The ❤️StrongBody Streak Challenge

February, the month of ❤️s.  Give your body the ❤️ it deserves by making it stronger. Join me and fellow blogger Allison of inverted sneakers as we launch the ❤️StrongBody Streak Challenge.  Starting on February 1, commit to 15 minutes of strength training, any workout of your choice, EVERYDAY until the end of the month.

As most of you know, I recently did a holiday Strength Streak Challenge and wrote a post on how to succeed at it.  Allison commented on my post that she wanted to do something similar in February so after a brief suggestion, we decided to create this challenge and invite others to join in the fun.  We are also starting a Facebook group for participants where you can post the workouts you did, provide or ask for ideas on types of workouts to do and give each other motivation.

At the end of February, you will receive the ultimate prize – a STRONGER YOU!

Plus many of the benefits strength training has to offer:

  • Slow the effects of aging.  Research has shown a muscle loss avg of 5 lbs per decade starting in your 30’s for non-strength training adults.
  • Improve body composition – MORE Muscle, LESS Fat!
  • Increase your resting metabolic rate therefore burn more calories on a daily basis
  • Prevent the risk of overuse injuries associated with repetitive landing forces such as in running.   Specific strength training improves muscle strength imbalances which protects your tendons and ligaments from injury.
  • Increased bone mineral density, important for older women who are more at risk to develop osteoporosis.

And the list goes on!  These are just the physical benefits.   A 2011 article written in IDEA Fitness Journal discussed how resistance training also improves mental health.

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Convinced yet?  When you decide to participate, let us know by posting in the comment section, then look for our Facebook group, ❤️StrongBody Streak and request to join.

JOIN US ON FEBRUARY 1ST TO BUILD A STRONGER YOU.

 

Five Ingredients to a Successful (Strength) Streak

Recently I undertook a 37-day strength streak challenge during the busiest time of the year (Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day).  As expected with challenges, I experienced a few hurdles but was able to overcome them.  I want to share with you the five elements significant to successfully completing this challenge and hopefully may help you to prevail over your challenges too.

MOTIVATION. What was the driving force?  For me, it was to develop the habit to include strength-training sessions into my fitness plan to build more muscle and lower my triglyceride levels.  The results from my blood test last year was a true awakening for me to overhaul my fitness and dietary habits.

PROPER PLANNING.  The week before or even the day before, write out a plan to answer the questions 1)What?  i.e. A TRX full body workout or Bodyweight workout targeting core and hips  2) When?  Morning for an hour or later in the afternoon for 15min during the kids’ screen hour.  3) Where?  At the YMCA gym or at home.  Having a plan ready ensures you get the job done especially when you’re short on time.

BALANCE.  To avoid the risk of injury or burn-out, maintaining a balance is important. I alternated easy and hard days, varied the type of exercises and used different types of equipment (Barbells, dumbbells, TRX, medicine balls, bodyweight, cable machines), and shifted focus on another area of my body (upper body) to allow for recovery when my legs felt fatigued and sore.

DEFINED SPACE.  For me, I needed a specific place to workout – either at the YMCA (where they provided childcare) or at home (fortunately I’ve collected enough fitness equipment to complete a workout).   However, on occasion I did part of my workout at a playground with the kids (monkey bars are no joke!…) and came up with a plan as to what type of exercises I can do in that type of environment.

SUPPORT.  My husband and my kids are my rock.  Without their support,  this entire challenge would not have even started.

Are you currently trying to overcome a challenge?  What helped you in becoming successful at it?

As in the previous week, I am happy to link up with the DC Trifecta ladies, Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Mar at Mar on the Run, and Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?! for Friday Five, choose your own topic.

Conquer the Hills

This past Saturday, Movin Shoes – one of San Diego’s local running stores hosted “The Soledad Challenge 10K Run to the Top”.  Mt Soledad is located in La Jolla at 822ft above sea level with panoramic views of San Diego and the Pacific Ocean.  On top of this hill sits a redwood cross that has been a source of controversy for decades (which might have been resolved recently due to the land being sold to a private organization).  Surrounding the cross are black granite blocks commemorating veterans who proudly served our country.  One interesting trivia I discovered is Dr. Seuss’s last home sits on top of Mt Soledad – will have to look for it the next time I go!

Several paths lead to the top of the mountain, one path from La Jolla has a steeper climb, a run I did almost a year ago.  However, the Soledad Challenge started from Movin Shoes in Pacific Beach with more of a gradual ascent.  Still, it’s a continuous uphill route for 3 miles to reach the summit.  Approximately 40+ runners showed up for the challenge that started at 7:15am.  Our usual Saturday group all decided to run it.  The more people I know, the merrier!  It wasn’t officially a race – no bibs, no official time, but Movin Shoes did provide a water stop at the halfway point.  Much appreciated.

Here’s the elevation profile:  

I can see the cross, almost there!

I planned to take it easy, but running uphill is NOT EASY.  I found it most comfortable to take short, quick strides.  When my body started to fatigue as my heart rate shot up to 180+rpms, I started repeating in my head “Strong legs, Strong glutes, Strong core” to propel to me to the top. Having my BRF running next to me helped as well.  She caught up with me visualizing a string attached on my back pulling her towards me.  A trick we learned from a running seminar we attended years ago.  She is an amazing and strong runner who is coming off from a break after giving birth 6 months ago.

   Me and my BRF, Miche

Water stop!!! Yes, Please.

With some of the guys from our group

As we started our downhill run, we saw one of the gals in our group on her way up.  We decided to turn back to accompany her to the top.

Downhill is the easy part, as many would say.  To me, it’s actually more difficult.  I have to run more conservative downhill or risk painful strains due to eccentric loading.  Fortunately, the three of us took it easy and enjoyed the rest of the run.

The Soledad Challenge was definitely a challenging workout. Due to a great turnout, Movin Shoes has suggested to add this 10K challenge to their schedule once a month.  Incorporating hills into my training program has many advantages, strengthening the cardiovascular system as well as increasing muscle strength and power, so I will consider running this event again.

Are hills a part of your workout?  Anyone else racing during the holiday season?

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myRUNweek RECAP

Hip hip hooray!  Three cheers for running three days this week (11/30-12/7).  After a month off, I appreciate the delight running brings to my life even more:)  A couple of weeks ago, I decided to join the twitter world under my blog’s name, ‘myRUNexperiment’ and discovered a wealth of information shared through this form of social media. Sometimes my head hurts trying to sort out who I want to follow, what posts to read now and which ones to save for later.  I did find some fun run challenges to do with the opportunity to win prizes such as The December Run Challenge hosted by RunSteffRun and RunChatHunt (a Scavenger Hunt while out on your run) by TheRunChat.
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Continue reading “myRUNweek RECAP”

Strength Streak Challenge Update

Today is day 5 of my holiday fitness streak.  Motivation is still high and if it ever does reach a low point, I will think of my disappointing lipid profile results (discussed in this post, Am I Skinny Fat) to bring me back to the major reason why I wanted to establish the habit of maintaining a strength workout.  Fortunately, it’s been easy to keep a consistent schedule because 1) I have the support of my family and 2) our neighborhood YMCA has an excellent childwatch program that my kids enjoy.  They play while I workout, a WIN-WIN situation. Continue reading “Strength Streak Challenge Update”