This week we are doing a combination diet and exercise challenge, as they are equal parts in a successful fit and healthy lifestyle!
Part 1: Water...we all drink it (hopefully!). But do we get enough to support our body to function at its maximum potential? This week we do! Given that our bodies are composed of about 60% water, this is a very important challenge. Water serves many purposes in our bodies to sustain life:
-It brings nutrients to our cells and carries wastes away from the cells.
-It lubricates our joints.
-It protects a fetus in the womb.
-It regulates our body temperature.
-It provides minerals essential to our body function.
The list goes on and on. By the time you feel thirst, you have already lost 1-2% of your body weight in water. This can cause lack of mental focus, reduced endurance, and increased strain on the heart. The consequences of water loss become more serious with each percentage lost, so it's vital that hydration stays constant, especially if you're exercising (and we are!).
There are complicated formulas to determine how much water you need each day, but we are going to keep it simple:
THIS WEEK YOU WILL DRINK 2 LITERS OF WATER PER DAY.
You will also aim to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, as they are high water-containing foods. You should be getting another liter of water per day from your food. It's also important not to drink too much water, as serious consequences occur when minerals become imbalanced by the abundance of water, although I don't think any of you will be faced with this problem.
To top it off, the only beverages you will consume in this challenge are water, coffee, or tea (not sweet, and preferably the herbal kind).
PART 2: Exercise
If you're already exercising regularly, please continue what you've been doing, as long as it includes strength, cardiovascular, and flexibility training. As we age, degeneration of the body is not simply a result of just getting older but of lifestyle choices, so it's vital to move every day! A lot of my friends tell me that they don't really know how to strength train, so every day this week, you will do FIVE simple body weight exercises:
-30 second Plank
-25 Seated Bicycles
Repeat this sequence 3-5 times. Don't forget to warm up and stretch after! These exercises are meant to be done at home, so there are no excuses! We are starting off very basic and will be able to progress week by week. Of course, you should consult a doctor before beginning any exercise program. Please see the video below for an explanation of these exercises.
**Side note: you can also do your pushup on your knees in the burpees or plank from the knees, similar to how I describe in the initial pushup explanation.
Any questions you have about this week's diet and exercise challenge, please leave them as comments!