**Originally completed in November, I am challenging myself to complete this challenge again this spring! There is nothing more motivating as the temperature begins to warm up than a fitness challenge to keep you active.
These last two months of the year are arguably the hardest months to maintain fitness and not gain weight. With all of the holidays approaching, it seems each day there is a new celebration. These celebrations bring some of the best treats of the year – and some of the hardest to pass up. I personally always find my pants fitting a little more snug by the time January rolls around, and this year am on a mission to make sure that doesn’t happen.
In the past, I have always tried to complete some sort of fitness challenge or routine in November, but always fallen short as the days get busy. This year, I have reworked my goals and created a plan to succeed. Since the New York City Marathon takes place the first weekend of November, it is unlikely that I will be running very much for the rest of the month. Rather than set myself up for failure by trying to pile on the miles like usual, I have created a different goal.
Join me this month, as I have set a goal to exercise for 1,000 minutes total throughout the month. 1,000 minutes of exercise that is not pre-determined, leaving room for flexibility. I find that I fail most often when I leave little wiggle room for myself, such as planning to run 100 miles or workout for 30 minutes a day. This goal allows me to shape my progress towards reaching 1,000 minutes around when it is most convenient.
1,000 minutes of exercise is broken down into 16.67 hours, or 16 hours and 40 minutes. 16 hours and 40 minutes can be broken down into about 4 hours and 10 minutes a week. My favorite part of this challenge is that those 4 hours can be distributed in any way. Maybe I work out for an hour each day Monday – Thursday, and then have the weekend completely off. Or maybe I workout for half an hour Monday – Friday, and then complete 90 minutes on Saturday.
Any sort of exercise counts for this challenge; whether that’s running, walking, swimming, biking, the elliptical, lifting weights, yoga, etc. I’ve created a table which I am going to use to record how much exercise I get each week. The first and last weeks are little different because there are less days in them, so I included a total goal at the end of each week as a benchmark for staying on track. Again though, you could potentially do all of your exercise in one week if you wanted, it doesn’t have to be evenly split up. The goals are just guidelines to help achieve the main goal of 1,000 minutes!
If you’re like me then you may need some workout ideas as we get farther along in the month, so here are some of my favorite workouts of all different lengths! I plan to mix it up this month by trying to incorporate as many different varieties of exercise as possible. It always seems that I am my strongest when I complete various different workouts, rather than sticking to all of the same kind (i.e. running ;).
30 Day Fitness Challenge: Workout Ideas
- Alphabet Workouts can take as little time as you’d like! Pick a shorter word or name to squeeze in some extra fitness throughout the month when you’re on a time crunch.
- This is my favorite Dumbbell Workout and it only takes 15 minutes! It really gets my arms burning in a short amount of time. I always feel like I’ve been productive after completing this workout.
- Coming in just shy of 15 minutes is a classic – 8 Minute Abs. The people on this video make me laugh every time because of how encouraging they are. There are some great moves here that I have stuck with for the past few years.
- Yoga is such a great way to tone your muscles and strengthen your mind. I love yoga as a way to refresh and center myself. These yoga moves are great for runners and athletes especially!
- My favorite strength workout takes only 30 minutes to complete! When I’m training for a race I make sure to complete this workout once a week to keep my body strong and injury free.
- HIIT workouts are another great way to get your blood pumping and burn a whole bunch of calories really quickly. This is a great 25 minute HIIT Workout that will leave you sweaty and sore.
- Ab workouts are the best! I feel like I am constantly working on getting better “abs” and always love workouts that give me a good burn. This is the ab workout I’ve found to be most effective.
- I am all about efficiency when I’m running and love it when I find really effective workouts that don’t take up my entire morning. These speed workouts are so efficient, and they take less time than a regular run!
- Yoga is one of my favorite reminders that I am not as strong as I think I am. Runner’s World Yoga never fails to leave me feeling like I got in a great workout, but relaxed at the same time. They have so many different classes available online depending on what you want the focus to be!
- Riding my spin bike is another of my top choices to burn calories. Spinning never fails to make my legs feel like jello and leave me sweating, even in just 15 minutes. This is my go-to spin workout.
- If you’re a runner, I’m sure you never feel as accomplished as you do on speed workout days. These are some of my favorite hill workouts that will really get your blood pumping and help strengthen those quads!
Those are some of the many workouts you could try for this 30 Day Fitness Challenge! I am excited to mix up my workouts in and so happy that I will be able to recover from the NYC Marathon without guilt that I am not running again right away. Hopefully you join me on this challenge to maintain a healthy lifestyle (and create a little more room for those delicious holiday foods;) this month!