Healthy Living Day 8: Get a Great Workout!

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This is Day 8 of the 14-Day Healthy Living Challenge where hundreds of participants around the world work together to improve on their diet and fitness in January 2015. The challenge is now over, but you can do the tasks in your own time. Visit the overview page for all tasks and posts.

Healthy Living Challenge

Hi everyone!! 😀 It’s now Day 8 and the second week of our 14-Day Healthy Living Challenge. Let’s get started!

Challenge Tasks to Date

My Day 7 in Pictures

Here’s a recap of my Day 7 in pictures:

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Grapes and Mushroom overload burger

Brunch: Grapes and the same mushroom overload burger I’ve been having. Yum!

QQrice and Grilled red pepper and tomato soup

Dinner part 1: Mini-QQrice (with emperor vegetables) and grilled red pepper and tomato soup

Chickpeas and grapes

Dinner part 2: Chickpeas and grapes

So dinner was kind of strange because I wanted to eat these salads that Ken got for me from Cedele, but couldn’t stomach them beyond the first few bites. The first was a potato salad which was way too creamy and thick; the second was this tofu salad which was just oily and didn’t taste fresh. Both were just terrible IMO. I think eating clean and healthy meals in the past week has made me very sensitive to overly creamy/oily food; in fact I just find them repulsive now! I subsequently passed the salads to Ken and went for chickpeas and grapes that you see above!

Dragon fruit and Tofu burger

Supper: Dragon fruit and Tofu burger with pumpkin bun (I ate one full burger while the picture shows only one half of it)

Doing Day 7’s reflection task, I rate a 9.5 for my diet and fitness progress in the past week! 😀 9.5 because I’m really happy with how I’ve naturally eased into my new healthier diet and fitness regime — being a part of this challenge and openly journaling my progress has definitely helped — but not 10 as there’s room for improvement in any diet/fitness plan. For example I learned some interesting tidbits last week from PE readers Paolo and Glenn about burnt carbs being possibly carcinogenic and bananas being the healthiest when they are the ripest. I mean, who knew?? (I sort of knew the former but didn’t know the latter. Now we know when to eat our bananas!!!)

Healthiest banana

As I was telling participant Mel, I’ve been seeing the positive, physiological changes from my healthier diet even though it’s just been a week. One, I look thinner, and I’m pretty sure I’ve lost weight in the past week (though I wasn’t aiming to do so in this challenge). Two, I feel healthier and “cleaner.” When you cut the oily stuff from your diet, you naturally will feel the same way too. Three, my complexion is smoother and more radiant than ever. While I used to have numerous zits on my forehead and the occasional pimple on my face, my zits are clearing up and I haven’t had a pimple in the past week! I already knew that this would be a natural consequence from cutting out fried and oily food (I realized this during my fast in 2011 when I didn’t eat for 21 days and had the most amazing complexion ever, hence realizing that many of our skin troubles can be heavily tied to our diets), but it’s still pretty awesome seeing it manifest in reality and so quickly too!

For Week 2, I plan to continue the same plan that I’ve done for Week 1. A sandwich, soup, and salad each day, as well as a jog every other day. Strategy to make this happen will be to stock up on healthy food supplies including weekly grocery shopping every Friday, taking away healthy food from Cedele/QQRice every other day, and to listen to podcasts during my jogs to keep them interesting!

Reviewing my 14HLC goals, they are

  1. Exercise at least three times a week – My first exercise for Week 2 will be tomorrow 😀
  2. Cut out deep fried / oily food from my diet – Check! I kinda find deep fried and oily food repulsive now, actually! (Read above)
  3. Eat salads more regularly, ideally once a day if I can – 50/50. I ate salads today, but they turned out to be too creamy/oily so I decided to switch to chickpeas and grapes instead, which are cleaner. I’ll be making a homemade salad tomorrow!

Check out other participants’ amazing food logs and progress updates in Day 7’s comments section!

With that, let’s move to Day 8’s task, which is…

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Day 8: Get a Great Workout!

Today’s challenge task is to get a great workout! 😀 Just like our diet, exercising is fundamental to living a healthy life. Even if one eats the healthiest diet and meditates regularly, one can’t hope to be truly healthy without exercise. There have been countless research that shows a strong link between increased activity and better health. Research has also shown that exercising daily brings tremendous benefits to our health, including increased life span (as long as four years), lower risk of diseases, higher bone density and of course, weight loss!

