Designed as a post-Holiday cleansing period but really, more of a blueprint for life. We broke down what was the most important to (most of) us into 3 categories: Body, Fuel, and Mind (or spirit). When we have been treating our bodies well, getting enough sleep, sweating it out regularly and eating mindfully; we feel our best and we have energy. When we're not, things seem to snowball and it doesn't take long to realize you've been neglecting one of these 3 categories.
The Rise Up challenge is a 31 day Mind and Body challenge. The requirements, or goals, were sent out in an email to all of our Cycle Fitness fam and we have a list of awesome go-getters who are taking the challenge. BUT, this doesn't mean you can't go for it starting now. It also doesn't mean if you can't reach ONE of the goals that you shouldn't strive for ANY of the challenge. Be easy on yourself, you're human after all. You can take 10 classes this month, do your best with the Eating Clean portion of the challenge, and be more Mindful than you've ever been before and then you're already improving upon your life. We have a tendency, as humans in our society, to be absolutists. "If I this doesn't fit into my schedule, I won't go at all", "If I can't complete part of this, I don't see the point", etc... This ends up actually being a huge deterrent to making major changes in your life that would lead to more overall happiness. You don't have to be 100%. You can be 63% and it's better than nothing!
Sweat MORE. Sweating is a detox for your skin, your blood and your body! It's GOOD for you. Our goal this month is to complete 20 classes at CHCF (out of 31 days!), but if you can't do that then sweat on your own schedule 20 times this month!
Eat cleaner food options and be mindful about what you're eating. The Holiday's throw every one off. We're still in the winter and our first instinct is to open the refrigerator and opt for something hardy and comforting. This leads to impulsive choices and we want every one to begin to think about their options before diving head-first into carb-heavy, high sugar, inflammation-causing and energy-depriving foods. There is nothing wrong with some pizza or brownies. But we really want you to think about balance and moderation. What we feed our bodies is so much more important than we often think about. 80% of how we LOOK and feel comes from our diet. That alone is a great reason to clean it up, and keep it clean! The end goal in every challenge is to FEEL good. What could possibly contribute more than a diet high in nutritious, quality food that is working for you?
The gist of the Eat Cleaner portion of our Rise Up challenge is to:
foods with added sugar, fried foods, processed meats and foods, foods with preservatives and any artificial sweeteners.
Go Easy On:
dairy (especially processed and pasteurized diary. Raw butter and whole fat greek yogurt are better options), grains (not forever. for a month! Grains are great but they often are a challenge to digest and spike your blood sugar. Give them a little rest or modify them in your diet and see how you feel), alcohol (I know, this sounds so hard. Don't completely cut it out if you're not ready or it doesn't fit your lifestyle. But modification is key and opt for red wine or simple drinks without added sugar, and keep it at a maximum of 4 drinks per week), caffeine (again, I KNOW. This is so hard at first. You don't have to completely cut caffeine, we aren't that crazy. But try to modify your intake to 8oz a day and see how you feel!).
greens, avocado, eggs, berries, walnuts and almonds, citrus fruits, beets, lentils, sweet potatoes, extra virgin olive oil (GOOD fat), fish (wild caught preferably), grass-fed chicken and turkey, dark chocolate, squashes, brussels sprouts, brown rice (this is a grain but a gluten free, non-processed option), and quinoa. Any vegetables and fruit, especially those in season, should be the bulk of any diet!
Drink more water. You know! 2 liters a day, or eight 8 oz glasses! You cannot function optimally (digestive, brain function, and body performance) while dehydrated.
This one is really number 1. You can't build a foundation on shaky ground. You have to take care of your self and your spirit. Everything begins in your mind. Your outlook, your perceptions, and your reality is built here. So many of us exhaust ourselves on a regular basis, burning the candle on both ends and not taking time to refill ourselves and tend to our spirit's until we have a break down or get physically ill. Your life is happening right now. Not when it gets warmer, not when the house sells, not when you lose those 5 stubborn pounds; now. Moments are the fabric of your life lived here on earth. Being present and mindful can lead to a huge surge in happiness and and an overall plummet in stress. So where can you start? (Hint; you don't have to buy into anything here, you can access it for free and at all times!).
Take time in your day-to-day to sit down and write out important moments or ideas.
Write small lists of people, places, ideas and things you are grateful for right now. Watch how much this exposes! You may not even realize how much you are grateful for.
Take a walk or go for a run. Have your coffee on your porch or find extra time to take your dog outside.
Focus on your breath
When you notice yourself feeling anxiety, take note of where your breath is going when you inhale. If it is in your shoulders and chest, focus on breathing into your diaphragm (your belly).
We challenge you to get away from your phone, your computer, your TV and any other electronics for at least 30 minutes a day (being at class counts!).
(Find a guided meditation, or take a moment ANYTIME during your day to notice your breath and close your eyes. Find a way to silence everything outside of your inner vastness.)
Be fully present during tasks
Cooking? Do it with your full self and stop yourself from mind-wandering. Brushing your teeth? Focus fully on each tooth. Change the way you go about your day-to-day tasks.
Say NO to things you do not want to do
Yes, we are including this in here because it creates SPACE and healthy boundaries. If you don't want to go to a party, or out for drinks with co-workers, or any other invitation that doesn't call to you; say no. Be honest.
Clean out one thing each week of January. It could be simple, like your kitchen pantry. But make a point to let go of what you don't need and organize what you've got.
Remember: be easy on yourself. Incorporate some of these changes as you go! You don't have to do it all at once.
We sincerely hope that you have gotten something out of this post and that you're [killing] your 2018 so far.