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30 days to a new you

Our life-changing challenge

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30 days to a new you

One month may seem like a short amount of time, but there's a lot you can do. Take our 30 day health challenge and change your life.

One month may seem like a short amount of time, but there’s much you can do for your health in just four short weeks. Take 30 days to change your life—and improve your health—by trying something new. Here are some different areas for you to explore. Nutrition Set specific goals for 30 days; decide what foods you want to avoid or add, make a date to begin, and go for it. You can find support systems online that deal specifically with 30-day nutrition challenges. There are a variety of options when it comes to improving your nutrition. Try some of these simple ideas that are easy to incorporate into your life.

  • Aim to eat five to 10 fruit and veggie servings per day.
  • Eliminate simple sugars as much as possible.
  • Switch from white to whole grain rice, pasta, and bread.
  • Swap your juice for water.
  • Take a daily multivitamin.

Benefits After 30 days of eating healthfully, your body and mind will feel more alive and awakened. You may also find the scale tipping more to the left. Pilates Like yoga, Pilates has seen a great rise in popularity. With its wide range of benefits, including spine stabilization, body awareness, and improved range of motion, this form of exercise is a great addition to your workout. Some popular forms of Pilates are done using specific pieces of equipment such as the ball, mat, reformer, or cadillac apparatuses. A number of studies have been done on the benefits of Pilates, which include improved muscle control, stabilized posture, and an overall increase in muscular strength, flexibility, and endurance. Benefits Besides looking taller and having better posture, Pilates will create a stable core and a stronger body overall. Cleansing A cleanse is meant to detoxify your body in a way that exercise can’t. A cleanse may focus on eliminating toxins from the kidneys, liver, colon, or the whole body. Cleanses vary in the length of time they take and in the foods or drinks recommended for ingestion. Some examples are raw food diets, juice cleanses, or herbal detoxes. Consult a natural health practitioner before beginning a cleanse to be sure you choose an option that’s right for you. Cleanses should not be undertaken without supervision if you take medication, have a chronic illness, or are pregnant or breastfeeding. Benefits You may shed some pounds, eliminate toxins, and feel more energetic.  

30 days of health
  • Exercise with the Nintendo Wii game EA Sports Active in the 30 Day Challenge mode.
  • Read Yoga Fights Flab: A 30-Day Program to Tone, Trim, and Flatten your Trouble Spots (Fair Winds, 2004) by Glenda Twining.
  • Work out to Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred DVD (Maple Pictures, 2008).
  • Keep track of your mileage on mapmyrun.com.

Yoga Yoga has seen an explosion in popularity; a variety of classes such as Ashtanga, hatha, and hot yoga can be found in most cities across Canada. The benefits garnered from yoga are both physical and psychological, such as increased flexibility, decreased stress, and a sense of deep-rooted relaxation, according to Karen MacKenzie, co-owner of a yoga studio in Port Moody, BC. MacKenzie’s studio offers a 30-day yoga challenge which has proven quite popular with her clients. Keeping track of participation with a poster and happy face stamps, the program encourages members to try new yoga poses daily. You can incorporate a similar reward system at home. Check out the many online resources that offer tips, motivation, and instructions; or create your own 30-day yoga challenge. Benefits Yoga can help you become strong and centred, gain muscle tone, and increase stamina. Flexibility and energy levels will improve, and as a bonus you may notice some weight loss. You may also experience “a balanced body and mind, and a mental level that is calming and de-stressing,” says MacKenzie. Boot camp fitness Boot camps are offered all across Canada and are a great way to jump-start a new fitness routine; they’re usually a few days per week for four to eight weeks. By incorporating total-body exercises, including cardio and strength, these classes are perfect for both losing weight and toning up. A small group environment makes it easier to get the attention you need, while also enjoying the support of your fellow classmates. In cities across Canada, you can find four-week programs that run either two or three days per week, one hour or more per session. Boot camp owner Annilou Verge-Marion says that boot camps are results driven, include lots of variety, and are fun. “The commitment alone of three days per week will guarantee you some great results within a four-week period,” she says. Benefits Weight loss, increased muscle tone, cardiovascular endurance, a positive attitude, and increased self-esteem are some of the benefits of joining a boot camp. You may become motivated to continue with your fitness past the four weeks, which is also a plus. Verge-Marion says that her participants “improve their lives, feel better about themselves, and are awed by their results.”

What did you change in 30 days? Tell us about your personal 30-day challenge. What did you do? What benefits did you see or feel? What are you inspired to do next? Pat yourself on the back, and share your story with us at editorial@alive.com.

Without accountability, no program can be successful. That’s why it’s important to include others in your quest for health. Whether it’s a friend who encourages you, a spouse who joins you, or a forum of like-minded people on the Internet who understand your issues, find someone to support you through your 30-day challenge. Every day can hold a new challenge, so why not conquer at least one healthy challenge in the next 30 days?

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