This time of year, many people are giving up things that are valuable to them. I do not follow the tradition of Lent, so I do not really give up anything for the same reason I do not really make resolutions. Instead last year, I started a new tradition, the 46 Day Challenge, and I add something for 46 days instead of give it up.
Starting on the day after Fat Tuesday, I exercise every single day until Easter. To answer several questions.
1. Yes, I had to count out how many days it is between Fat Tuesday and Easter. Twice, just to be sure.
2. Yes, we should all be getting some kind of exercise every day. But admit it, we don’t. I don’t even do it when I’m in training. I relish my “rest” days.
3. No, you don’t have to run a marathon every day for 46 days. I’m not Eddie Izzard. A 1 mile walk is sufficient if that’s all you have time for. But it is intended to get in some sort of intentional exercise every day, preferably with some intensity in addition to the intentional.
4. No, it’s actually NOT as easy as it sounds. Life, weather, and our own mind gets in the way. We all get busy or just want to be lazy (or *gasp* want to clean house) on a Sunday. Does not matter, go for a walk. This time of year is notorious for its bad weather. It’s cold in February and no one wants to go outside. It rains a lot in March and no one wants to go outside. Time to start developing indoor routines. And just our plain own stubbornness will get in the way…but I JUST DON’T WANT TO. Tough, just do it, even for a few minutes.
This isn’t really about sacrificing anything. It’s about getting back into a good fitness routine after the winter and the holidays, and making it a habit again. The first couple weeks are hard and require some creativity, but after 46 days it’s easy to go for a quick jog or lift weights, or find a yoga class. I will have some help this time, because we’re in training to Hoop the Half Marathon. So I already need to be walking and cross-training and hooping.
Oh yeah, and I challenge any of my readers to take up their own 46 Day Challenge. It’s not too late to start!