Monday, January 4, 2010

The Challenge!

I've actually been sort of pondering this challenge for a little while now. I just had to figure out how to start it and what to do along the way. As we all know, the holidays are a fantastic time for yummy, delicious, and not always so good for you foods. What can start of as just a little piece here and there quickly becomes a daily routine with all the various holiday parties and get togethers. Not to mention how tempting everything looks when you're grocery shopping! When you also add into that the hectic nature of the holidays with shopping, cooking, and various parties, there's also not a whole lot of time for exercising. Lots of rich and fatty foods with reduced exercise tends to lead to a little holiday weight gain. I think we can all relate to a certain extent. I know that my exercise routine has been thrown pretty out of wack with everything. And I'm also not one of those people who says no to good food. As a matter of fact, I regularly joke that I work out so that I can eat whatever I want to and not feel guilty about it!

All these things got me to thinking about what I could do about it. Yes my work out routine will get back on track now that there aren't a multitude of things to distract me from it. But also wanted to do a little something extra, but I don't have oodles of time to add in all sorts of exercise regimens, especially when they usually don't include dogs. So what's one thing that the dogs and I can very easily do together? Walking/running/hiking/whatever! And it just wouldn't be a challenge if I didn't track it somehow. GPS units can be pretty spendy and not everyone is going to want to rush out and get one just to join in on the challenge. So what's inexpensive, but also has the benefit of helping you track your daily mileage? A pedometer!

I've heard of various groups doing pedometer challenges to get their members out and active and give them better control of their physical fitness. I kind of thought this would be something fun to do through the blog as well. It's something that you can do regardless of whether or not you have a dog and the benefits for you physically are many. What are the benefits you ask? Well let me tell you!:)

1) Regular exercise can help to boost your energy.
2) It's been proven that exercising releases endorphins that overall make you feel more positive and happy.
3) Exercise can help to reduce stress.
4) It helps your heart, muscles, and lungs work more efficiently.
5) It can reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
6) It can help to strengthen bones.
7) It can improve the mobility and stability of joints.
8) Walking is also an activity that allows you to carry on an easy conversation with friends while still exercising.

The Pedometer Challenge as a whole is going to have weekly challenges. They're not going to be overly difficult and they're really going to be up to the individual participants. I'll be updating the challenge each Monday.

This week's challenge is to go out and get yourself a pedometer. We've all got busy schedules and sometimes it can be hard to get out to a store to buy something like this, so I want to keep the introductory "challenge" very simple and easy so that anyone who wants to can participate. They can be as plain or as complicated as you want. For your average pedometer you're looking at spending between $5-$10. Remember, this is something that you're going to be wearing all day long to keep count of your steps. So get something that you don't mind wearing.

Eventually I would like to add the dogs into this as well. With a gift card that I got in my stocking I picked up this super cute game for my DS! It's the Personal Trainer: Walking.

How neat is that??? It comes with TWO activity monitors and this great little program to let you check your daily activity! Not only that, but they actually included a function to let you create a character for you dog, so that you can clip it to your dog's collar and check out their activity throughout the day. Obviously that was a great selling point for me! The game and monitors is $49.99, so it's not going to be a direct part of the challenge. For anyone who wants to participate by using the DS monitors, I will be doing a parallel challenge using these. I really can't wait to use them!

Oh yeah, one other thing. If you would like to participate in the Pedometer Challenge (you don't have to have a dog or a blog to participate!), leave a comment on this posting to let me know. As part of the whole challenge process I want to include how everyone participating is doing along the way. If you have a blog, I would like to link to your blog so that everyone can see how everyone else is doing. If you don't have a blog, then (as long as you're okay with me posting it) I'll just include your results and anything else in posts on my blog.

So get out there, get your pedometer, and get ready to have some fun!! And yes, I realize I'm laying the cheese on pretty thick here!


Emma Rose said...

I'll try to find a pedometer tomorrow and let you know :)

Paula said...

I can barely make it outside myself, let alone with the dane lately. It's been -27 degrees here! Both of us are getting lazy and fat from being inside this winter.
Good luck with your challenge. Looks like a good idea.

M.T. said...

Neat post!!! I have a pedometer, and used to use it everytime i went out with the dogs. I will guiltily admit that after a while i kept forgetting to bring it along, and then not at all LOL. If i can figure out where the pedometer is hiding, i might be tempted to start that regiment again :p

Schwang said...

I like the dog pedometer idea. We have a neighbor who swears by walking several miles with his pitbulls each day; one lived to 17 years, the girl is 15 years and she still walks several miles a day. I think I need to get Miss M. on this program...have you seen her fat pictures?

brooke said...

Im tempted to try it as I just saw an app for the ipod touch thats a pedometer, though I'm not sure how it works. Sounds like I would have to carry the itouch in my hand the whole time, which would leave one hand to hold the leash and zero hands to hold bribing treats. Maybe I'll buy it and see how it works before I commit.