Health: Getting the jump on a winter slump
I can feel myself growing softer, less energetic. I justify this as the species' tendency toward semi-hibernation; but deep inside, I know inertia is not good for my bones, heart or mood.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is real, and while I'm not a full-fledged SADist, this turnip goes limp after a week of no sunlight, and precious little daylight.
"How to Watch TV and Get Fit", by Debbie Rahman, an adaptable, bite-sized exercise program that has nothing to do with TV; it's short-interval training you can do at home. It delivered efficient, measurable results and is probably the best $10 I ever spent.
I had parked the e-book once summer came, and just last week was thinking I should go back to it.
Then, last Sunday, I read that the New York Times was launching a free 30-Day Well Challenge. Much more than an exercise program, it's accessible, fun and packed with a month's worth of bite-sized activities that build good habits. It's not competitive and you don't need to be a NYT subscriber to join in. The time commitment is less than 15 minutes per day.
Tara Parker-Pope, who heads the Times team who designed the Challenge, says:
"Four days a week, the Challenge offers simple tasks that help us nourish our bodies, refresh our minds or connect with those we love. The ideas for these challenges came from scientific research... The goal was to distill the science down into actionable advice."
I thought, Why not? It's only 30 days, right when I need it. And free: no trainer or coach, special gear, meetings, membership fees.
The first challenge, a "6-Minute Mindful Workout", hit my inbox before Le Duc could slide his tray of oatmeal cookies out of the oven. (Another reason why I feel a little lardy.)
At four days in, I'm impressed by the quality of the material. You can go straight to the videos or read optional tidbits such as the science behind the habit. (Tip: Skip reading comments from participants.)
If you already have an exercise routine, do the movement segment as a little booster or add sets. If starting from scratch or if you wish to adapt the exercises, illustrations show how to modify each one.
Even when I'm not impelled to adopt a particular habit, it's still fun to try something new. The Challenge is as much about your rut as your butt.
Hey, wanna try it? Sign up here, and your first Well Challenge hits your inbox this coming Monday.
In a month, we'll talk about how it went.