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April Challenge

This month we’re going to work on your butt!

The first week (April 1-6) do 10 squats, 5 bridges, and 10 lunges each day.
The second week (April 7-13) do 20 squats, 10 bridges, and 15 lunges each day.
The third week (April 13-20) do 30 squats, 15 bridges, and 15 lunges each day.
The fourth week (April 21-28) do 40 squats, 20 bridges, and 20 lunges each day.
The last few day (April 29-30) do 50 squats, 25 bridges, and 20 lunges each day.

You can do this!

March Challenge

Let’s work on abs this month!

On odd days, you’ll do 30 russian twists, a 30 second plank, and 30 seconds of mountain climbers.
On even days, you’ll do 25 reverse crunches, 25 crunches, and 25 arch ups.

If you’re a beginner, you’ll do 2 sets per day.
If you’re an intermediate you’ll do 3 sets per day.
If you’re at the advanced level, you can either double your numbers or do 4 sets per day.

If you’re not sure, ask me if you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced level. Let’s get strong!

February Challenge

This month I’d love for you to keep your step count up near where we ended last month. I also am going to let you choose one of the following challenges. Tell me when we meet what you’re choosing.

You can do a pushup challenge – start with 4 and add 2 per day so that you end up doing 60 pushups by the end of the month (it’s a leap year so we get a bonus day!!).

You can do a squat challenge – start with 5 and add 5 per day so that you’re doing 145 squats by the end of the month.

You can do a crunch challenge – start with 10 and add 10 per day so that you’re doing 290 crunches by the end of the month.

Let me know what you’re going to do — stay accountable!!

January Challenge

I’ve been asking people over the last month how many steps they normally take a day. This month we’re going to get you moving so that we can start the year off right!

From January 1-6 you’re going to add 500 steps a day to your normal number.
From January 7-13 you’re going to add 1000 steps a day to your normal number.
From January 14-20 you’re going to add 1500 steps a day to your normal number.
From January 21-27 you’re going to add 2000 steps a day to your normal number.
From January 28-31 you’re going to add 2500 steps a day to your normal number.

November and December Challenges

Ok, so we’re entering the time of year when people get busy and many activities center around food. So your challenge this month is to be thoughtful about how and what you eat. How you do that is up to you.

You could: Keep a food diary
Drink a glass of water before you eat food
Make sure that you plan ahead before going somewhere food will be served
Try to eat vegetables
Use an app that tracks calories or points
Pay attention to portion sizes (compare to the size of dice, the palm of your hand, etc)
Ask yourself if you are hungry or are you mindlessly eating?
Think about the foods that are central to your holiday celebrations. Can you make them more
healthy? Is there a way to decrease portion size? Why are those foods important?

I’m thankful for each of my clients and my readers, and I hope that you have a wonderful holiday season!

October Challenge

Place your back against a wall, with your feet shoulder width apart and about 2 feet away from the wall. Slowly bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. You should look like you are sitting in a chair. Make sure your knees are at a 90 degree angle to your lower legs.

Make sure you are pushing your entire back against the wall.

October 1-5: 15 seconds

October 6-10: 30 seconds

October 11-15: 45 seconds

October 16-20: 1 minute

October 21-25: 75 seconds

October 26-31: 90 seconds

If it is easy, then lift your arms over your head.

September Challenge

Crunches: Here’s another exercise that most people do wrong. The point of a crunch is NOT to use the hips as a pivot and bounce up and down. Most people do this, especially on a stability ball, which simply shows that your butt/hips can bend. Great. But that’s not ab work.

Lie down on your back on the floor with legs bent and feet flat on the floor. (Do not tuck your feet under something; that only brings in leg muscles.) Bring hands up to collarbone as if you are adjusting a shirt/collar (arms bent, hands in middle/front of chest). Squeeze abs downward as if you are pushing — labor? a bowel movement? (gross, I know, but it’s roughly the same muscles involved). THEN WHILE STILL PUSHING DOWNWARD lift chest up off ground about 3 -5 inches. Do NOT look at your belly while doing it; keep head neutral. Your lower back will also be pushing down into the ground.

All crunches should really be a four-step process. Squeeze, lift, come down, relax.

If you’re doing it right, it won’t really matter how strong you get, since an isometric is involved, the stronger you get, the stronger you will squeeze, so you will still get tired quickly.

So….I’d like you to start with 20 and add 1 crunch a day. So September 1 you will do 21 crunches. By the end of the month you’ll be up to 51!

If on the first day you can’t do 20 then I’d like you to start with 10 and add 1 per day.

You can do it! Let me know how you’re doing!

August Challenge

The challenge for August is Tricep Dips. We all know about the arm waddle, and we all want nice tight arms. This exercise will help.

Find a hard surface like a set of stairs or two sturdy chairs. Sit on the floor with your hands on the bottom stair and your back to the edge of the stair. Put your feet straight out in front of you. Pushing down on your arms, straighten them. Bonus points for extending your body until your hips are straight!

If you are doing this off a set of hard chairs, make sure that they are solid and are stable. I am not responsible for you flipping them over! ☺ Sit on the chairs with your fingertips wrapped around the front edge of the chair. Lift your bottom off the chair and forward, so that your back can slide down towards the floor as your arms bend. Then push and straighten your arms.

If you have never done these before or they are hard for you, start with 1 and add one per day. (Hint: you will do whatever number the date is!) If you have done these before or are already fairly strong, start with 10 and add the date. (So the first day you will do 11, the second day you will do 12, etc.)

June Challenge

Wow, life has gotten crazy and it’s a couple days into June and I didn’t put up the June Challenge! So sorry…but let’s get going!!

The challenge this month is Calf Raises. This exercise is great for improving balance as well as strengthening the muscles in your ankle, arch of your foot, and the back of the leg.

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and pressing down on your toes you will lift your heels as high as you can, as if you are wearing a pair of high heeled shoes. Hold for a second at the top and then lower down again.

Then put your legs together so that your toes and heels are touching. Lift the heels again, paying attention to your ankles. Don’t let them roll out.

The challenge is:

June 1-10 20 with legs apart, 20 with legs together, 5 on each leg by itself
June 11-15 20 apart, 20 together, 10 on each leg by itself
June 16-20 25 apart, 25 together, 10 on each leg by itself
June 21-25 30 apart, 30 together, 10 on each leg by itself
June 26-30 35 apart, 35 together, 15 on each leg by itself

I’d love to hear what you think of this one!

May Challenge

So are we ready for a challenge?  I am actually going to issue two challenges for this month and let you choose which one you will commit to finishing.

The first is for the “Are you kidding me?  I don’t exercise!” crowd.  I want you to read the instructions for doing a proper squat and start with 3 squats from sitting in the chair.  Then every day you increase by 3.  (Take the date and multiply by 3.)

The second is for the “I’ve been exercising but I haven’t done squats this way before” crowd.   I would like you to read the instructions for doing a squat correctly and do 5 a day, increasing by 5 each day.

Don’t do the math :)  You are stronger than you think!!!!