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Holiday Health and Fitness Challenge: a wholesome head start for 2014

[portfolio_slideshow id=6078] A hearty congratulations are in order to us all. We made it through the toughest, most temptation-filled, overindulgent part of the holidays!

Sure, there’s still one more epic night of jubilation, but New Year’s Eve is less about stuffing ourselves with delicious food, and more about celebrating (with possibly one-too-many drinks) what was hopefully a healthy, happy and bountiful 2013, while wishing the best to each other for the year ahead.

As we start thinking about our resolutions for 2014–whether it’s quitting smoking, eating healthier, exercising more, or a host of other healthy lifestyle improvements–now is a good time to also start taking the initial steps towards achieving those resolutions. Why wait until January 2nd to reboot a healthy lifestyle?

Whether you’re still scuttling between the final few office parties and family gatherings, or you’re on a sun-filled vacation, Mountain Trek has come up with a manageable way to reset your perspective and kick start a fresh, healthier you.

Join us for our Holiday Health and Fitness Challenge– seven days of effective tasks to improve your overall health. Complete the challenge and we think you’ll find that sticking to your New Year’s resolutions will be that much easier.

We’d love to hear about your experience during the Holiday Health and Fitness Challenge. Keep us posted on your progress, the hurdles that you face and how you feel at the end. Good luck!

December 29, 2013: 
Day One: CORE

Challenge: We start our challenge by focusing on our core. Functional movements are highly dependent on the core, and lack of core development can result in a predisposition to injury. The major muscles of the core reside in the area of the belly and the mid and lower back, and peripherally include the hips, the shoulders and the neck.

Task: There are many core-strengthening exercises you can do, from knee fold tucks, to ball routines, to plank exercises. Find a few that you feel comfortable with and try them out at some point today.

December 30, 2013: 
Day Two: DETOX

Challenge: Our lifestyles put our bodies to the test. Rising stress levels, lack of exercise, constipation, poor diet and poor lifestyle choices – not to mention the ever-increasing levels of toxins in our environment – push our bodies to their limits. While it’s impossible to avoid toxins completely, it’s important to support your body so it can get rid of them.

Task: Today we challenge you to an infrared sauna. An infrared sauna uses infrared heaters to emit infrared light experienced as radiant heat, which is absorbed by the surface of the skin. Taking a 20-minute infrared sauna is a great way to sweat out toxins, with a side benefit of weight loss.

December 31, 2013:
Day Three: NUTRITION

Challenge: Today we want you to eat breakfast. And not only that, we want you to eat breakfast within a half hour of waking up. So many of us skip breakfast altogether. Not today. Eating breakfast kick starts our metabolism, supports our circadian rhythms and keeps our livers from initiating the “famine” response.

Task: Make yourself a fruit and veggie smoothie (or prepare it the night before and keep it in the fridge), enjoy a bowl of muesli, scrambled eggs, or broccoli and smoked cheese frittata in the morning. Whatever your choice try and include equal volumes of complex carbohydrates, protein, vegetables or fruit, as well as a teaspoon of omega oil.

January 1st, 2014:
Day Four: SLEEP

Challenge: This one shouldn’t be too much of a challenge, especially if you’ve been up celebrating the night before.
As an adult, our being needs between 7.5 and 9 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period, in order to maintain a healthy, growth-centered metabolism.

Task: The challenge on this night is to go to bed early (get cozy in bed between 9 and 10pm) and sleep relatively undisturbed for 7 to 9 hours.
If, like so many of us, you spend too many hours on your computer, download justgetflux.com. During the day, computer screens look good—they’re designed to look like the sun. But, at 9PM, 10PM, or 3AM, you probably shouldn’t be looking at the sun. The f.lux software fixes this: it makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.

Have a good night…

January 2nd, 2014
Day Five: STRESS

Challenge: For some of us, today’s challenge may be the toughest… a gadgetry detox. Try one full day without a technological gadget or social media platform that usually has you so absorbed in it that you feel a sense of panic when that thing is temporarily taken a way from you.

Always being available to answer an email or take a call from someone at work has made our workdays 10 to 14 hours long (in some cases longer).

Task: Just for today, turn it all off! Your heart rate just went up didn’t it? You’ll be okay.

If it’s absolutely not possible to turn it all off, try one gadget at a time. Turn off your cell phone, or try no emailing, or no television, or no Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. And substitute the dopamine fix that you usually get from the gadgets, with a healthy dopamine boost. Shut your cell off, go for a hike. Substitute a no-social-media-day with a day of visiting friends and family. Turn it all off and fill your day with yoga, meditation, and healthy cooking.

 January 3rd, 2014
Day Six: WILLPOWER

Challenge: Admittedly, if you successfully went through a gadget detox the day before, then your willpower is on the right track. But now it’s time to strengthen it even more, because today is the day you engage one of your resolutions for 2014.

Task: Pick a healthy habit and embrace it. Today is the day you start yoga classes, or begin healthy cooking classes, or reconnect with an estranged loved one, start writing that novel you’ve always wanted or find some way to love yourself a little more every day. Whatever it is, seize the day with open arms, open mind and open heart.

January 4th, 2014
Day Seven: NATURE

Challenge: Has it been a while since you’ve explored and enjoyed the great outdoors?  On this, the final day of our Heath and Fitness Challenge, we urge you to get outside and play. We don’t need science to tell us that doing some form of healthy activity outdoors is good for the soul.

Task: Take your dog for a long walk along the beach, go for a hike with your son, snowshoe with your daughters, cross-country ski with an old friend, swim in the ocean with your spouse, stroll through the neighbourhood with your grandchild, or ride bikes with your mom. Whatever it is, get out there, breath the fresh air and be thankful that you’ve made it another year!

Once again, let us know how you do, we’d love to hear from you and good luck!