Hey there readers! Welcome to Day 1 of the Simple Fitness 30-Day Challenge. I am so excited to get this going! Each day, I’ll post a new online video, each free on YouTube, by a fitness expert whose videos that I’ve used and enjoyed. Don’t worry, we’ll start small (but not necessarily easy) and work our way up to longer and harder videos.
But before we get started, a few words on warming up and cooling down. It’s important that you do both before and after your workout. I know time is often short, and I’ve certainly taken my share of shortcuts over the years. But I’ve learned over time that completing a warm up and a cool down are the keys to consistency when exercising. And consistency is the key to results — whether that’s increasing muscle mass, toning, losing weight, or simply feeling healthier. Don’t skip it.
Some of the videos will have a warm up and/or cool down included. Others won’t. To remove your temptation to skip them, I’ve included some examples of both. Keep these in your back pocket for the days when you need them. Or, you can use them additional warming up or cool down stretching. You can almost never do too much warming up or cooling down. Listen to your body.
You generally don’t need more than 5 minutes to warm yourself up for a workout. The key to a good warm up is continuous movement, starting off slow and moving into more challenging exercises. You shouldn’t hold static stretches when you’re warming up, because your muscles aren’t ready for it.
How much time to spend cooling down and stretching is totally up to how much time you have. I’ve included three different cool down and stretches — 5, 10, and 15 minutes. I love a long cool down and stretch session. It’s a nice payoff for working out hard and feels awesome.
Okay, now that we have that out of the way, onto today’s workout. Let’s start with everyone’s favorite muscle to work — the abs. We all aspire to that flat, strong abdominal core. It’s hard to achieve and is always the to go when we fall off the healthy lifestyle wagon. To get you going, here’s a video that only takes 6 minutes, and it works your full abdominal core. And when I say full core, I also mean your back body. Working the lower back is a key component to a strong and healthy core. Since it clocks in at only 6 minutes, you have no excuse for skipping it.
I learned about this video through my new friend and trainer Ally Templeton (for more about Ally, you can read my 2-part interview series here and here). Ally completed a 30-day challenge by doing this ab routine every day for 30 days. So if she can do it every day, so can you! Try this first thing in the morning, or use it as an add on to your regular workout. You won’t be disappointed.