Yes, I know, it’s cliche, but I’ve come to the realization that I need a summer challenge. The last few years, my team at work was challenged each summer to achieve some specific goals, with incentives for hitting the goals. Recently, my employer offered a wellness screening, and just for doing the screening you received a $50 gift card. Since I try to lead a pretty healthy lifestyle I probably would have attempted to fit the screening into my schedule without the gift card, but with it, I made sure to fit it in. The screening itself only took about 10 minutes, and consisted of some measurements (height/weight), blood pressure, and taking blood. I received my results back this week, and I was pleased, and not surprised to see great numbers across the board, with the exception of one area. I had a high alert, in red, for my BMI (body mass index). My BMI was 28, above the healthy range of 18.5-24.9.
I didn’t know exactly how the BMI was calculated until this screening. Defined simply, it is you weight in kilograms divided by the square of your height in meters. A more detailed description of BMI can be found on Wikipedia, while you can calculate your BMI with this calculator.
I know there is some debate about how important BMI is, or whether it’s an accurate measurement of one’s health since it doesn’t account for factors like frame size and muscularity. Yet, the fact that this was the one negative result on my report just reinforced what I already knew, and what some of my clothes tell me when I put them on: I need to lose weight and strengthen and tone my core.
My summer challenge officially begins on Sunday, July 1st, and will last through the end of August. In the end, my goal is to lose 10 pounds, but more importantly, I want to feel a difference, in how my clothes fit, and in my running. Here is how I plan to accomplish this goal:
- TRX workout once per week (I wish I could workout on my lunch more than 1 day a week, but 1 day is all I can do right now)
- Core exercises – just 10 minutes per day at home
- Plank-a-day – doing planks just once per day is surprisingly effective. Right now I can plank for one minute but I want to increase that. Read about Jess joining the Plank-a-day movement.
- Healthy eating – this has been a goal all year, but I haven’t been consistent with it.
- Adult beverages – I definitely need to cut back here, just a few drinks per week.
- And, of course, continue to train consistently, running 4-5 times per week, 25-30 miles per week.
Since I have half marathons in August, September and October, I don’t think the last bullet will be a problem. So I don’t forget about the other areas, I am going to keep the list front and center by tracking my progress (I plan to use Evernote.) Another source of motivation will come from Team G(race). One of my team members is joining this summer challenge with me, so we can encourage and keep each other motivated.
Have you ever done a summer challenge to get fit, or for any short term period? Were you succesful, both in the short term and in maintaining?