Tag Archives: 19-day Arm Challenge

Choosing Missions Like Reading a Book

My Healthy Journey: New Missions

I have finished a mission people!

I finished the food tracking mission on Monday by completing 4 weeks of it!  Then it gave me the option to continue, and, while I still haven’t found a food tracking app I love yet, I decided keeping it up was probably a good idea.

My next goal with this is to start actually counting calories. As I suspected it would, food tracking shows what an inconsistent eater I am. Hopefully, if I can find a good way to start counting, I can actually see how bad my diet is for me.

Dancing on the other hand, is likely abandoned. Now we know, not my exercise. This, with the end of the 19-Day Arm Challenge means that I’m ready to pick some new missions! And this time, I’ve actually chosen a lot, but they will each help me focus on different things.

The first is diet related. Besides food tracking, I’m going to try to do two sugar-free days each week. Its description:

Sugar is dehydrating, a big source of empty calories – and all over the place. Check the labels and try to avoid added or processed sugars for a whole day (natural sugars in fruit and milk are fine). 

Then, for exercise, because I think yoga would be a really good activity to learn over the cold winter months, and good for my back problems, I will start forcing myself into a yoga routine by stretching every day and meditating for 20 minutes a day (which I’ve never tried before and sounds interesting.)

Can’t touch your toes? Try daily stretches to increase flexibility, prevent exercise-related injuries, and get blood flowing to your muscles. About 10 minutes should be plenty.

Find your bliss, whether it’s meditation, prayer, or art… that mental calm and focus can help your body too, reducing stress hormones and even lowering blood pressure.

Then, on the mental and stress health fronts, I’m going to try to read for 20 minutes every day, an activity I don’t do nearly enough, and have a bedtime ritual, which will also be great for my newly increased dental routine.

Recapture the lost art of winding down: read a book or magazine before you turn off the lights. (It also qualifies writing where you log activity, but I will have to contain myself on this front and not cheat by counting writing for work!)

If you have trouble falling asleep, your body may be too wired. Turn off the screens an hour before bed (they reduce sleep-inducing melatonin) and try a wind-down bath, book, or herbal tea ritual.

I’ve never been a deep sleeper, and I rarely get enough of it, so I’ve been thinking a more solid routine before bed might be exactly what I need to start getting a better night’s sleep. Plus, reading beforehand will be such a calming form of reward.

So I know I’ve chosen a lot of things this time, and I’m not promising they’re all going to work out well at the same time, but I think together they will give me a nice level of activity each day towards different goals for different categories of health.

If you’re following along with me, you too should think about winter activities. I’ve started all of this at a time that not a lot of outdoor workouts are doable for much longer (or not at all with the rain in Illinois!) Because of that, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can prepare myself this winter and avoid entering my standard hibernation mode. I think improving my diet and starting to work on my muscle strength and flexibility are likely my best options. What about you?

I will report back soon!

Enjoying the 19-Day Arm Challenge

My Healthy Journey: The End of a Challenge

It’s time to finish up the 19-Day Arm Challenge!

For Day 18 on the beginner’s track, you will do:

18 Bicep Curls, Overhead Tricep Extensions, Lateral Shoulder Raises, Front Shoulder Raises, Bent Over Rows, Shoulder Presses, and 16 Push-Ups.

For Day 19 on the beginner’s track, you will do:

20 Bicep Curls, Overhead Tricep Extensions, Lateral Shoulder Raises, Front Shoulder Raises, Bent Over Rows, Shoulder Presses, and Push-Ups.

For Days 18 and 19 on the advanced track, you will do:

24 Bicep Curls, Overhead Tricep Extensions, Lateral Shoulder Raises, Front Shoulder Raises, Bent Over Rows, Push-Ups, and 20 Shoulder Presses.

And then, you’re done!

Dueling 19-Day Arm Challenge

My Healthy Journey: 19-Day Arm Challenge Days 14, 15, 16, and 17

You’re almost done with the 19-Day Arm Challenge!

For Day 14 on the beginner’s track, you will do:

16 Bicep Curls, Overhead Tricep Extensions, Lateral Shoulder Raises, Front Shoulder Raises, Bent Over Rows, Shoulder Presses, and 14 Push-Ups.

