Author Topic: 30 day challenge anyone? meditation, flexibility, & posture (August edition)  (Read 1186 times)

the_hobbitish

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I don't know about you, but my life is a little stressful at the moment. I decided to focus on 3 small things to improve my physical and mental health. I've dabbled in these off an on over the last month, but I plan on sticking with it for August. I'm hoping accountability here will keep me on track. Anyone care to join?

Here are the 3 I'm doing:

Why I picked these three:

Better posture - I slouch. I've got a touch of scoliosis which doesn't help. It affects my sleep, breathing, mood. Let's see if these twice a day exercises help. The sporadic days I've done these have made me more mindful of my posture already. I'd really love to have major improvement by the end of the month.

Flexibility/Splits - I used to be pretty flexible, but never at the instagram yoga level. That has all but disappeared since I started dabbling in deadlifts and other powerlifting. I don't think I'll get to splits in 30 days, but it would be nice to be able to touch my toes and move freely. The program I found is about 10 minutes a day. If this goes well and I stick with it I might indulge in a paid program in September.

Meditation - I've tried this off an on over the years, but never got into a solid practice. There's some great research on how meditation changes your brain to be better at calm/resilience/acceptance and less stress response. All that sounds amazing. 30 days to happier healthier mental state? Yes please.


Serendip

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I'll do this challenge with you for August @the_hobbitish

My three small things will be
Daily
- Meditation (minimum 7 minutes, I'll keep track via Insight Timer)
- Walking (minimum 8000 steps, I started monitoring this recently, my activity has been low due to bad weather and bad mood so hopefully both of these will improve)
- Creativity (at least one creative act--draw or work on a current project, cook a new dish, etc)


the_hobbitish

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Awesome. Glad to have the company.

I just started using insight timer. Do you use any of the guided meditations? So far I've been using the timer itself and not the other options.

Serendip

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Awesome. Glad to have the company.

I just started using insight timer. Do you use any of the guided meditations? So far I've been using the timer itself and not the other options.

I do enjoy some guided ones such as the morning meditations.
And as for teachers-- Jennifer Piercy (her yoga nidra for sleep is fantastic), Tara Brach (and Jack Cornfield..classics) and Sara Blondin are some of the teachers I listen to.

I'm upping my August challenge by going off of booze for the month (I generally drink one drink every eve, beer, wine or gin so this will be an interesting one for me!)

oneday

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msministache

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Im taking advantage of having lots of time during quarantine (Im in Fl, still dont dare to go back to normal) this month and challenging myself to
1. Plastic free month (only foreseeable exception is bag of wood shavings for my rabbit's litter box).
2. Workout everyday (30 min)
3. Vegan/no sugar/minimum oil

If I do good on all 3 goals it will make me a very happy camper)

mspym

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Mine are
- 3 meals no snacks on weekdays
- do my PT exercises to rehab my ankle every day

Serendip

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I'm in!  I found a plank challenge.

https://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/ultimate-30-day-plank-challenge-your-strongest-core-ever?fbclid=IwAR0-nsw9FLgKooQI2yGqlHMQ5aCm1J7wEMeo8zWSI8RQI8avtJhKJmCAycg

This will be a real challenge!!!!

Good one @oneday I did the first challenge--it was tougher for me than it looks, will try to add this to my repertoire as I am feeling ambitious :)

Frankies Girl

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I'm in, but I'm likely going to be horrible about checkins.

1. Daily yoga. I used to teach a class weekly and really gotten terrible about keeping up with it. 20 minutes a day should be easy but it's making myself get back into a routine...

2. Listen to music/meditation. I need to start being more mindful and focused.

3. READ 1+ hour a day. I used to read entire books daily. I have gotten addicted to the computer/phone tho, and need some non-tech activity/detox. Bonus points for setting up in the backyard under the tree in a comfy chair.

Serendip

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I'm in, but I'm likely going to be horrible about checkins.


ha, sporadic check-in's work!

I'm off of social media this month too so will likely update daily--getting my online fix on the forum :)

DAY 1: MEDITATE: 13 min, plus yoga online
           WALK: 9100+ steps today
           CREATE: made a nasturtium leaf pesto for pizza tonight
           
           
« Last Edit: August 01, 2020, 07:16:20 PM by Serendip »

oneday

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Good one @oneday I did the first challenge--it was tougher for me than it looks, will try to add this to my repertoire as I am feeling ambitious :)

It was quite tough!  I didn't make it all the way on the 3rd rep.  But something is better than nothing, right?

