30 Day Fitness Experiment

What can you do for your body in 30 days?

The No-Stretchy-Pants-Required Challenge

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Image by viking_79 via Flickr

It’s time to begin Experiment No. 3.

I’m diverting a bit from the “30 Days” guideline, but it’s for a good cause! This one is a 6-week challenge, and if all goes as planned, the next challenge will be another 6-week challenge, making 3 months between the two of them.

Here it is: 100 pushups! I used to be able to do 25 or 30 consecutive pushups, but never 100. When I had the most upper body strength from sailing and doing a bit of climbing, I never tried to do pushups, so I don’t know how many I could have done then. Silly.

For more information on the challenge, go here: hundredpushups.com C’mon, do it with me!

I chose pushups for this challenge because we are in the middle of moving across country, and I felt it was the most portable exercise–even more than Pilates or other mat work, since I don’t have to wear stretchy pants and a sports bra to do pushups!

“Chancho. When you are a man, sometimes you wear stretchy pants in your room. It’s for fun.” –Nacho Libre

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May 27, 2010 Posted by | Lifestyle Fitness | , , , , , | 1 Comment

5 Ways to Work Out For Free: No Gym Membership Required

Beach Stairs @ Opal Beach
Image by live w mcs via Flickr

Are you on a budget? Have you had to give up your gym membership in order to cut costs? That’s ok. There are tons of ways to get in shape for free!

  1. Walk. You already know it’s good for your body. Just keeping active works wonders and keeps obesity and a host of health problems at bay. But what if you want more?
  2. Do Pilates. Yes, you can do Pilates on a mat, at home, without a studio or equipment. It will improve your posture, your breathing, your core muscles (which will tuck in your tummy), and will help you relax. Don’t be mistaken, though, it’s not all stretching and relaxation! Find a DVD with the basics at your local library.
  3. Find a flight of stairs. Yes, climbing a flight of stairs is good cardiovascular exercise, that’s not all you can do with them. Try this: Step on the lowest step with the ball of your right foot, heel hanging off the step. Tuck your left foot behind your right ankle (hold onto the rail or wall for stability), and raise up onto the ball of your right foot. Lower, repeat, switch sides. This strengthens and stretches your ankles and calves. To work your triceps: Do standard triceps dips, using a stair step instead of a bench. Sit on a step, arms at your sides, palms down on the step. Scoot your booty off the step, and lower yourself by bending your arms until you’re almost sitting on the next step down. Don’t sit down! Use your arms to push yourself back up to the starting position. Ta da! There’s a great video series on eHow called “Stair Exercise Workout.” Check it out!
  4. Go hiking. Even if you’re used to walking regularly, hiking or trail walking will work different muscles and give you a totally different workout than walking or running in town or on a treadmill. Bonus: You get to see new sites, breathe fresh air, and hang out with friends and family! Throw some camping in there when you get the chance. Most stunning spot for wild and beautiful camping: Carpinteria State Beach in Carpinteria, California. But there’s a place near you, too! Check out the hiking resources, including links to State Parks and National Forests by State, at americanhiking.org.
  5. Do push-ups. Yep. They’re not just for the military, and they’re not just for your arms. Push-ups work your shoulders, back, abs, several muscles in your arms, and your chest. There’s an amazing workout program at hundredpushups.com. It covers good form, etc., and then you start out with an initial test (how many push-ups can you do in a row?) and follow the program depending on the results of your initial test. The goal is to work up to 100 consecutive push-ups by working out three times a week for several weeks. Once you can do that, your upper body is going to be in much better shape than it was when you started!
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May 17, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 6 Comments