Monday, May 26, 2014
A continuation on the 5% Challenge theme:
Another benefit that I have experienced from participating in the 5% Challenges is that they have pushed me out of my comfort zone - in a very good way!
I have a very utilitarian approach to technology, I have a cheap laptop, a cheap (not at all smart) cell phone, and an old black and white Nook. By nature I am a fairly reserved person and, as you can probably tell by looking at my SparkPage, I am not entirely comfortable with the very public nature of the virtual world. I am not active on other social media sites; I don't belong to Facebook or Pinterest or Linked-In or Twitter; I don't really spend a great deal of time looking at random things on the internet or watching YouTube videos. I was on SP for quite some time before I took the leap to get involved with teams or participate in message board conversations.
My biggest reservation when I signed up for my first 5% Challenge was that participants are expected to be active on their teams. I took the leap and signed up. Being active doesn't mean that I need become someone I am not, but it has helped me to expand my comfort zone. Now on my third challenge, I am more willing to share aspects of myself and my life with my teammates, which I think is to be expected. More surprising to me is that I have found myself becoming more open to talking about healthy living, fitness and such topics with my coworkers and other people in my "real" world.
I am looking forward to the Summer Challenge and racing around the Earth with my fellow Shooting Stars!!!
Sunday, May 25, 2014
Again, a blog for the sake of gaining points in the Spring 5% Challenge for my Shooting Stars team!
One of the suggested questions for this week's blogging challenge is: How did the 5% Challenges help you develop a healthier lifestyle?
The change that is most obvious to me is that it has used the competitive part of my nature, and my sense of loyalty to my team, to my benefit - in this case it has increased my determination to find time for fitness every day. For anyone who doesn't know about the 5% Challenges, we are broken into teams and we take a virtual trip somewhere in the world each week with our exercise minutes counting as miles for the travel. Knowing that I am part of a team that is racing to a destination, and that my team is counting on me to help us to get there as quickly as possible, has increased my motivation to find time in my hectic schedule to exercise.
Before my first 5% challenge in the Fall of 2013, I was consistently exercising for 30-60 minutes 3 or 4 times a week. When the first challenge started, I made a commitment to do some exercise everyday for those 8 weeks. Throughout the winter and spring, I have managed to increase that so that I know manage 120 minutes most days of the week. With the incentive of the Challenge, I made some creative changes to my schedule to "sneak" in exercise in ways that I would have believed were impossible before.
Here are some examples of the changes that I have made to increase my exercise time:
For the past 10+ years, I have made spiritual reading and meditation my first activity of the day. I would generally spend about an hour curled up on my sofa with my coffee and a book for this. I am by no means a yoga or pilates expert, but incorporated some of those principles into my morning routine. I am still doing spiritual reading with my morning coffee, but I have moved the meditation portion of my time to my exercise mat so that body, mind and soul are all involved now.
Also, I live close to my place of work, and walk to and from work each morning. The most direct route is about half of a mile and gets me there in 7 - 10 minutes depending on my mood and energy level. Now I take a longer route at least one way, sometimes both, so I get a good walk or two in my daily routine.
I had been on SP for years before joining the 5% challenges, so I am sure that these little changes should have been on my radar long ago, but I do think that being part of the challenges is what gave me the incentive to actually do it.
There is one week left for the Spring Challenge, and the Summer Challenge team is forming if you are interested in joining you can check out the team by following the link below!
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Let me begin by saying that my motivation for taking the time to write a blog today is to get the 5 points for my SHOOTING STARS Spring 5% Challenge team! I am very committed to my fellow STARS and although it is a Challenge for me to think of anything to say once the blog entry window pops up, I am willing to take on that Challenge to earn the extra 5 points for my Stars!!
This is my 3rd 5% Challenge, and I have already signed up for the Summer team, and to stay with my Shooting Stars! These 5% Challenges have been a great experience of all the best the SP has to offer: Support, Encouragement, Competition, point-based incentives to build healthy habits and honestly they are simply a FUN way to stick with and improve whatever personal "program" you follow her on SP.
If you have participated in 5% Challenges before, I hope that you have signed up for the Summer and if you haven't participated before, check out the team and see if it is for you!
Hope to see you this Summer!!
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