Now, note that while I use the words “exercise” and “workout” here, I don’t necessarily mean running 10 km or spinning for an hour. That’s cool if you enjoy them (I personally love a rigorous workout session to sweat it out too, though maybe not for 10 km!), but perhaps some of you aren’t able to do intense workouts due to existing body ailments/conditions/injury. If so, that’s perfectly okay. Today’s task isn’t about exercising till your body goes numb, but about engaging your body in more activity and incorporating more movement in your life. For example, walking for 30 minutes when you are usually sedentary is considered a form of exercise. Climbing the stairs when you normally take the lift is considered a form of exercise too.

So for today, let’s get out there and get a great workout! If you’re already planning to exercise as part of your 14-Day Healthy Living Plan, even better! Let’s all exercise together! 😀

Some tips to integrate exercise into your life:

  1. Increase your activity level on a daily basis. Besides the standard sports and running, exercise can also come in other forms, such as brisk walking and stretching. Choose walking over transport for close distances. Climb the stairs instead of taking the lift. Go for a walk in the park.
  2. Pick exercises you enjoy. When you enjoy your exercises, you’ll naturally want to do them. Exercise isn’t about suffering and pushing yourself; it’s about being healthy and having fun at the same time!
  3. Have a variety of exercises to choose from. Adding variation can keep things interesting. What are three to four exercises that you enjoy? Rotate between them to keep things fresh. Of course, perhaps you’re like me — someone who prefers to stick with one same exercise for familiarity and convenience. If so, that’s great — do whatever works best for you! 😀
  4. Group exercises. Individual exercises are great but sometimes they may get stale. Pick some group exercises every once in a while and work out with your friends. When you enjoy something, you’ll naturally want to do it more often and be more committed in it!

Home Aerobics

My exercise plans often get cancelled due to bad weather or when I’m traveling, and it can be very frustrating! If you share the same problem, here’s a solution: Home Aerobics! With home aerobics, you can get a great 30- to 40-minute workout whenever you want, wherever you are, regardless of the weather! In fact, I prefer this to actual class aerobics because it’s so convenient and I can do it whenever I want to!

What’s even more awesome is that YouTube has plenty of these home aerobic videos — free — so you can just load up one of these videos on YouTube and get moving! (If you want to download the aerobic videos onto your computer for offline use, here’s a website to download Youtube videos.)

Here are some workout videos from YouTube — you can even pick one of them to do for today’s task! 😀

1) Standard Aerobic Workout (30 Minutes)

2) Latin-Dance-Style Workout (50 Minutes)

3) 6-Week Six-Pack Abs Workout, Level 1 (35 Minutes)

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4) Ultimate Fat Burn Workout (20 Minutes)

More great aerobic videos on Youtube.

If any of you are interested in getting six-pack abs, read How to Get a Six Pack (series)!

Next, Follow Your Plan for Day 8 (Take Pictures Too!)

What tasks have you set for Day 8 of your 14-Day Healthy Living Plan? Do them today!

Take pictures of your healthy meals — breakfast, lunch, dinner, and mid-day snacks if any — and share them in the comments section. 😀 After all, a picture tells a thousand words, and when you share photos of your healthy meals, it inspires others to eat healthily and gives them ideas on what healthy food they can have too!

Post your initial comment sharing your results for today’s challenge task, then add on throughout the day as you have your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and/or if you’re doing any workouts. Attach photos of your meals by clicking the image icon on the bottom left of every comment box. As you add on to your comment thread, be sure to click on the reply button directly below your original comment so that you reply to your own thread (as opposed to starting a new thread).

Share Your Results (and Photos!)

Share in the comments section!

  1. What workout you did today
  2. Your progress with your healthy living plan today
  3. Pictures of your meals
  4. Pictures of your workout (if any)

Do check out the other participants’ comments too and share a word of encouragement or two. We’re all in this together, so let’s support each other as a group! 🙂

After you’re done, proceed to Day 9: Identify Your Healthy Living Pitfalls!

Image: Women running, Workout

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