"I am throwing down a gauntlet here and "my gut tells me" you will accept the challenge! I am going to do 55 days in a row of exercise (even if it's just a 15 minute walk one day) ending at the end of the day March 7. Dare to join?"
Naturally, I said yes.
It didn't take long for other friends to join in and commit to being active and doing some form of exercise for the next 55 days. I also started a Facebook Page for My Gut Tells Me, just to make it easier for people to follow this blog. (They'll get posts in their news feed when I publish these entries over there. Same thing over on Tumblr). More folks have committed to the challenge on the Facebook page.
55 consecutive days of exercise. Any exercise. It's that simple.
The more I think about it, the more I love this particular challenge. It encompasses everything that works about fitness and getting healthy.
- Anyone can do it. We haven't specified a type of exercise. It's do what you can, to be active for a minimum of 15 minutes a day. We've said it can be common-sense, honour-code type exercise, so if you are getting sweaty cleaning the house, it counts. A 15 minute brisk walk over lunch, counts. It means that my 70 year old mother who has had both hips replaced could do this challenge. Anyone with physical limitations, chronic pain, current injuries, could do this challenge. Like with any kind of fitness and health, it's do what you can, with what you have.
- It's not tied to weight-loss goals. Not specifically. This is about moving, getting active. For some who decide to try it, weight loss may be the end goal. But we haven't specified that, we're not measuring it, and we're not team-dieting. We're committing to exercise.
- It's social. We're doing this as a group, even though we are spread across the country. Actually, across the world. We won't be exercising together (sadly), but we will meet online to brag, cheer, support and hold each other accountable. When I did Weight Watchers, years and years ago, the thing that worked for me was the meetings. They celebrated every little goal along the way. You literally got a gold star for every 5 lbs lost, and a ribbon for every 10 lbs. I don't care how old you are. Who doesn't feel their heart skip a little when they get a star or a ribbon and a cheer from a crowd? Meeting a challenge without an audience to acknowledge it just isn't the same thrill.
- It's specific. 55 days. There is a countdown, an end goal. Now, 55 days is pretty random. I believe it coincides with the challenger's weight-loss competition which she is determined to win. This is her way of asking for help to get there. For the people who are joining, 55 days may not mean much, but it is a clear goal to work towards.
- It's do-able. There are always factors that can throw a wrench into the best laid plans with the most sincere intentions. If the challenge was to get to the gym every day and then the gym was closed? Out of our control. If it was to do a very intense exercise, or a specific type - say, burpees or push ups - then not everyone would be able to participate. If we said it had to be for a longer length of time each day, it would be hard for a lot of people to commit. But this? It's realistic. Which is what fitness should always be: attainable.
Are you with us?