To avoid the usual drop-off in adherence to health-related New Year Resolutions, this year I created a list of activities and practices to be performed or followed regularly, which reflect lifestyle guidelines suggested by medical science experts to benefit physical and mental health. Not necessarily all squeezed into one day but included within a weekly schedule.
I created a personal general health ‘to-do’ list that I hope will substitute for separate diet, exercise, sleep, and meditation plans; one that I realistically can adapt as needed and follow throughout a full calendar entire year.
This to-do list doesn’t replace other goals, but rather organizes and tracks my adherence to regular practices that I view as generally beneficial along with components of routines that will be performed as part of official training programs. As an example, strength training is something I should always be incorporating into a weekly physical fitness regimen, but which also will formally be required by my half marathon plan. If follow the half marathon training plan, the days I strength train can be checked off the list as completed.
The idea was borrowed from an Earned Runs FALL CHALLENGE (The House Cup) and altered to make it easier for me to follow in 2020. Initially the House cup Challenge wasn’t a good fit because it introduced too many new practices. Since that first attempt in 2017, I’ve managed to perform most activities regularly but not as nearly as routinely as recommended by health experts. In this new year (it’s also a new decade) I am anticipating that the revised check list of this 2020 WINTER CHALLENGE helps me to consistently do what’s needed to maintain and even improve my health and increase longevity.
The activities ideally will transition over the months to become nearly automatic life habits that maintain a strong and, hopefully optimally, functioning body and brain, and globally result in a healthier me!
Identifying your own habits
Healthy habit identification and adoption is an extremely individualized project that requires more than a little effort and trial-and-error testing. Remember the last time a friend who accomplished an amazing physical or health transformation enthusiastically described the secret to their success? Performing 50 burpee exercises at 4am each morning, sleeping 10 hours per night, or drinking pre-meal ice water ingestion for example? Fill in the blank; another person’s habits won’t necessarily appeal to or be right for everyone.
Numerous thoughtful as well as crazy suggestions for healthy living can be found online, from which ideas can come for personal use. Readers will need to do homework to investigate the safety and efficacy of advice that falls outside the bounds of common sense. Jason Leenaarts wrote an article published by medium.com in late November 2018 that offered 43 ways to lose excess fat, which, for many would be a very healthy move.
Included are tips to “skip snacks”, fast for 24 hours each week, not eat after dinner, and “eat-in”. The fasting recommendation would require a bit of investigation to determine whether or not it’s a safe practice for individual use, but the remaining 3 ways, obviously, could be accepted without much worry. It’s one place to get ideas if body re-composition is a new year resolution goal. Search online for more articles if Leenaarts’s piece doesn’t do it for you. Be aware that even if just one idea can come from a source, it’s a winner.
Each item on my personal WINTER 2020 CHALLENGE Healthy Habits list has been assigned a positive (+) or negative (-) point value, depending on its relative importance to my daily health routine. I hope to accumulate about 100 points each week, roughly, and 1000 points over 10-12 weeks, at about the end of March. I’ve given myself a bit of wiggle room, so that a week or two of illness, vacation, or unexpected events won’t terribly disrupt the plan and cause enough discouragement to abandon it.
I’m not sure the challenge’s math makes sense or works to achieve the intended results, so I am ready to re-assign point values and weekly goals as need after starting it. I added quite a few activities that aren’t physically demanding, and fear that I will be able to accumulate sufficient points each week without doing the tough stuff. But still I want to become habituated to a few easy activities that I frequently skip (taking daily vitamins for example), as well as the those that I tend to put off because of the higher intensity effort involved (swimming laps for aerobic fitness).
This personal plan can be downloaded to use as guideline in designing a New Year resolution plan for 2020, one specially customized for your personal use to improve health and fitness. It can serve as an alternate WINTER CHALLENGE for those who do not wish to train for a spring goal competition, or a tool for organizing multiple health and fitness activities for those who are training for a race.
Perhaps it will inspire adoption of just one vital habit that’s been on your health ‘to do’ list for a while.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
My personal Winter 2020 Challenge: NEW YEAR Healthy Habits daily tally sheet
will also be avavilable on the RESOURCES page
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
New! Search Box
Earned Runs is now searchable! Check it out...