For Days 15 and 16 on the beginner’s track, you will do:

18 Bicep Curls, Overhead Tricep Extensions, Lateral Shoulder Raises, Front Shoulder Raises, Bent Over Rows, Shoulder Presses, and 16 Push-Ups.

For Days 14 and 15 on the advanced track, you will do:

20 Bicep Curls, Overhead Tricep Extensions, Lateral Shoulder Raises, Front Shoulder Raises, Bent Over Rows, Shoulder Presses, and 16 Push-Ups.

For Day 16 on the advanced track, you will do:

22 Bicep Curls, Overhead Tricep Extensions, Lateral Shoulder Raises, Front Shoulder Raises, Bent Over Rows, Shoulder Presses, and 14 Push-Ups.

For Day 17 on both tracks, you will rest.

Good luck!

Girl Doing the Arm Challenge

My Healthy Journey: Return to Focus

Today, our new websites launched! (Feel free to marvel at their beauty at HealthAlliance.org  and Medicare.HealthAlliance.org, you know, if you’re into awesome health insurance websites.) Which means I will have time to worry about being healthy again!

Despite the craze that has been the last 9 days, (which has felt like one really looonnng week,) I have actually done okay with my goals this week as I return to a focus on my healthy journey.

My teeth have definitely reduced the amount I’m eating, but I have been successfully food-tracking. Eatly, the app I used to help last week, was really not my favorite. You upload a picture of your food, and then other people rank its health to give you a rating of your food. It also tells you how healthy you ate last week in relation to other users. I only uploaded four meals, and it told me that I ate less healthy than 63% of users. To be fair, for three of the things I uploaded, I deserved that. But overall from looking at other people’s photos, it is really a place to upload pictures that say “Look at how healthy I’m being!” Which, who really needs?

So this week I will be trying an app called MyPlate Calorie Tracker, from Livestrong. It helps you keep track of how healthy your diet actually is.

I also danced this week! Not a lot, but twice, which is the weekly goal for the mission. Also, still significantly better than last week. I have discovered two times that I will do this too. The first is when washing dishes (we don’t have a dishwasher, so this is normally a very boring task,) and while in the shower because I’m one of those annoying shower singers when I’m home alone. Now, neither of these are places that I’m really going for it, so it’s probably not exactly a workout, but it is progress!

*Also, caution, do not attempt fancy footwork during either of these water-based activities, because slippery falls are definitely bad for your health.*

I also had thought that I would share some songs that are perfect for this mission, but as I have done it, I have realized that most of the best songs to dance to are ones that I’m ashamed to admit I enjoy. So suggestions are a work-in-progress.

I will note that, if you’re doing something like tracking your food everyday, you should definitely check-in to Rally everyday! I have been struggling to remember to do this, and you get points to put towards rewards every time you do!

Here’s my food tracking, and I would beg you to keep in mind that for a few days last week I couldn’t chew much more than pasta. And as a sidenote, and flimsy excuse, my candy intake changes in direct relation to Halloween. It’s my favorite holiday, and I can’t pass up tiny candy.

Monday (day 1 of dental work):
Cup of coffee with vanilla creamer
Cup of tea
Chocolate milkshake
Slice of bread with peanut butter
Mexican tortilla chicken soup

Tuesday (day 2 of dental work):
2 cans Coke
Cup of hot chocolate
2 Reese’s peanut butter cups
Mac and Cheese
Soft Pretzel

Wednesday:
Cup of coffee
Frozen three cheese stuffed rigatoni with vegetables Lean Cuisine
Glass Iced Tea
Cup of tea
Cup of hot chocolate
2 little 3 Musketeer bars
Grilled mac and cheese (Yes, this is what it sounds like. Mac and cheese inside grilled cheese. Thank you Pinterest and the desperate tooth-induced desire for the feeling of solid foods. Also, this is one of the photos I was judged on, so I earned that.)
Glass of red wine (to class-up the sandwich, of course)
Graham cracker s’mores bar

Thursday:
Cup of coffee
Pepe Ham Jimmy John’s sandwich
Small bag of their plain chips
Cup of tea
One beer
Blueberry and hazelnut oatmeal

