Get healthy – monthly challenges

I plan to start a series of one month challenges, focused around improving my health.  I know that my one month challenge not to eat out in July impacted our habits, and saw us plan better and eat at home more.  It probably saved us a ton of money too! Sure, our grocery spend went up but our eating out bill went down by even more!

So here’s what’s on my rough plan for the new year (though I’m tempted to start in December, seeing I’m already feeling lethagic!  Plus, I think I’m heavier than I’ve ever been *gasp*).

Take the stairs – I live on the third floor, and the stairs are markedly quicker than waiting for the lift.  I’ve already started taking them occasionally.  I think I might allow myself free passes when I have the overflowing recycling bin, or a plate of food, but ‘usually’ I will take them.  I already use the stairs at work.  In other situations, I will favour the stairs to the escalators.

Drink 2L of water a day – I’m not sure how good this *truly* is, but it can’t be bad for you right?  Sure your body reaches an equilibrium and expels what it doesn’t need, but there’s no harm in diluting all the coffee that I drink… which brings me to:

Oh no! NO coffee? source:
Oh no! NO coffee?

No coffee – I was going to say no caffeine, but I think the occasional Earl Grey tea or chocolate, or even an energy drink might be needed.  But coffee is becoming habitual, and apart from the $4 a day habit, it can’t be good for me! I think a nice summery month would be best suited to trying to be coffee free!


Let me tell you, I waded through some very suspect photos, to get what I was trying to demonstrate! source: Charlotte Anderson,
Let me tell you, I waded through some very suspect photos to get what I was trying to demonstrate.  Apron not essential!
source: Charlotte Anderson,

Squats – I have this weird idea – what if every time I sat on the toilet, I did ten squats?  It’s only my body weight as resistance, but there’s no harm in toning up my legs by just repeating the movement a few more times.  Strange, yes?  Possible – definitely!

Walking – I already wake at 5.45am to get to work by 7am.  Although I keep getting to work about ten minutes early.  What if I woke up just 5 minutes earlier, and walked for 15 minutes before showering and preparing for work?  Maybe every day, I could add a minute, so by the end of the month I was walking for 45 minutes?  That’d give me a cumulative walking time of 15 and a half hours for the month!

So, as you can see, I have five challenges, and there’s 12 months in a year!  What else do you think I could add to improve my health and well being? Would you be interested in joining me in some of the challenges, so we can help cheer each other along?

24 Replies to “Get healthy – monthly challenges”

  1. You know me – queen of the monthly healthy challenge. So ideas:

    Cut alcohol. Cut biscuits. (No Tim Tams!) Add super foods (broccoli, quinoa, etc). Get enough/more sleep. Do some planks. Have a blood test and have cholesterol, vitamin D and iron checked.

    Ummm… Limit Internet time.

    And don't wear an apron to do squats over the toilet. Just not right. Lol.

    1. I could do dry July, so I'll add that in. I don't eat biscuits so that's no challenge for me. I will think about the super foods one, might push me to try new recipes. I like the planks idea start small and get longer and longer. I often have issues with iron, so I should get it all checked too.

      Limit internet time might be worthwhile to add to weekend though it's 5pm Sat before I got online today so not too bad.

      Yes, aprons like that are wrong imo! So no apron with squats guaranteed!

  2. The nice thing about the squat idea (which admittedly, I did laugh at the thought of), is that it can be done without anyone looking at you funny. You're in the bathroom, how many people are actually going to see you doing it?

  3. Thought of more (was re-reading mt own blog – I'm kinda like Gwendoline in that matter).

    Do a relaxation activity. Do some mediation, maybe start with 5 min and build up. Do some deep breathing. Have a monthly massage. Do stretches in the morning. Do an activity that makes you feel good. Laugh. Do something kind for someone ekes.

    1. I could definitely sign up to a monthly massage! And I love the stretching idea – I think the walks one month could turn to planks the next, and then stretches the next.

      30 days of expressly trying to do kind things for others would be great – especially in December!

    1. I agree sitting less is probably great for the body which is used to being more active than current lifestyles! Maybe something like 10,000 steps a day would focus me to get up and about at work more?

  4. Definately with you on the coffee! I've cut back to decaf only (from 5-6 cups full strength a day.) Now trying to remember to take water bottles instead. I'd love to join you on the morning walks but it wakes my son up no matter how quiet I try to be on the stairs! Maybe though I could join in but at night?

    1. Nice work – I gather you have instant with 5-6 cups a day (or you have your own expresso machine). Still, even at my usual one a day, I don't like to think I 'need' it, and want to wean off it, and think of it more like a weekend treat.

      Night walks might even be a better idea – milder weather… good de-stress after dinner but before bed. Hmmm… now I might do that instead!

  5. I only drink coffee or tea maybe two times a week, otherwise I usually drink water. It's great that you'll get the dual benefit of being healthy and decreasing spending. I've been wanting to keep up with the thirty day work out challenges, like squats and planks. That might be something to look into. I like how you're maximizing your before-work time with walking! Lots of good ideas here.

    1. Good work on the limited caffeine drinks – once I was like you… back when I was a student. Thankfully, I don't drink any 'soda' so I figure that's healthy!

      I should look into 30 day work outs, I think they could be good if they weren't too long or caused too much pain the next day!

      1. They aren't long at all, or I probably wouldn't do them! They start you off with doing X number of squats per day, and it increases every day. Likewise, with planks, the time you need to hold them increases every day. I believe it starts out with something like a minute and goes up to 5, so they're pretty quick. I didn't experience much pain and I am a weakling =). Plus planks are great for core exercises.

        1. Great, now I'm encouraged to look into them! I did my first 13 minute jog/run this morning (and took the stairs to go for the run, back up, and then out to the car for work). I feel so good just starting!

  6. What great challenge ideas! And I love to hear that you're a fellow Earl Grey drinker.

    I'd like to join you on the morning walk challenge but I need to come up with my strategy first as I am not a good early riser! Also, the squats routine is a great idea. Looking forward to your updates.

    1. Earl Grey is awesome 😀

      I love the mornings, the look and clean feel of the new day. That being said, I don't love actually getting up whilst the BF slumbers! The minute earlier technique can start at anytime – work with your current wake up and slowly dial it back? I have done four consequential days of walking now, today was a mental struggle! It'd be great to have others sharing their joys and anguishes with these challenges!

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