There are days when working out seems more like a chore. Instead of going through the motions, why not switch up your routine and make it more interesting? One way to boost your motivation is to take on a 30-Day Challenge. This is a great to mix up your regular routine, find motivation, prevent boredom, and test yourself.
Studies say it takes 21 to 30 days to break old habits and create new ones. A 30-day challenge allows you to build healthy habits that may stick with you for life. It also helps to prevent boredom from your daily routine.
Are you ready to commit to 30 days? It’s time to switch up your routine and gear up for a new challenge. Whether you want to lose weight or run faster, test yourself…move a mile a day.
30-DAY CHALLENGE: MOVE A MILE A DAY
A mile a day may sound easy or it may sound hard. Either way it’s a killer challenge. All you have to do is move your body forward for at least 1 mile, every day, for 30 days. You can run, jog, walk, crawl, bike or swim. Just break out of your normal routine and move a mile a day.
WHY A MILE A DAY?
The primary goal is to create better habits. Real success comes from real change, and that requires a re-patterning of your lifestyle. Lacing up every day will help you learn how to make time for fitness.
For newbies, this is a great place for you to start a new fitness routine and create healthy habits. For veterans, this is a great test to either increase distance or build speed.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO BEFORE YOU START RUNNING
Before you hit the pavement, you need to know your base pace. At the beginning of your 30-day challenge, track how long it takes you to run your first mile. Jot that time down. There’s your base time. You don’t have to sprint a mile a day, but you should keep track of your pace and improvements throughout the month.
Heart Rate and Heart-Rate Training Zone
In order for your body to benefit from the cardiovascular exercise, you need to get your heart pumping. First, you need to know your maximum heart rate. Then you should know your heart-rate training zone. Here’s how:
Maximum Heart Rate
There are two ways to get your maximum heart rate. The first way is easy. Take 220 and subtract your age. Here’s an example:
Equation: 220 — 30 = 190 (max heart rate)
The other way, which is a bit more accurate, is to do a stress test. To do this, find a good hill. Jog a few laps to warm up your legs. Once you’re ready, sprint up that hill till you feel like you’re going to keel over. Depending on your fitness and the steepness of the hill, this may not take very long. Immediately take your heart rate for a 10-second count and multiply that number by six. Jot that number down. Do this three more times. Then find the average number from your list. This is your true max heart rate.
Heart-Rate Training Zone
Cardiovascular exercises are broken into zones 1 through 5, all resulting in different benefits. Use the chart above as a reference to help you figure out your interval paces.
If your max heart rate is 190, and you want to train at a moderate pace to increase your aerobic fitness and endurance, then you want your heart rate to be at 70 to 80 percent of its max. You need to multiply 190 by 70 percent and 80 percent to find your zone.
190 x 70 percent = 133
190 x 80 percent = 152
This means you want your heart to beat between 133 and 152 times per minute. Or, between 22 and 25 times for a 10-second count.
Now that you have your numbers and targets, track them! Get a heart-rate monitor or manually track your heart rate at the peak of your exercise to ensure you are getting your blood pumping.
START YOUR CHALLENGE
It’s simple to start your 30-day challenge. Get the support, motivation and guidance you need to move a mile a day.
Track Your Progress
Write down how many miles you run every day and at what pace. Notice the strength you gain each day.Download and print the 30-Day Move a Mile Challenge calendar to see your progress.
Be Smart and Safe
Always check with your health care professional before you begin any aggressive, new exercise routine. Make sure to devote some time to stretch before and after you run.
Here are five stretches to help you stay safe as you move a mile a day.
Watch this video tutorial for the stretches.
Stand tall, step your left leg about 1 to 2 feet in front of your right, and bend at the knee. This should pull on your right hip flexor (the front, top side of your right leg).To get a better stretch, bend the left knee a little deeper (without your knee going over your ankle) and push your pelvis forward. Hold this stretch for at least 20 seconds and repeat on other side.
Stand with your feet together, kick your right leg back, and catch it with your right hand. Align your knees and push your pelvis forward to get the best stretch. Hold this stretch for at least 20 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Stand with your feet together. Step your left foot forward about 1 to 2 feet. With a flat back, lean your torso over your left leg, keeping your hips aligned. Continue to lower your chest towards your leg and knee to get the best stretch. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Stand facing a wall, about 1 foot away. Step your right foot forward so that your toe is 2 to 3 inches on the wall. Keep a strong torso and straight legs, lean into the wall, and push down on your toe. Hold for at least 20 seconds and then repeat on the other side.