January 2019 Challenge: Be More Awesome!

Screen Shot 2018-12-29 at 7.16.42 PM

Being more awesome in 2019 is a goal I can get down with! What about you?

“Being more awesome” isn’t a SMART goal because it doesn’t have the required elements but what if our smaller, more manageable goals all lead to 2019 “being more awesome” than last year? Isn’t that what we’re really striving for? To better ourselves and our health? Every little bit counts!

Being more awesome doesn’t neccesarily mean making huge strides or reaching a crazy out there goals. I want you to reach for the stars but being more awesome can also just mean being a better version of ourselves and there are tons of ways to be more awesome in our everyday life!

In Strong to the Core, “being more awesome” can mean….

  • being more consistent with our strength workouts
  • being more mindful of our eating and choosing options that support healthy living
  • being more helpful and motivating within our #CoreCrew family
  • staying accountable to our buddies which will help them and us!
  • doing a little more each day than we are used to doing without our #CoreCrew family

Maybe you have a mileage goal, or a weight loss goal, or a finish time goal? All of these can be incorporated into BEING MORE AWESOME!

While “being more awesome” is a great attitude to have this year, we still want to make those SMART goals because specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely goals are more likely to keep us on track. The end goal is still the same….we want to be more awesome this year than we were last year. We want to move more, eat healthier, be stronger…all possible with small, manageable goals as we go.

There’s still time to get in your 2019 SMART goals! They don’t have to be long and detailed but they do need to be SMART! When you have your goals ready send them to me by Private Message or email so I can remind you of them throughout the year.

Health Commandments – Must Do Rules for a Healthier You

Since it’s the beginning of the year and we can all use help with the basics, let’s remind ourselves about a few simple things we can do to live healthy and improve our overall well-being. These straightforward ideas will help us see the benefits in no time.

These seem basic but they can make a big difference! Which of these can you incorporate into your plans for 2019 to help give you an extra boost towards reaching your goals?

  1. Cut the fat – The effect of fat on your arteries and general health is pretty well known, so you should try to cut your intake by changing your cooking methods. Try grilling, baking, steaming or poaching, rather than frying. If you are frying something, spray cooking oils can be used instead of oil in frying pans – this is a healthier alternative with a lower calorie content. FYI – cutting the fat doesn’t mean cutting out the healthy fats! Continue to work healthy fat into your diet. Foods like avocados, whole eggs, fatty fish, dark chocolate, nuts, extra virgin olive oil, coconuts and coconut oil and full fat yogurt! If you buy milk, reach for the full fat milk NOT skim or non-fat. The fat in milk is good for us and by using whole milk we need less artificial sweeteners.
  2. Get plenty of sleep – If you’re having trouble sleeping try cutting out stimulants such as alcohol or caffeine, especially in the hours directly before you go to bed. Watching TV or using a laptop or tablet directly before going to sleep has also been shown to disrupt sleep. Trying reading a book or listening to some music before bed instead and you might find it easier to drop off. Putting a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow at night has also been shown to have relaxing effects.
  3. Build strong bones – Since we plan on including exercise in our healthy living routine it’s essential to have strong bones and muscles. A diet high in calcium and vitamin D will lead to strong bones and healthy nerves and muscles. Good sources of calcium and vitamin D include egg yolk, broccoli, oily fish and direct sunlight.
  4. Fruit – Fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruit are a great source of vitamin C, which helps to boost the immune system. Also, citrus fruits and bananas are a good source of potassium which can help to regulate blood pressure. If you struggle to eat lots of fruit each day try to find creative ways to include it in your diet – like making homemade smoothies or having fruit salads as a dessert.
  5. Garlic – Regular consumption of garlic promotes a healthy heart and good circulation by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. It also helps to fight infection and boosts the body’s immunity.
  6. Drink more water – We should all be drinking around eight glasses of water a day. It will greatly enhance your digestion‚ nutrient absorption‚ skin hydration and detoxification — as well as many other aspects of your health. Try to have a glass or bottle of water with you all the time – slipping water throughout the day is the easiest way to get the required amount.
  7. Tea – There is general agreement that both black and green tea may contribute positively to our health. Tea contains antioxidants that can inhibit the growth of cancer cells, support dental health, increase bone density and strengthen cardiovascular health. Herbal teas are increasingly becoming very popular and are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
  8. Eat more wholegrain – Eating wholegrain foods such as bread, cereals and rice can reduce your cholesterol levels and greatly reduce your risk of heart disease. Look at the packaging on foods that are labelled as ‘wholegrain’, especially cereals, to see which of them are best. Try to stick to brown bread, rice and pasta.
  9. Stand tall – Good posture is believed to help the flow of energy in the body so standing tall or sitting up straight improve your energy levels. Standing tall is also a great way to train our bodies to run tall!
  10. Swimming – Exercising in water is a great way of getting a good workout without stressing our body too much. The water offers resistance to help you to build your muscles and stamina while preventing some of the impact on the joints that land-based exercises would bring. If you are feeling those runner niggles, take to the water for a couple days to get in your cardio and give your legs a rest from the pavement.
  11. Eat oily fish – Eating more ‘oily’ fish, such as herring, kippers, mackerel, salmon, sardines and tuna, will provide us with large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. These types of fatty acids can reduce the levels of cholesterol in the blood which helps reduce our risk of stroke.
  12. Don’t skip breakfast – Our body needs good quality fuel to wake up your metabolism so always make time for a good breakfast. A good breakfast means we will burn more calories throughout the day and it also prevents us from getting that lull in the morning when your body is running on empty. Consider oatmeal or a poached egg with avocado or smoked salmon.
  13. Be positive – Having an optimistic outlook on life can actually help us to live longer.  Thinking positively lessens our chances of worrying and reduces stress, lessening our chances of getting a physical and mental illness.