SotI

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Hi,
I will be in, but probably updating irregular during the week as I am not always online.

My 30 days challenge:

Daily meditaton (15+ mins). I follow Ajahn Brahm's guided meditation when I need some inspiration

Daily exercise (I both need to improve muscle and cardio), but will start low w/ 20 mins of either.
I have a regular workout plan, I just have been slacking and need to build up the routine again.

No added sugar or (industrial) processes food. Carbs have been creeping back into my regular diet, so I will cut out the worst offender to keep my weight where it should be.

the_hobbitish

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Great to see all the different challenges. I might try a few of these next month.

@msministache Plastic free is ambitious. I've been realizing how many things around the house come wrapped in plastic. (I'm looking at you dishwasher and clothes detergent pods) Do you have a method for avoiding plastic waste with cleaning products?

Day 1
Meditation - meh
I'm not living at home right now so meditating competed with a whole new array of sounds and distractions. I've done 5 minutes before, but the more I need it the more difficult it seems. I think I even started drafting this comment in my head at one point. sigh. But I did it, so yay.

Stretching - Done. Ordered a yoga block and strap online to help with positioning.

Serendip

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Good one @oneday I did the first challenge--it was tougher for me than it looks, will try to add this to my repertoire as I am feeling ambitious :)

It was quite tough!  I didn't make it all the way on the 3rd rep.  But something is better than nothing, right?

Most absolutely! :)

Serendip

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DAY 2:MEDITATE: 7 min, plus online yoga
           WALK: 34,000+ steps today (did a 22 km hike--yikes! pleased and sore)
           CREATE: drawing something to mail to my nephew (he is 3yrs)

Serendip

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I think I even started drafting this comment in my head at one point. sigh. But I did it, so yay.


ha--this is the best

oneday

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PLANKS DAY 2  Done.  Holy heck, I didn't know what I was getting in to.  This is going to be a month of pain 😑

mspym

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Sporadic check-in!

NO WEEKDAY SNACKING
Aug 1-2 NA
Aug 3 - check

ANKLE REHAB
Aug 1 - forgot entirely whoops
Aug 2- check
Aug 3- check

Frankies Girl

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Okay, last few days:

1. Daily yoga. NO yesterday, but I did 1.5 hours of lawn cleanup/mowing so that should count as exercise anyway. YES today! Got in 30 minutes. :)

2. Listen to music/meditation. YES both days! I'm starting a morning Mozart thang (I do my yoga to Mozart as well). Also listened to a Ravi Shankar concert and it was lovely.

3. READ 1+ hour a day. NO both days. BOOOOOO. I read two short stories for bedtime but they were under 15 minutes and I want to do an actual novel and get back to devouring books like I used to. I have requested several books from the library that are new in series I used to love so I'm hoping that will jump start the want to read instead of doom scrolling on the computer.

oneday

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I'm hoping that will jump start the want to read instead of doom scrolling on the computer.

Say NO to doom scrolling!!!

PLANKS DAY 3 Done

Edit: PLANKS DAY 4 Done
« Last Edit: August 04, 2020, 02:31:21 PM by oneday »

Serendip

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Good work everybody!
This has been good motivation for me..

 4 days without drinking alcohol

DAY 3: MEDITATE: 8 min, plus online yoga
           WALK: 7600+ steps
           CREATE: worked on an embroidered wall-hanging

DAY 4: MEDITATE: 18 min, no yoga
           WALK: 4500+ steps today, missed my goal but felt low energy--didn't push it
           CREATE: finished the wall-hanging

the_hobbitish

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I discovered if I don't set a specific time to do things I never get around to it. Enter little schedule on the back of an envelope...

5 day update:
  • meditation 4/5 - yay
  • flexibility - 2/5 - much better with some blocks to help

@oneday No doom scrolling. Love it!

mspym

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3rd/4th of August
No snacking - ✅ and ✅
ankle rehab - ✅ and ✅

Doom scrolling? Might have to put a child lock on my phone. Tree growing doesn't seem to be incentive enough. I've been diverting that energy in Duolingo but that's not Actually doing my work.

oneday

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Wow, everyone's got a good solid start!  And if you haven't, well, there's lots of month left in which to catch up!!!

