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Benefits of the 21 Day Exercise Challenge and What I’m Doing Next

So, the 21 Day Exercise Challenge is over and I have to say, it wasn’t overly challenging.

Because I focused on building habits rather than getting buff I made sure that I didn’t make any part of the process something I was going to dread.

So what were the benefits? Since I was coming off a fairly relaxing and sedentary holiday on top of months of focusing on quitting sugar my fitness levels were pretty low. I concentrated on getting those parts of me moving that were getting a bit creaky. My program included walking, swimming, yoga and some body weight exercises like push-ups and core exercises.

These are the benefits I experienced:

  • A slight increase in fitness levels and strength
  • Better sleep
  • Improved mood stability
  • Less sluggishness and lethargy

21 days is not really long enough to see large tangible benefits. The idea was to kick start  my Year of Transformation by focusing on a small thing I could achieve to get me on the path. I must have been doing something because I’ve had sore muscles for the past 3 weeks.

So what’s next?

Like any long term strategy, I have a series of tactical steps in mind to get me where I want to be. The first roadblock was getting active and beginning to build a habit of regular exercise. Now that is complete I need to start building my fitness levels so I can achieve my more lofty goals.

There’s only one problem. My weight is getting in the way of some of my goals that involve lifting my body off the ground and dragging it through the water. The extra weight affects my flexibility, mobility and puts strain on my joints and back. I’m a pretty petite person so an extra 25 pounds is a lot to carry around all the time and I’m feeling it.

So my next focus area is not on perfecting the techniques of my chosen sports but getting off the 25 pounds that is holding me back. This will of course most likely still move me towards my fitness goals but that is not the focus for the next 12 weeks.

The program I am using combines a healthy eating plan with lots of movement (not cardio) and a series of short anaerobic workouts designed to get the metabolism firing.

Over the next 12 weeks I will be focusing on this eating and exercise program with the goal of losing my 20 pounds. More importantly than the weight loss, I will gain mobility, flexibility and most critically less joint, back and hip pain.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

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