This post is brought to you by the word:
elucidate [ih-loo-si-deyt] /ɪˈlu sɪˌdeɪt/
verb (used with object)
Yesterday, we started the #ASHAFit13 challenge and I did a blog post introducing it, but (and bare with us here) we’re making this up on the spur of the moment and as we go along so I thought a clarification post was in order. I’m going to try to answer most of the questions we’ve been getting so that everyone can participate however they want.
What is #ASHAFit13?
It’s a fitness challenge 4 of us made up to help support each other in getting more fit using simple calisthenics. The plan is to start very small and challenge ourselves incrementally to build muscle slowly and steadily until one day you realize you can hold a 2 minute plank or do 100 pushups/lunges. So far we’ve thought through 2 phases (phase 1 is core and upper body, phase 2 is lower body and cardio-ish) and the goal is to get toned up in major areas by the 2013 ASHA convention in Chicago this November.
We may not all actually get to attend ASHA this year, but we needed something to shoot for and we’re S-LPs and Audiologists so it made sense. You don’t have to be an S-LP, Audiologist, or planning to attend ASHACon to join up on the challenge, though! We’ll also give you ways to change up your exercise to target slightly different muscles in the same exercise and keep it from getting boring.
How do I join?
Any way that’s easiest/most natural to you. We’ve got various social media platforms where you can get updates and interact with others doing the same (or close to the same) challenge to keep motivated and accountable. You do NOT have to be on Twitter or Facebook to participate in this challenge (see below for more ways to participate and keep updated).
Twitter: Arguably the biggest place for the community and the reason there’s a # in front of the name of the challenge (called a hashtag). Follow @ASHAFit13 to get reminders and know what’s on schedule for that day, then tweet that you’ve completed your ‘workout’ and include #ASHAFit13 in your tweet. You can then follow #ASHAFit13 (by saving the search and going to it regularly) to see what everyone else is sharing for the challenge.
Facebook: We have a page dedicated to our challenge and you can Like the page to get updates and information just like on Twitter. Be sure to ‘Like’ the page and then click ‘get notifications’ in the ‘Like’ drop down menu so you see updates – we promise not to post 100s of times a day.
MyFitnessPal.com: We have a private community on this site for those who use myfitnesspal to track food, exercise, and so on. Because the group is private, you have to be invited to join. Please add your username in a comment on this page to be added to the group. From there, you can friend those who are in the group to see their notifications of exercises completed and encourage each other. The app for myfitnesspal is great, but you have to log into the online version to join the group.
How do I know what to do each day?
For phase 1 you will do planks one day, starting at 10 seconds and increasing by 2 seconds every time you do your plank. You’ll do pushups the next day, increasing by 2 pushups every time. It will look like this:
Jan 1: 10 second plank
Jan 2: 2 pushups
Jan 3: 12 second plank
Jan 4: 4 pushups
Jan 5: 14 second plank
I think you get the picture. It can get hard to keep track of where you were last so you can either check your own log, or watch @ASHAFit13 on Twitter and/or the Facebook page to know what you should be doing. Once we get to phase 2 (lunges and burpees – we’ll start really slowly again!) we’ll give you more details and you can continue to follow along. Phase 2 will happen in mid April.
How do I track my exercise/participation?
MyFitnessPal: You can track exercise (as well as food) with this site/app. The app and online site are set up to track strength training in reps – if you are doing a plank, just add plank as an exercise and then make it 1 set and however many seconds you held the plank as the reps (see picture). When you add strength training, it doesn’t show up in your newsfeed, but you can just add a note that you completed your ashafit13 exercise if you like. The calories you burn doing pushups, planks, and other strength training is fairly minimal so it isn’t really worth citing it under ‘cardio’, which does show up in your newsfeed, depending on your settings.
Dailymile.com: If you don’t want to track your food intake or anything else like that, Dailymile.com is a great alternative to use to keep track of your exercise and many people doing the challenge are also members of Dailymile. It’s easy to link your dailymile updates to Twitter and Facebook too so you can track your exercise and add the #ASHAFit13 tag for it to post with tag to Twitter automatically if you want (see pictures).
This entry into Dailymile.com ends up like this on twitter:
Twitter/Facebook: You can post your workouts to ‘check in’ if you don’t want to do any of the above.
Personal journal: If you want to participate, but don’t want to share it via social media, just keep track of where you are with a journal of your own if you like. You can check in on Twitter and the Facebook page to know what to do and when if need be.
I’m not fit at all – can I really do this?
Yes!! This isn’t easy for us either. That’s exactly why we decided to do this challenge: to challenge OURSELVES, not anyone else. But we’re starting small and building slowly so it’s completely surmountable! If you saw me doing a burpee, you’d realize I’m no fitness guru – far from it. Everyone is in this together and there’s no need to compare yourself to others. Do what you can do (and what you know to be healthy or OK for you – with your Dr’s blessing) and that’s enough, but know that you are in this with others who are not athletes either.
Why are people tweeting more than just planks and pushups using the #ASHAFit13 hashtag?
This is the beauty of Twitter – no one can ‘own’ or ‘moderate’ a hashtag and exercise is something people really like to share in a community – for good reason. We’re only on day 2 of having created the hashtag and already others are using it to discuss and tweet other workouts. It’s great, and there’s evidence that it’ll help encourage you to keep going and possibly add more healthy lifestyle habits to your repertoire so don’t worry about other people tweeting different workouts. The idea is to have a community encouraging each other to make healthy choices – the planks and pushups part of our challenge is just one way of doing that!
You’ve already started so I’ve missed the boat, right?
Wrong. If you’re reading this for the first time on February 3rd, or even August 20th, you can still join us. Start with a 10 second plank, just like we did on January 1st, and build from there. You’ll just have to do a somewhat better job of keeping track for yourself. If you feel you can ‘catch up’, great. If not, just start where you can and begin adding little by litte.
Have you got more questions I didn’t answer? Please leave me a comment and I’ll answer your Qs below!