March 2018: March Madness

Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 2.28.56 PM.pngMost people think of March Madness as basketball related insanity but this March we are using our March madness as extra motivation to get stronger, fitter, faster and healthier together!

Our March mantra, “March Madness” involves Motivation, Movement, Mindfulness, Maximizing, & Momentum…all of which are important terms in our world because they so accurately represent what we need to focus on each day.

Motivation – We must find the motivation to keep moving forward when we really don’t feel like it.

Movement – We need movement in our life to keep us healthy and young at heart.

Mindfulness – Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. We must practice mindfulness so we can make smart choices about our training. As much as we want to achieve our goals, we must be aware of our feelings and sensation so we know when to pull back and give our body and mind a break.

Maximize – In order to get it our workouts done without dropping any of the many balls we juggle, we must maximize the time we have by making the most out of every moment, in every situation. In our workouts, at work, with family…they all need to flow together so a work/life/workout balance is neccesary. The only way to do this is to make the most out of each workout!

Movement – A body in motion stays in motion. Keep that momentum and you are less likely to come to a grinding halt. When you need a day off, take it, but keep moving. Go for a walk, a hike, a bike ride, or play outside with your kids. Keep that momentum in check!

With all the madness that goes on around us each day, we will use motivation, movement, mindfulness, maximization, and momentum to keep our goals in check.

The Skinny on March: Our March calendar is full of fabulous exercises for our legs, hips, arms and abs, a daily plank challenge, weekend days saved for long runs, recovery and a day for a mid- week mental health break.

Mental Health Day: Thank you to Alison for this great idea! She’s right, sometimes taking a mental health day, a day off that’s specifically geared toward stress relief and burnout prevention, is the best thing we can do for ourself. While one day might not solve heavy underlying problems that lead to burnout, a mental health day can provide a much-needed break to pause, regroup, and come back with greater levels of energy and a fresh, less-stressed perspective.

Our mental health day is set up for Wednesday but that might not work for everyone. You can move your days around and make it work for you but make sure you are planning out the rest of your week so it all works together. Don’t put off a tough speed workout till Thursday then schedule a long run for Friday or Saturday. Be smart about it!

Below are a few tips to maximize your mental health day

  1. Decide What You Need Most – Sometimes this one is a no-brainer—if you’re exhausted, your body will be screaming that it needs to rest; if you feel you can’t face another day of hard work, you may just need to have some fun. However, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, you may not be as aware of your needs.
  2. If You Need to Relax – Taking a mental health day often means taking time out to relax. That can mean watching TV in pajamas or puttering around the house and doing nothing, and as long as this isn’t an everyday thing it’s ok. However, some activities can take a little front-end effort and feel immensely relaxing once they’re completed, like taking a walk, attending a yoga class, swimming at the gym, or getting a massage.
  3. If You Need Some Fun – If you really need a change of scenery and a “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” kind of mental health day, make the most of it. Plan a fun event, something you normally love to do and don’t do enough or something you’ve always wanted to try. Take someone you enjoy spending time with and make the day memorable.
  4. If You Need to Make Some Changes – If the stressors seem to pile up and you’re looking for a way to slow down and stop the “noise,” you may want to take a day to restructure things. You may not be able to eliminate all of your ongoing stressors in one day, but you might be able to make a significant reduction in a few areas, and that may create a lasting impact on your stress levels. Start by creating a list of things that drain your energy, and work from there on eliminating them. Take a look at your priorities and cut out some of the small things that cause stress but are less important.
  5. If You Need More of a Break – If you need more of a break than just one day, you might be headed towards burnout. If taking off a day a week isn’t enough, maybe it’s time to consider a longer term break. Burnout is a real thing and sometimes we need to take a step back in order to keep moving forward.
Take a minute and really reflect: would you benefit the most from some tension relief? Or from making a few changes that will relieve stress in the future? Some time with a loved one? Or a change of scenery? Different stressors require different responses so we need different types of mental health days to fill our unique needs.

Plank Challenge: Each day we are trying a different plank. This will work different areas and is a great way to add a variety to your plank arsenal for the future. Every day means EVERY DAY so we are planking on the weekends too but don’t fret, it’s one :60 plank that you can break into 2 :30 planks if needed. If you are a plank hater, thank Becky Jacobson for the idea! 😉

Here is a visual of the Plank Challenge we are doing this month. Each day I will post a how to video or step by step instructions on how to do that days plank properly.

31 Day Plank Challenge

March Buddies: On the last day of February, Caitlin posted that she slacked on posting this month and not having a February buddy made a big difference in that area. Having a buddy not only helps keep us accountable for posting, but when you buddies tag you and you see they are getting it done that fire is lit and your motivation to get it done increases. It’s not meant to be demoralizing or cause you stress, our buddy system is just a way to provide us that extra push we need and remind us that movement will lighten our mood and help us when those “blah” days happen and we really don’t wanna…

Buddy up or go solo. It’s up to you, but if you tend to let days or weeks go by without any activity, maybe a buddy is just what you need!

March Miles: As we get farther into the year and our resolutions start to fade its easy to let our mileage decrease. This month we are each going to give ourselves a mileage goal. It doesn’t matter what that goal is and it should be relative to your current level of ability. Be mindful and set a goal that won’t require you to ramp up too quickly. Set a reasonable goal that will help you maintain your momentum in March! Think about your goal and post it on Day 1!

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Our March calendar is below. I will post a PDF version in our Strong to the Core FB files so you can print it out and keep it handy. Since we have some exercises we haven’t done in a while, you will see how to videos in our daily posts so make sure you are either signed up to get them by email or are checking our pinned posts each morning. It’s very important that you do these exercises properly in order to avoid getting hurt and to maximize your workout each day.

Let me know if you have any questions. It’s March Madness Crew…and it’s so much better when we get fit together!

March 2018 Challenge: March Madness.png