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Day 4 - Do a 10 Minute Mindfulness Walk and Stretch Your Upper Body - February Fitness Challenge

Welcome to Day 4.

I'm happy you're back and hope you find benefit in today's challenge.

Written Instructions:

I ask you to take a 10 minute mindfulness walk. This isn't your classic meditation type of mindfulness. This task aims to acknowledge your body as you place one foot in front of another. It asks you to pay attention to how your foot meets the ground (heel to toe), note any compensations from side to side with acceptance, feel the various muscle activations throughout the movement, and use the mind to attentively walk from destination to destination or aimlessly around the house/room/outdoors.

Here is a great article from Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals, How Paying Attention Can Reduce Stress. I'm not connected to this organization, I just found most the information within this post very pertinent to this challenge. We all have starting points, perhaps this mindfulness walk can increase our attention to what the body is asking for... rest, acceptance, learning our own patterns, and taking time to listen before our everything has to yell at us.

"If you don't make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness." - Anonymous

I like to post other articles to help you find the information that resonates with you. I'm available to assist whoever is called towards me as a coach but there are other sources and a bunch of information out there to help us find who/what we need to feel better.

This article from a place called Mission, where they 'publish stories, videos, and podcasts that make smart people smarter' - their words, not mine. I just liked, this is why you should pay attention to your body for improved health. It really outlines the reasons why we should pay attention early and also helps us realize, with a little attention, how we can likely help our own bodies regenerate (at least on a small, slow scale). I believe we can help improve what ails us, as much as possible, through belief (in ourselves, our ability, and patience). It definitely hurts us less than not believing it. Throughout my research and learning I have found it to be true; retrain pain sensors, detour automatic responses, and even regain power of movement. Or mind is powerful, so is what we feed both it and our body. Pay attention.

😁 Ooooo, all the learning!

Then there is a fantastic article from my Nutrition Certification Body, Precision Nutrition. The real (and surprising) reasons healthy movement matters. It overviews our natural need for movement, and how exercise isn't exactly the most necessary. It's movement, in general. I've really grown to love the way my body feels with activity. I know when I haven't moved, stretched, increased my heart rate, or ate properly. I can feel it in my body movements, my emotions, reactions and how I approach everyday. They do advertise a coaching program within this article too. If you're so inclined, sign up with them, but feel free to reach out to me. I'd be happy to help guide you towards the changes (or small improvements) you'd like to see for yourself. No pressure... ever. I don't live that way. Change only happens when you WANT it.

Complete this February Fitness challenge with acceptance, wherever you're at, right now. It's okay. This is about building awareness and space for us to grow into wellness, health, and overcome some of the barriers we create for ourselves. Become our best selves through mindfulness or reconnect to healthy habits we know work.

Fitness Focus: Stretch your upper body (neck/chest/arms).

Within the video I go through 3 basic stretches with you. The opening of our chest which gets super tight from sitting everyday, a really good shoulder stretch, and 4 different neck movements. I've also included a few bonus hand/wrist stretches, and tricep/bicep/core releases. Do as many as you'd like to complete this portion of the challenge. The idea is to achieve a good dynamic stretch (6-8 seconds) it won't have permanent benefits but it really helps temporarily and can be performed multiple times throughout the day. For long term rewards, you can spend some time in these movements after the body is warm with static stretching (15+ seconds in each position). Perhaps you've completed the mindfulness walk first, then feel free to spend time in each stretch position. Hint: if it's hard to do or the body feels tight while completing the movement, most the time, those are the stretches we should hold ourselves accountable to do more.

Be mindful of your breath throughout. Keep it rhythmic, deep into the stomach, and focus on the release of tension in your muscles. Tell your body to 'let go' - it's super therapeutic.

Video Instructions:

There we have it. Day 4... in our February Fitness Challenge.

Any questions, message me anytime.

Once you've completed the day... comment below with your findings and progress, I'd love to support you while we challenge ourselves one day at a time. #DayOneAlways mentality with #believeagainfitness effort will create the #healthylifestyle consistency we need. Social media hashtag #februaryfitnesschallenge2021 and be sure to have FUN.

We've got this together.

🌹 Take care all and much love.


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