Planks Day 5 ✅ thanks @mspym that check mark is more fun than typing Done

Frankies Girl

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1. Daily yoga. NO yesterday, YES today. So I think maybe every other day is doable but I suck at daily stuff since I already have things I must do daily? Oh well. I threw in some weighs in the later half and did some breathing Pranayama as well.

2. Listen to music/meditation. YES both days! Mozart (I do my yoga to Mozart as well). Also listened to over an hour of random silly/fun stuff from the early 2000 that a friend mentioned in chat.

3. READ 1+ hour a day. NO both days again. BOOOOOO. I just can't seem to get where I can stop multi tasking and concentrate on a book. This is disturbing. I realized I can't just watch something on TV either - the phone or the laptop just leaps into my hands (right? that's how it works right?) Must do some serious offline work here because I am NOT happy about being so tied to tech. It's not even like it's work stuff - it's mindless dumbass things like games and memes and looking random stuff up about things I'm also watching/thinking about.



Serendip

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2. Listen to music/meditation. YES both days! Mozart (I do my yoga to Mozart as well). Also listened to over an hour of random silly/fun stuff from the early 2000 that a friend mentioned in chat.

I love that you practice yoga to Mozart..how classy! :)

Serendip

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DAY 5: MEDITATE: 6 min, plus online yoga
           WALK: 9200+ steps
           CREATE: tried a funky new recipe--marinating jackfruit overnight for smoky tacos tomorrow


Frankies Girl

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2. Listen to music/meditation. YES both days! Mozart (I do my yoga to Mozart as well). Also listened to over an hour of random silly/fun stuff from the early 2000 that a friend mentioned in chat.

I love that you practice yoga to Mozart..how classy! :)

Yeah, but he was the bad boy of his time, so I'm technically listening to a very OG punk artist. :D

centwise

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A bit late to the party but I'm in!

I like this challenge. I've increased my activity level with a lot of walking and jogging over the past two weeks.

I would like to add:
(1) your daily flexibility/splits (ha!) regimen, with daily back stretches added:

Back stretches from the Mayo Clinic:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/multimedia/back-pain/sls-20076265

(2) light upper body strength workout three times a week
« Last Edit: August 05, 2020, 10:58:38 PM by centwise »

the_hobbitish

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I'm calling it. 3 things is too many things. I feel kinda like @Frankies Girl with the whole there's normal daily stuff too so it's not realistic to make it to 3 additional daily things.

I decided to concentrate on flexibility and meditation everyday. I'm lifting at the gym a couple times a week so the flexibility is really necessary to not lose even more mobility. I'm still trying to be conscious of my posture but I'm not doing the twice a day exercises.

Serendip

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I'm calling it. 3 things is too many things. I feel kinda like @Frankies Girl with the whole there's normal daily stuff too so it's not realistic to make it to 3 additional daily things.

I decided to concentrate on flexibility and meditation everyday. I'm lifting at the gym a couple times a week so the flexibility is really necessary to not lose even more mobility. I'm still trying to be conscious of my posture but I'm not doing the twice a day exercises.

Good plan,  no good if a challenge starts to feel like a burden :)

Serendip

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@Frankies Girl --badass Mozart, even better :)

DAY 6:MEDITATE: 9 min, plus online yoga--which I am about to do before bed (20 min)
           WALK: 8200+ steps
           CREATE: cooked up that new recipe--smoky jackfruit tacos were a smashing success


the_hobbitish

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Flexibility ✅
Meditation ✅ (10 minutes, yay)

Week 1 total: Flexibility 4/7, Meditation 5/7
Starting to get into a good groove.

I'm starting to like meditating. It feels a bit wobbly while I'm doing it, but I'm starting to notice this nice baseline of calm positivity afterwards.

oneday

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@Serendip I'm enjoying reading about the creative things you are doing!

