This 2020, I embarked on a self-development journey. I’m committed to developing 12 habits for 30 days each.
This month’s goal is simple: Exercise everyday for at least 15 minutes. This is how it went.
Before this challenge, I workout 30 minutes maximum per week. I occasionally do squats, yoga and arm dips. I also jog in the morning for about 10 minutes. This month of March, my goal is to spend at least 1 hour and 45 minutes working out per week or 15 minutes a day.
We already know the benefits of engaging in physical activities. Exercising regularly:
Makes you happy
Exercising releases hormones that relieves stress and anxiety. It also makes you feel better about yourself, therefore boosting your confidence and improving your self-esteem.
Reduces health risks
Regular physical activity lowers your risk for develop chronic diseases like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome.
Improves your brain health
Exercise helps improve memory and thinking by promoting the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain.
To have a well-rounded exercise routine these five elements should be considered:
Aerobic exercise or cardio
These activities get your heart rate pumping. Cardio helps increase stamina which is good for the heart, lungs and vascular system. Walking, jogging, running and swimming are examples of cardio exercises.
The focus is building muscles and bones strength. The training involves a resistance which can come in a form of weights. You may use equipment like dumbbells or you could also use your own body weight. Some examples of this training are weight lifting, push-ups and squats.
These exercises target core muscles which includes the abdomen, lower back and pelvis. Core exercises trains the muscles to brace the spine which enables you to use your upper and lower body muscles better.
Balance tend to deteriorate as we age which may cause falls and fractures. Incorporating balance trainings to your routine improve overall stability. Yoga and pilates are examples of balance trainings.
Flexibility and stretching
Stretching increases flexibility, enhances posture and improves range of motion of your joints. It also restores the body and mind. For these reasons, flexibility and stretching activities are must after every workout.
Apps I’ve used:
I downloaded Adidas and Nike app on Appstore for a well-rounded exercise routine. Both apps offer free plans and in-app purchases. Both apps also allows you to create workout plans that satisfy your requirements.
On day 2 to 5, my body ached. Every time I walk, I can feel every muscle on my body twitch. It didn’t come to the point where I move unnatural though. It’s hardly noticeable.
I wanted to quit, but reminded myself that this pain is only the beginning.
By the end of week 1, my body has already adjusted and I started enjoying working out.
Also, I initially planned exercising after work, but it didn’t work for me. After work, I just want to curl on my bed and not do any strenuous activity. So pushed my workout routine in the morning, before work. I turned out great. I was more active and happy.
I enrolled to Fit and Strong plan on Adidas App. It’s a plan for beginners, like me. When you look at the individual activities under the session, they are quite easy. But I guarantee you, they will make you sweat.
What I like about Adidas App is that after every workout, you can take progress photos. So by the end of your plan, you could see how your body changed.
This is my “Red week”, so I swapped to Nike App for yoga workouts. Nike Apps offer sessions from 7 minutes to 45 minutes. For days that my flow’s intense, I opted to rest.
This week was exhausting. Ghana just reported its first Coronavirus case. The government has also announced a lockdown in Accra starting March 30, 2020.
It physically, mentally and emotionally draining, so I was not able to workout. I was too preoccupied with the lockdown preparations. Working out could have helped me cheer up, but I was just not feeling it.
End of 30 days:
Overall, I feel great! I’m become more confident with how my body looks and feels like.
It takes a lot of discipline and will power to be able to do something consistently.
Though I’m not able to achieve my goal of working out for 30 days straight, I’m still proud of myself because I did my best and I didn’t give up.