Sunday, October 2, 2011

Challenge #2 - Water & Exercise!

Great job to everyone who participated in last week's No Sugar Challenge!  The feedback I've received is that it wasn't that bad after all!  It's amazing how many foods we ingest mindlessly that can really add up to something bad of significant proportions.  How many times in a day or a week do we eat a piece of candy, a handful of chips, a couple of fries, etc?  Chances are that if you recorded everything you put in your mouth for one week, you would be shocked.  I hope you will continue without (or with minimal) sugar Mondays-Fridays at the very least.  This challenge was intended not only to increase health by eliminating sugar, a toxic substance, from your body but also to simply make you aware of what you consume.

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:


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:

-10 Pushups
-20 Squats
-30 second Plank
-10 Burpees
-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!

1 comment:

  1. since i didn't get to the exercises yesterday (but did the water), today was my first full day doing this.... OMG those exercises are so hard. i have no arm strength, so the pushups were a challenge- even doing them on the arm of the couch. burpees are a bastard...just saying. my "modified version" is quite humorous, but still got my heart rate up. i was able to do 2 sets before i started getting dizzy and a pounding headache.... will try for 3 tomorrow. regardless....i sweated more than i have in a long time. thanks for doing this.

    p.s. you should do a "session" on stretching and warming up.