My winter fitness challenge

The combination of incredibly cold winter weather and ridiculously rich winter food is a dangerous (albeit delicious) combination. 

In a bid to combat the almost inevitable winter weight gain I have set myself a little challenge for the rest of the season.

I plan on focusing on my fitness over the coming months, starting with reaching a daily goal of 10,000 steps, the World Health Organisation’s recommend number of daily steps.

I first was inspired to hit this walking target last year when my colleagues and I agreed to take part in a month-long 10,000 steps challenge. With our Fitbits at the ready and our walking shoes on we hit the pavement, carpet, grass and floorboards in an attempt to reach that golden number. 

I loved the challenge and kept using my Fitbit One, but my daily number of steps has decreased slowly but surely over time. One of the reasons for that is a reality I faced during the steps challenge; while I like to exercise and go on regular walks I am not getting nearly enough incidental exercise due to a number of factors. The cold weather and short days have also severely limited how much walking I can fit into my life at the moment.

So as part of this challenge I have set myself the goal to hit that 10K mark no matter what it takes. 

The second part of my fitness challenge was to get back into a routine with my workouts and incorporate more strength training to complement my cardio. 

One of the best health books I own is the Australian Women’s Health Magazine’s Big Book of Exercises. It is jam-packed full of images and tips about all sorts of different exercises for the gym or at home. It also includes some amazing workouts for just about any person or fitness level.

I have chosen to follow their get-your-body-back workout which runs through three phases over 12 weeks. It combines strength training three times a week and cardio twice a week. On one of my rest days I will also be incorporating a solid yoga and stretching session. 

For the strength workouts I can expect everything from reverse crunches, planking and body-weight lunges to push-ups, dumbbell squats and something known as the “prone cobra” which slightly terrifies me. For cardio I will alternate between long walks when I have the time on a weekend and solid blocks of time on my exercise bike. I also love including dance into the mix because it is so much fun to do and makes me feel happy while making me healthier.

I’m excited about getting some focus back in this area of my life and I would love to hear how you factor fitness into your life. 

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