Welcome to Week 2 of the Summer Strength Challenge.
This week follow Sami as she helps you keep up with what you started in week one and add on some new simple exercises and strategies. New challenges will help you continue to improve your fitness and core strength. The nutrition goal is sure to keep you moving, and added stretches to your recovery will help get your body ready for more.
Remember your goal is to complete these challenges 3-5 days each week. New to exercise? Start with every other day. More seasoned exercisers should aim do these challenges five times each week. Track your process so you can see improvement from beginning to end!
Let’s Get Started*
FITNESS | Push-ups
3 sets of as many push-ups as possible. Rest 1 min between sets OR do some air squats!
Push-ups are a fantastic way to improve your upper body strength and also engage your core and lower body! Don’t be intimidated, the video below includes demos for all fitness levels!
Simple push up tips:
- Find the right intensity. If you are new to push-ups, start on a higher surface such as a countertop or chair.
- Keep your feet together and squeeze your thighs and butt muscles throughout.
- Allow your elbows to drop back by your sides to keep your neck muscles relaxed.
- Inhale as you lower your body down, exhale and as you push back to starting position.
- Look down between your thumbs throughout the exercise to keep your neck neutral.
Make sure to track your repetitions to see your improvements.
CORE | Superathlete
Complete 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions.
The superathlete is a very effective exercise to work all of the muscles on the back of the body – from your neck and shoulders all the way down to your heels. These muscles are often underused when we are more sedentary and can contribute to things like lower back pain and tightness.
Simple Superathlete tips:
- Find an area that you have room to extend your arms and legs at the same time. Examples – floor, a rug or your bed.
- Start with lifting one arm and the opposing leg. Pause at the top of the motion as you reach your fingers and toes to opposing walls.
- Focus on control of the movement both in the lift and lower phase. Try a 2-count lift and 2-count lower.
- If opposing sides is too easy, move to upper and lower body together like you are “flying.”
- You don’t have to lift your arms and legs high to make this exercise effective, focus on lengthening your body.
NUTRITION | Hydration
Hydration is a key part of feeling and performing well in all areas of your life. The adult human body is up to 60% water. Did you know the brain and heart are 73% water and your bones are made up of only 31% water? Proper hydration will help you maximize everything you do physically as well as mentally.
It is recommended that you consume a minimum of half of your body weight in ounces. For the 175 lb. adult that equals about 87 ounces or approximately 8 larges 12-ounce glasses per day.
If you are sweating more such as exercising or during the summer months, you should work to increase this number to 60-70% of your body weight daily.
RECIPE | Creative Hydration
There are many creative ways to meet your hydration needs versus just water.
- Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Foods such as spinach, celery and cucumber are up to 95% water and are great adds to any meal. Fruits such as oranges, cranberries, raspberries and pineapple are over 85% water and can be a great snack or addition to a meal.
- Use drink flavoring packets (look for ones with natural sweeteners) or add lemons, limes or oranges to make water tastier.
- Make a protein shake with extra water or unsweetened almond milk for a great post workout snack.
- Have unsweetened sparkling water for an afternoon pick me up. Add a wedge of fruit for some extra nutrients.
RECOVERY | Chest opener shoulder stretch
Many of the activities we do every day such as driving, phone or computer work or even just relaxing can contribute to poor posture where the shoulders slump forward and our head begins to look down. This posture contributes to tightness in both the front of the shoulders but also the chest and neck muscles.
A great way to stretch out these muscles as well as get in some good breathing is to do a chair stretch. This is most effective on a hard-back chair.
- While you are seated in your chair, sit up as tall as you can and reach your arms down to hold the sides.
- Inhale and pull against the chair with your arms and lean your chest forward.
- Feel the stretch across the top of the chest and down the arms.
- Hold for 10 counts and relax. Repeat 3-4 times.
- Keep breathing throughout the stretch.
Go get it this week!
If you have questions along the way simply comment on a Facebook or Instagram post about the challenge, or reach out to Sami and Jerry through the links below the video.
If you’re a colorectal cancer survivor in the Kansas City area and interested in participating in a Cancer Wellness for Life class, you can connect through the WeBuild4Life website.
*As with any exercise program, talk to your doctor before starting.