These are some simple ideas of things we can do to make a positive impact on our health. Take a look at your 2019 goals. Where can you add in the ideas above to help you reach them?

Screen Shot 2018-12-30 at 10.58.07 AM

Buddy System

Our buddy system works extremely well so if you don’t have a buddy for January, let’s get you one! I am happy to help partner you up with another Crew member!

As our group continues to grow, I simply don’t have the time to see everything…even though I would love too. Our buddy system also means you don’t have to feel the need to see or comment on everyone else too. STTC tends to be all we see in our FB feed and that can be awesome and it can also be a bit annoying. Having a buddy or small team of buddies will keep you accountable without taking up too much time.

Buddy teams consist of 2 or more members who tag each other in posts motivating each other to get it done! If your buddy posts that they have completed the workout, you are much more likely to do it. That might be from guilt…that’s ok too! If guilting you into getting your workout done is the way to get you to do it, I am down for guilt trips! 😉

I’ve heard a few people here and there say they don’t like having a buddy and thats ok too. You don’t have to have one. BUT…those who do have a buddy are more accountable and more likely to get it done. There are a few rare Crew members who get it done without a buddy so if that’s you and you get it done solo, then by all means, do you!

But…I’d love to see ALL our newbies and the majority of our Crew buddying up for January! Let’s find a partner who will help keep us on track and call us out when we are being too quiet!

Be More Awesome in 2019

Our goal for January is simple. Start the year intent on being MORE AWESOME in 2019!

Being more awesome this year than last year doesn’t require long, confusing workouts. But it does require commitment and consistency. You have the plan, it’s up to you to do the work!

You will find our January 2019 Calendar plus all the links you need for the month on our STTC Members Only Page. A link to this page can be found in our “announcements” at the top of our Strong to the Core FB page. We have a new January workout calendar to keep our workouts fresh but you will see some old routines back in the mix and you still have access to all our Strength Running routines. If you’re not a member of Strong to the Core but want access to our workout calendar and all our routines click here for info!

Here’s how the month January set up.

January 2019 Challenge outline:

  • Mondays – Core & Arms
  • Tuesdays – Hips & Glutes
  • Wednesdays – Hips and Arms
  • Thursdays – Legs
  • Fridays – Core & Arms
  • Saturdays – Long Run/Walk Routine
  • Sundays – Plank & Wall Sit + Active Recovery + Yoga for Runner Options

If you want to switch up your workouts, you know which routines to do. If you’re not sure, they are separated into workouts by body part so you can easily find one that fits into the schedule. Remember that it’s not always about getting the exact workout on the calendar done, it’s more about making strength a part of your training plan and thinking of it as something that goes together with the rest of our routine…not as an add on. As long as you are being consistent with your strength, you are working towards being more awesome in 2019!

2019 Strong to the Core Trips

We have a lot of fun #CoreCrew trips and get togethers planned for 2019 and I’m looking for more opportunities to meet each one of you! First up in January is the Disney Marathon weekend then the following week is the Jekyll Island 10K! If you plan on being at either of these races please let us know so we can get together!

Another fun trip on the horizon is the Phillidelphia Half and Full Marathons in November. I’ve been talking about running Philly for a while now and 2019 is the year! If you want to come to Philly and meet tons of Crew, chime in and let’s get to planning!

If you have a trip coming up and want to share it with the Crew, please feel free to make an event in our FB page so others know you will be there!

We are also planning in advance for 2020! Right now, there is a trip in the works for the Martha’s Vineyard half and full marathons in May of 2020! I know this is a little ways out but it will come fast and we would love to have a HUGE STTC group at this event!

Screen Shot 2018-12-30 at 11.19.16 AM

Strong to the Core Membership Guidelines

As we continue to grow and add more amazing people to our family, I want to remind you all that this is a strength group. We are here to motivate each other to move more and get stronger! Strength is the #1 goal of our group and that doesn’t mean we all have to be runners. You can walk, ride, swim…whatever it is that makes your heart happy…as long as you are also working on your strength!

To keep our #CoreCrew family focused on strength this year, we are adding a couple simple STTC guidelines. You do not have to post everyday…but when you do post, it MUST include some kind of strength work. If you post, “I went for a run today” or I didn’t do anything today” but include no strength work and I see it, it will be deleted. I am adding this because lately I’ve seen too posts that only include a run or other cardio workout. Going for a run or bike ride is awesome and I love seeing you being active, but there are so many groups where we can post a run and get tons of accolades. That’s not what Strong to the Core is meant for. If you go for a run but don’t do your strength, it doesn’t “count” for STTC so don’t post it. If you go for a run then do your Standard Core workout or get in some great hip and glute work, then post away! If you don’t do anything…don’t post that you did nothing. That is not motivating to anyone! In fact, it gives others a reason to do nothing too!

That being said, below are our new Strong to the Core Guidelines:

  1. Posts must include strength – No Posts with Only Cardio – Post your workout only when you have done your strength work for the day. This doesn’t mean you can’t post inspiring stories or messages, races you want others to know about, or fun memes to give us a laugh. And you may post your running stats once you have completed your strength! If you got in a run but didn’t do any strength work…post it somewhere else. 🙂 If you do post with just a run or “I didn’t do anything today” I will delete it without warning and I won’t feel bad about it. 😉
  2. Always be positive and supportive – Any posts or comments that are negative or demeaning will be deleted (this rarely happens in Strong to the Core!)

Ready for a great start to a year of awesomeness?

2019 will be the Year of Strength in the #CoreCrew. Let’s set the tone for a whole year of awesome strength starting on Day 1….Tuesday, January 1st, 2019!

Year of Strength 2019.png