Planks Day 6
Planks Day 7 ✅  They have already introduced planks that I can barely do.  What is day 31 going to be like? [gulp]

mspym

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Check in for 5-7th Aug
No snacks: ✅ ✅ and ✅
ankle rehab: ✅✅ and half a ✅ for yesterday - I did the flexibility stuff but not the strengthening exercises

I thought about adding another habit but really want to get these two embedded before making things harder for myself

SotI

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Weekly update 2.-8.8.

Meditation: 5/7 ✅
Exercise: 4/7  ✅ (long working hours & looking after dependents = knackered)
No added sugar/highly processed food: 6/7 ✅

I actually had to revise what I consider "industrial/processed food" (does that include honey? miso paste? bread?). There are just things I will not make from scratch.
So I narrowed my exclusion list down to convenience food, general high-carb fast food or artificial snack food.

Moonwaves

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Awesome. Glad to have the company.

I just started using insight timer. Do you use any of the guided meditations? So far I've been using the timer itself and not the other options.
Thanks for mentioning this. I've just installed it and have actually pretty quickly found three or four people whose voice and accent I don't find irritating. Maybe meditation every morning will actually become a thing for me.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2020, 07:14:54 AM by Moonwaves »

centwise

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A bit late to the party but I'm in!

I like this challenge. I've increased my activity level with a lot of walking and jogging over the past two weeks.

I would like to add:
(1) your daily flexibility/splits (ha!) regimen, with daily back stretches added:

Back stretches from the Mayo Clinic:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/multimedia/back-pain/sls-20076265

(2) light upper body strength workout three times a week

OK I have NOT been rising to the challenge. Revising my plan, starting over today.

Plan:
1. 90 minutes of light activity daily (some combination of dog walks, running, and online workouts). 
2. The "splits" stretching that OP recommended.
3. The Mayo clinic back stretches once per day.
3. Light upper body strength workout three times a week.

I will come back later and let you know if I have done any of this! :/
Good luck with the challenge everyone.

oneday

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@Moonwaves very cool that you've found a solution to the accent issues!

Planks Day 8

Serendip

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@Serendip I'm enjoying reading about the creative things you are doing!


ha, glad to hear @oneday :)
 It's such an important part of a happy life for me but one that often gets pushed to the side...

DAY 7:MEDITATE: 8 min , no yoga
           WALK: 5500 steps (didn't meet goal..)
           CREATE: did a tiny stop-motion of a botanical line drawing

DAY 8:MEDITATE: 10 min, plus online yoga
           WALK: 6500 steps (didn't meet goal...)
           CREATE: cooked up a new recipe--sage & garlic smashed potatoes (from our garden!)



Frankies Girl

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I am reading others' posts, and it's quite inspiring. :)

Last few days: hit ALL my goals but yesterday skipped yoga/exercise as I was sore from the day before (!).

I've added in quick runs on the treadmill now after my yoga so I'm managing to get a full 30 minutes of stretching/flexibility, light weights, cardio. So all I needed to get back on the horse was a little push and I do the yoga, get sweaty and warmed up, throw in a few weights/lifts, feel pretty good, so why not go jump on the treadmill for a quick 5 minute sprint? I was going to the gym pre-COVID at least 3-5 days a week and turned into a total potato these last 4 months... VERY happy with reestablishing regular exercise wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.

Rediscovered a stack of vintage mysteries gotten cheap/free at a library sale, and read an entire paperback in under an hour. And a few of my library holds are ready so will head over Monday for more books. I'm also shutting down all electronics every time I get up to do any puttering around the house so I have to wait around to boot them back up and I am using that as an extra step to avoid messing with them as much. It's a little step, but one a bit further from being chained to the stupid things.


Moonwaves

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@Moonwaves very cool that you've found a solution to the accent issues!
I'm feeling very pleased with myself, I have to admit. Still somewhat astounded that I have been so picky on this but since I've found something that works, I can go back to being easygoing. LOL

And just like that, day 3 of meditation is done.

I have also added it to my TOMM list of housework so that it's there to be ticked off every day. I'll be aiming to do 5-10 minutes every morning. And another short one in the evenings if I feel like it. Yesterday, I played a French one when I went to bed - I didn't understand all of it but since I was drifting off to sleep, that didn't matter. Understanding the inhale, exhale bits was the important thing. Definitely more conducive to a good night's sleep that watching "just one more" episode of a K-drama.