Sunday, November 22, 2009

Two Challenges: Environmental and Fitness

I recently came across two interesting challenges: one Eco-challenge, to conserve fuel or energy this Winter, and one Fitness challenge, to complete 100 pushups.

Reading The Crunchy Chicken Eco-blog, the 2009 annual Freeze Yer Buns Lower the Thermostat challenge has been underway since October 19, with 65 pledges so far to lower thermostat settings this Winter.  I'll accept this challenge; in recent years, we've only heated on a few of the coldest days.  Most days we get by with no heat, dressing more warmly and letting the indoor temperature fall into the 50's.  In our mild Winters, only a handful of days get colder than this.

Here is the fitness challenge, the One Hundred Pushups challenge.  It's a six-week conditioning program, three sessions per week, about 10 minutes each.  I'll give it a shot.   For fitness, running is my primary focus.  However, a runner shouldn't neglect the upper body, since arm swing is so important to running mechanics.  Arm swing counterbalances leg motion, reducing workload on the legs, and plays a major role in running efficiency.  An experienced marathon runner once told me, "When your legs get really tired, pay more attention to just keeping your arms moving.  Your legs will follow."  Push-ups and running complement each other on another level; they both fit well with a sustainable lifestyle.  They are free, can be done anywhere, and don't require special equipment or consumption of resources.

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