This week in fitness, my abs are rock hard six-packs of steel, or at least slightly more present than they were a few of weeks ago. I can do ONE HUNDRED sit ups, which seemed impossible on Day One. I’ve never completed one hundred anythings. If you’ve been doing this with me, how’s it going for you?
I’m on Day 25 and I want to quit, which feels silly given I’m so close to the end. I’ve started realising that, while it’s cool that my abs can now do a wild amount of crunches, I have no desire to keep hitting such high targets. I’d prefer to focus on establishing a realistic daily ab routine that ideally doesn’t involve spending ~40 minutes each evening panting on my bedroom floor. The problem there is that I have no idea what an adequate daily ab routine is. 50 sit ups? 80 crunches? No clue. If you have one that successfully maintains your core then I’d love to hear about it.
Also, how do you feel about me amping up the group participation a little? I was thinking maybe we could tackle more of these short challenges together, or find new ways to motivate each other towards immortality. Maybe I can throw down a new challenge each week or month, or you could suggest one. I’ll ponder this a little more but if you have feelings about it, please share them in the comments.
Here’s what has and hasn’t been working for me lately:
After having such a positive experience with using meditation to de-stress my life, I’ve been wondering whether yoga would be a good addition to my routine. I know very little about the practice but it seems like something that could potentially have the same chill factor as meditation but with the added benefits of improving strength and flexibility.
So, so many of you have recommended the Yoga with Adriene YouTube series that using it as my starting point was a no-brainer. I’ve done her Yoga for Complete Beginners video twice now; it’s twenty minutes of the yoga basics: breathing, warrior pose, downward dog, and a few more. I’m finding it to be physically challenging but in a super gentle and non-intimidating way; the poses aren’t held for long and there’s focus on moving the body in ways that feel good instead of perfect (which I suspect comes later).
Watching the video instruction while also trying to hold the poses is one of my biggest struggles. It’s difficult to tell whether I’ve really manoeuvred my body into the same shape as Adriene’s body when my my face is planted into the mat and my ass is in the air. Maybe that’s something that becomes easier once you do it more often and can commit each pose to memory. The good news is that my spine has never been forced into such straightness. It feels AMAZING, and maybe, hopefully, over time these exercises might help to correct my chronic slouching.
Now that the ab challenge is (almost) out of my life, I’m planning to attempt Adriene’s 30 Day Yoga Challenge. Does anyone want to do it with me? If so, let’s start after next week’s column. I’ll remind you. I’ve been told that it’s fine for beginners, although maybe if you’re completely new to yoga like me then it wouldn’t hurt to also have a crack at some beginner videos in preparation.
Working: Gilmore Guys
As you may have assumed (although I didn’t, because it felt too good to be true), Gilmore Guys is a podcast where The Gilmore Girls is discussed in depth, episode by episode. The dudes spend an hour having the kind of recap conversations that I wish I could’ve had with my college friends a decade ago, if only they weren’t too busy paying me out for loving the hell out of this show. Recent topics that have spoken to my heart include how Emily Gilmore is the superior Gilmore, and how all the men are underwritten and no one cares.
It’s not always the perfect conversation; I’m three episodes in and there have been a few side-eyes thrown. Overall, though, it’s a great length to soundtrack a solid treadmill or elliptical workout.
Have you been listening to any rad podcasts lately? I’d love some more recommendations.
Not working: Zombies, Run!
Since this column started and even before that, many people have been singing me the highest praises of Zombies, Run!
If you’re not familiar then the deal with this app, I think, is that you run away from zombies and it’s meant to make you a better distance runner, or enjoy it more, or both. I hate zombies and I hate distance running, so I assumed this app wasn’t right for me. However! I’m trying out this new thing where I actually test things out before writing it off. It’s ground-breaking thought leadership, I know.
My instincts were right; I tried it multiple times and couldn’t get into it. There was a silver lining, though. Those few minutes of running reminded me of how hard and fast my heart is capable of beating, which’s motivated me to push it to the max more often. As such, this week I’ve been adding a few minute-long sprints to my uphill power-walking and it’s feeling pretty great so far. Soon I’ll try Couch to 5K.
How has your past week in health and wellness been? Is there anything you’ve been kicking ass at or struggling with? Let us know in the comments! And if you haven’t yet heard, we’ve set up a Working On It social group. It’d be pretty cool if you join.
Coming up next week: I think I’ll talk a little about mental health.