Friday:
Cup of coffee
Frozen baked chicken and mashed potatoes Lean Cuisine
Can of Coke
Cup of tea
The end of my mac and cheese leftovers
2 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Saturday:
Cup of coffee
2 scrambled eggs
2 pieces of toast
Glass of orange juice
1 Hostess snowball
Bowl of homemade pulled pork chili
2 small pieces of cornbread

Sunday:
Cup of coffee
Glass of orange juice
2 cinnamon rolls
Can of Coke
Bowl of chili
2 small pieces cornbread
1 Hostess snowball

Monday:
Cup of coffee
Turkey and provolone sandwich
Roasted almonds
Cup of tea
Bowl of Ramen (I make Ramen very differently than you did in college. I use the noodles, and then I add whatever delicious I have on hand. This day, I added pulled pork, 1 egg, peas, carrots and feta with a mixture of pad thai and peanut sauce and fresh lime juice.)
Glass of red wine
Cinnamon roll

Tuesday:
Cup of coffee
Frozen sweet and sour chicken Lean Cuisine
Cup of tea
Half a bottle of Coke
Graham cracker s’mores bar
BBQ pulled pork sandwich with sweet potato tortilla chips

As you can see, my diet regularly revolves around eating all my leftovers. And yes, I will be eating pulled pork all week, because that’s what you do when you’re single, 25, and make a whole crockpot of it.

For the 19-Day Arm Challenge followers:

For Days 11 and 12 on the beginner’s track, you will do:

16 Bicep Curls, Overhead Tricep Extensions, Lateral Shoulder Raises, Front Shoulder Raises, Bent Over Rows, Shoulder Presses, and 14 Push-Ups.

For Days 11 and 12 on the advanced track, you will do:

18 Bicep Curls, Overhead Tricep Extensions, Lateral Shoulder Raises, Front Shoulder Raises, Bent Over Rows, Shoulder Presses, and 14 Push-Ups.

For Day 13 on both tracks, you will rest.

Good luck in your own healthy decisions this week!

19-Day Arm Challenge Supplies

My Healthy Journey: 19-Day Arm Challenge Days 7 and 8

The 19-Day Arm Challenge continues!

For Day 7 on the beginner’s track, you will do:

12 Bicep Curls, Overhead Tricep Extensions, Lateral Shoulder Raises, Front Shoulder Raises, Bent Over Rows, Shoulder Presses, and 10 Push-Ups.

For Day 8:

14 Bicep Curls, Overhead Tricep Extensions, Lateral Shoulder Raises, Front Shoulder Raises, Bent Over Rows, Shoulder Presses, and 12 Push-Ups.

For Day 7 on the advanced track, you will do:

16 Bicep Curls, Overhead Tricep Extensions, Lateral Shoulder Raises, Front Shoulder Raises, Bent Over Rows, Shoulder Presses, and 12 Push-Ups.

For Day 8:

16 Bicep Curls, Overhead Tricep Extensions, Lateral Shoulder Raises, Front Shoulder Raises, Bent Over Rows, Shoulder Presses, and 12 Push-Ups.

Dental Adventures During the Arm Challenge

My Healthy Journey: Dental Adventures

So I know I was ready for my new week on Monday, but so far this week is not off to a much better start than the last.

I hate going to the dentist, and I hadn’t since before I went to college. Well, this weekend, I chipped a tooth and I had to suck it up and go. Which has resulted in more than 6 hours of lots of different dental work on Monday and Tuesday.

Because of the dental work, my food log is going pretty poorly so far, mostly because I haven’t eaten much this week. Also, all I’ve been doing in my spare time is lying on the right side of my face to help with the pain. But I’m going back to being a fully-functioning person today!

So even though my week’s new start is happening at a new time, I am happy that with my healthy journey, I also have newly healthy teeth!

So back to the 19-Day Arm Challenge it is!

For Day 5 on the beginner’s track, you will do:

12 Bicep Curls, Overhead Tricep Extensions, Lateral Shoulder Raises, Front Shoulder Raises, Bent Over Rows, Shoulder Presses, and 10 Push-Ups.

For Day 5 on the advanced track, you will do the same as Day 4:

14 Bicep Curls, Overhead Tricep Extensions, Lateral Shoulder Raises, Front Shoulder Raises, Bent Over Rows, and Shoulder Presses, and 12 Push-Ups.

