Well, May was a strange month – Beau bet me I couldn’t go for a month without alcohol, and I well and truly proved him wrong. For the month of June I’ve decided to actively do something rather than give something up, and have chosen to do a fitness challenge on a budget. After all, fitness is within reach for most of us without needing to pay for expensive gym memberships or food supplements.
I’m not completely unfit so fortunately won’t be starting from scratch, but I could definitely do with getting fitter. To begin with, I’m easing into it gently and mostly doing some extra light and moderate aerobic exercise, before moving on to body conditioning, weights and increasing stamina.
Here’s my basic programme for the month:
- Week 1: Increase total moderate aerobic exercise to 7 hours
- Week 2: 5 hours moderate aerobic exercise, 2 hours total toning exercise (no weights)
- Week 3: 5 hours moderate aerobic exercise, 2 hours total toning exercise (with light weights)
- Week 4: 3 hours moderate aerobic exercise, 2 hours moderate to intensive aerobic exercise, 2 hours with weights
The aim is to start off with lots of low impact activity, both to improve cardio health and make sure I don’t aggravate the old joint problems I’ve had since childhood. Getting fitter is definitely something that should be considered to be a medium term project, and I’ve seen far too many people rush into it and do themselves a mischief for the sake of ‘bikini season’ – forget the idea of a quick fix! I don’t kid myself that I’ll be at full fitness in just four weeks, although quite a lot can be achieved in that timeframe…
If needed, I’m allowing myself to take a couple of days off every week. Sometimes you just have days when you’re feeling tired and can benefit from a rest, and things can be highly variable with work as well so I’m just building in some flexibility. The weekly total targets are fixed though, and I think they represent quite a challenge just to carve out the time.
This week is mostly going to be about using the exercise bike in front of the telly plus taking a few brisk walks. I’ll shake things up a bit more after that, but the aim is to keep costs low and keep myself moving.
Since working out always gives me a massive appetite boost I’ve also decided to make some of the extra food healthy as well, so I’ve set myself an additional challenge of eating six to eight portions of different fruit and vegetables per day. Again, it’s not always possible to fit that around an ever changing schedule, so I’ve allowed for a couple of days each week where I might not meet the target. So that’s 6 – 8 per day, at least five days per week.
There are lots of ways to get cheap fruit and vegetables, and fortunately my kitchen garden here has started to go into productive mode for the summery months, so we’ll be having plenty of home grown salads and other healthy foods without over-inflating our supermarket bills.
Are you doing anything to get healthier this month? Let me know what you’re getting up to.