Weekly Wellness: November challenge time!

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COLUMBIA - No time and no equipment. Those are two of the top excuses that I hear as to why people aren’t exercising. No time. No equipment. Let’s see if I can help with those. Yes, both of them. (No, I’m not offering to come and babysit or do you lawn work.) The truth of the matter is, you really don’t need any equipment to get a great workout. And it doesn’t have to take an hour either.

Bodyweight training is training that you perform using only your body. It’s super-simple. It’s incredibly efficient. It’s ridiculously effective. It doesn’t cost you anything. It can be done in short spurts of time. In fact, it’s so great that it has been getting quite a bit of praise in the fitness community.

A recent article on Greatist.com, breaks it down into “13 Reasons You Should Try Bodyweight Training Today.”

1. It’s a super-efficient workout. Research suggests high-output, bodyweight-based exercises like plyometrics yield awesome fitness gains in short durations.

2. It can combine cardio and strength training. Performing quick cardio sessions (such as 60 seconds of burpees or high-knees) between strength movements (such as a set of push-ups or lunges) will keep the heart pumping while still encouraging muscle and strength development.

3. You can burn fat—fast. Just a few minutes of a bodyweight circuit training can have a major impact on the body’s metabolism.

4. At any fitness level, it’s challenging. Bodyweight exercises are great because they’re easily modified to challenge anyone. Adding extra reps, performing the exercises faster or super slowly, taking shorter breaks, or adding a ballistic movement are just a few ways to make the simplest workout tougher.

5. You’ll gain core strength. Bodyweight exercises won’t just give you tighter abs, you’ll also gain better posture, relieve lower back stress, and improve overall performance.

6. It can increase your flexibility. Bodyweight training can go hand-in-hand with building strength and flexibility. Completing bodyweight exercises through a full range of motion ensures your joints are moving freely.

7. There’s never an excuse to not workout. Bodyweight exercises only need a little space and it’s easy to squeeze in workouts wherever you are.

8. You’ll achieve better balance. Sometimes increasing resistance means increasing balance, too. For example, a normal squat can be ramped up by swapping in a single-leg squat. Functional movements like that one can improve balance through increased body awareness and control.

9. You’ll never get bored. Bodyweight training can be refreshing: There are countless exercise variations that can spice up any workout routine. Working with a variety of exercises not only relieves boredom, it can also help break plateaus and spark further progress.

10. Mixing up your workout is easy. You can do these moves inside or outdoors, alone or with a group of friends. Think about adding some strength moves to your next park run, or finishing a swim session with a quick bodyweight circuit to keep things interesting.

11. It’s free. Nuff said.

12. It can help with injury prevention. Bodyweight exercises are generally safe for any exerciser regardless of experience, age, or fitness level.

13. You’ll see results. Bodyweight exercises get results partly because they involve compound movements—meaning numerous joints and muscles are engaged in each move. Compound exercises such as push-ups and lunges have been shown to be extremely effective for strength gains and performance improvements.

So, are you ready for your challenge? It’s bodyweight exercise challenge time! For the month of November, I want you to perform bodyweight exercises every day.

The number of exercises you need to perform will be designated by the day of the week:

Sunday = 1

Monday = 2

Tuesday = 3

Wednesday = 4

Thursday = 3

Friday = 2

Saturday = 1

The number of repetitions will be designated by the day of the month (if you’re just starting out with exercising, this is a great way to start…. But if you’re already in the game, add 10 or 20 to your day of the month, because you know you can handle it).

The exercises you can choose from are:

Burpees

Dips

Jumping Jacks

Mountain Climbers

Squats

Squat jumps

Plank Jacks

Planks

Side Planks

Push ups

Lunges

Jump lunges

Mix it up! Have fun! Challenge yourself. As we enter into the holiday season with all the extra parties and calories and cookies and fat grams, we need to do what we can to burn them up! Enjoy yourself but keep yourself in check, too. Be aware of your choices. Let’s have a great November!

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