For Day 6 on both tracks, you will take a rest day.

Don’t forget, the exercises are here if you need them: My Healthy Journey: The 19-Day Arm Challenge, Day 1.

(And make sure you take care of your teeth and visit your dentist! Or you will regret it, like my face currently does. )

Avoiding Missteps with the Arm Challenge

My Healthy Journey: Missteps

So far, my healthy journey isn’t going that well. Missteps seem impossible to avoid. Sometimes, life feels so busy that it gets in the way, and that has been the last week for me.

On the web team, this is literally our busiest, craziest time of year. Combine that with simple, but necessary errands, and suddenly I’m not home until 7 o’clock at night once in the last week. By the time I am (sometimes) done with cooking, eating, and catching up on our social media, I am almost falling into bed.

This means, that the arm challenge halted in its tracks, and there was no post-dinner dancing to be had. Yes, I know, measly effort.

But I did track my food! I started with pictures, but by Friday had forgotten entirely, so instead, I will just list them for last week.

Tuesday:
Cup of coffee with vanilla creamer
Cherry Nutri-Grain Bar
Plate of green beans and potatoes with ham leftovers
Applesauce cup with cinnamon
Turkey and swiss sandwich on wheat with tortilla chips
Glass of red wine
One deviled-egg half
A Reese’s Peanut Butter cup, a small Laffy Taffy and one of those Halloween caramel-apple suckers
Half a microwave package of kettle corn popcorn

Wednesday:
Cup of coffee with vanilla creamer
Lemon Herb Chicken Piccata frozen meal
Drumstick ice cream cone
Can of cherry Coke
Ham and pineapple frozen pizza
One Redd’s apple ale
A Reese’s Peanut Butter cup and a small Laffy Taffy
The other half of the microwave popcorn

Thursday:
Cup of coffee with vanilla creamer
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Bowl of Kashi oat flakes and blueberry clusters
Homemade chicken stir-fry with edamame, carrots, red pepper, pineapple and scrambled egg over rice and sesame peanut noodle combo.
Oven-baked pineapple and cream cheese wontons with soy sesame dipping sauce
One Redd’s apple ale

Friday:
Black Dog pulled pork sandwich with sweet potato fries
Glass of Pepsi
Leftover stir-fry
One Redd’s apple ale

Saturday:
Cup of coffee with vanilla creamer
Some candy (I wasn’t keeping track)
A can of Coke
Chips and salsa
S’mores graham cracker bar
One mojito
Bowl of cornflakes

Sunday:
Cup of coffee with vanilla creamer
Glass of orange-mango juice
Two over-easy eggs, two pieces of bacon, two frozen waffles with syrup
Can of cherry Coke
Peanut butter cup, Tootsie pop and two small Laffy Taffy
Chips and salsa and sour cream
Grilled cheese sandwich with one piece of leftover bacon

As you can see, balanced eating is not my strong point. And I swing wildly from eating a lot on Tuesday to eating very little other days.

But it is a new week and I am determined to do better! This next week, I’m going to try an app called Eatly for your iPhone (it does cost $1.99,) that allows you take pictures of your food and get them rated by health. I will also be keeping a list though, because I’m sure there’s no point in taking a picture of a Coke.

I also hope you hadn’t all started and were waiting desperately for more of the arm challenge, since I am just now giving you day 3 and 4, but that means you have had plenty of time to think about it and get on board!

For Day 3 for both tracks, you rest.

For Day 4 on the beginner’s track, you will do:

12 Bicep Curls and Overhead Tricep Extensions, and 10 Lateral Shoulder Raises, Front Shoulder Raises, Bent Over Rows, Shoulder Presses, and Push-Ups.

For Day 4 on the advanced track, you will do:

14 Bicep Curls, Overhead Tricep Extensions, Lateral Shoulder Raises, Front Shoulder Raises, Bent Over Rows, and Shoulder Presses, and 12 Push-Ups.

Good luck! And don’t beat yourself up when you get off to a rough start, there’s always a new week or day. That’s what I’m trying to tell myself at least. Check back on Wednesday for more arm challenge (I promise!)