Almost hard to believe that we’re already done with one month of 2018. #DryJanuary aka #Veganuary is over. Time to put abstinence back in its box for a while and kick things into top gear.
In the name of this ridiculous trend of hashtag branding all months, as well as the ones in January we have #DryJuly, #MoVember, #SoberOctober, #LipTember (raising awareness for mental health illness in women) and #Vapril (Vaping awareness month, I shit you not), so I’ve decided that this February, at least in my tiny corner of the world in East London, is going to be #FitnessFebruary.
There are some solid reasons why I’m doing this believe it or not.
As it’s been pointed out to me by more than one friend, I have very high standards when it comes to my personal fitness. I’ve cycled from London to Lochness, competed in alpine cycle races, run ultra-marathons in the Alps and attempted a solo 24hr mountain bike race (the less said about that the better).
#FitnessFebruary is more about kicking my own ass into gear than anything else. The past few months I’ve been slack, struggling to kick the Chrismas period laziness and get things back on track. Normally by now, I’m in full winter training mode, sweating it out on the turbo trainer, wrapping up in a comical number of layers and heading out for short runs and generally getting my endurance to a level where I’m ready for a fit, fun and productive spring/summer season of cycling and running. But this winter I’ve only been on the trainer a few times, running has more or less ground to a halt and the only thing that’s been anywhere near consistent is a once a week swim class at the Olympic pool. It’s time to change this.
So what is #FitnessFebruary? It’s a 28-day personal fitness challenge where you don’t need to give anything up, grow unattractive facial hair or pour ice cold water over your head. There’s no charity involved, no fundraising to worry about. Just set yourself a personal goal, keep it up every day for the next month and bask in the benefits that regular exercise brings.
I’m a cyclist and a (not very good) runner, so I’m challenging myself to bring up my endurance fitness back to a reasonable level that I’m happy with but I also want to increase my upper body strength. Cyclists and runners aren’t exactly known for their strong upper bodies and we’re more akin to a T-Rex (big strong legs, tiny useless arms) than that of a finely tuned athlete. Plus having a stronger core will help keep back pain at arm’s length.
So, for the next 28 days, I’m going to challenge myself with the number 100:
100 Push Ups every day – Spread out over the course of the day
100 Crunches every day – Will mix this up to give a wider core workout
100 minutes of cardio exercise – Running/Cycling/Swimming
To be clear, this is on top of any other activities I do such as yoga, climbing, walking etc. It should help build my upper body and strengthen my core, which is essential if I’m going to learn to handstand this year, as well as increase my endurance conditioning ready for the bigger distances that come as the weather warms up.
And finally, I’m going to challenge you, lovely reader, to do the same. 28 days of challenging yourself to improve your fitness in February.
If you’re not a fitness bunny, February is the shortest month of the year by 2 whole days, so this is the easiest month to do it. If you like to keep in shape, use the next 28 days to challenge yourself to achieve something new like learning to handstand or wheelie your bicycle, or perhaps get back into a sport you’ve stopped doing or really kickstart your fitness for the year.
What are you waiting for? Stop reading and start sweating!