Step 5: Get some exercise!

This week will mark one month of our weekly health challenges, and I think that once we're out of January, we can officially declare this a success! We'll be out of the realms of New Year's Resolutions, and onto the path of lifestyle changes.

Before we move onto this weeks's challenge, I thought I'd write a little bit about each of the four weeks so far and tell you how I did, and how I feel like I'm still doing.

  • Week 1, drinking water: I did well on this challenge. I started noticing a difference in how I felt within about a week. Most noticeably, I found that I often have a very slight headache that I wasn't even aware of until I started drinking more water and it went away. I also find that I snack a little less and make better drink choices when trying to reach my water goal of 60 fl. oz. (1.7 liters). What worked best for me was discovering that 60 oz equals four of our kitchen glasses. Breaking it down into smaller, manageable amounts like that has been really helpful for me. Four weeks later, I'm still trying to reach my goal, but not making it quite as regularly as I did for the first week. I probably average about three glasses of water a day, or 45 fl. oz. I'm doing good, but there is room for improvement. 
  • Week 2, spending time outside: I did great at this goal, and really enjoyed doing it. We were lucky in that it coincided with a "warm" (for January!) sunny week, which meant that we took several trips to the park. I really enjoy being outside for my own benefit, but love seeing how much Espen enjoys it too. I need to make much more of an effort to keep this up, though, because the rain, snow and cold weather we've had since that has kept us inside more than I like. We've also all taken turns being sick, which kind of puts a damper on things. Lots of room for improvement here, but also lots of room for enjoying some time outside, which is a plus. 
  • Week 3, Eating a daily piece of fruit: I did really well for the first four days, because I bought a bunch of bananas. I had banana on my cereal a few times, and also for a late afternoon snack (I always get hungry around 4 PM, which is just silly). Then the bananas started getting a little brown and I got busy with a project, and things got a little tricky. I had some grapes in the fridge, though, so there were a few nights where I shoveled down a fistful of grapes before bed, just so I could reach my goal. Grapes also make a really great snack. I haven't been doing too great with this after the challenge, so need to step it up. 
  • Week 4, Healthy Weeknight treats: I was pretty terrified of this one before I started, because Nick and I have done this before and it has been hard. The main difference this time (and why I hope we can succeed) is that instead of saying no treats at all on weeknights, now we're eating healthy treats. One night this week we watched Midnight in Paris (great movie!) and ate hummus and pita chips with grapes, and it was delicious. Some nights we haven't even really wanted a treat, which is extremely rare for me. I think part of that might be that we've been busy and have had a lot of late dinners this week, which means I've been less hungry in the evenings. When the weekend rolled around, we made our unhealthy treat choices wisely: raspberry turnovers on Friday and Lindt Black Currant Chocolate on Saturday. On Sunday we had dinner with friends, and were in no need of extra treats. I like how saving tasty treats for the weekend makes them much more special and a little decadent. We'll be keeping this up, but I'm not going to lie, I'll miss my Thursday night milk and cookies with 30 Rock and Big Bang Theory! 
Tell me how you've been doing! Have you kept it all up? What have you liked and not liked? Also, if you have any ideas for future challenges, please let me know! 

OK, Step 5! 

Here's where we might part ways a little bit on this series of challenges: Last week Nick and took the plunge and signed up for a gym membership. It's going to be tricky to find the time for me to go, seeing as I take care of Espen all day, but I am determined to use the gym. This week I am going to go to the gym at least twice. I'd like to increase that number to three or four, but until I find my feet and figure out what to do with Espen, and find a good time to go, two it is. 

Obviously, this isn't going to work for everyone. Some of you don't have gym memberships and aren't about to go out and get one just because I did. Some of you already go to the gym regularly. Some of you aren't really physically able to do very much (pregnant, dealing with injuries or other health problems). These are my suggestions for you this week: 
  • If you don't have a gym membership, find a way to get some exercise twice this week. Go for a walk, go jogging go for a bike ride, do a workout video. If you don't have any available, there are lots available online. Spark People might be a good place to start, I know Netflix has some available for instant streaming, especially if you have a high tolerance for the late Nineties. 
  • If you do have a gym membership, and I am assuming you go regularly, find a way to step it up a notch. Add an extra session (if you're really hard core!), switch up your routine, try a new class. If you have a gym membership and don't go as often as you'd like, this is the week to make it over there. 
So, tell me, what are you doing this week? 

Image borrowed here


  1. I have to say I am joining along with all of these challenges, but just now took the time to comment! I love that you are doing this and it is a great way to take steps that are manageable goals. For me I have a gym membership, but need to go more often. How do we get motivated people?!

  2. I'm not doing as good a job with my water as I could/should be :-/ I have been doing well with the rest. I think exercise, is going to be key for me. I feel so complacent in the winter, and finding something I enjoy doing is the toughest part of working out for me.

  3. Tamsin, if you are interested in going to the gym during the day, would you be interested in doing babysitting swaps? I don't like using the daycare at the gym so if you're interested let me know :)


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