HEALTH: Should you complete an exercise challenge?

For the month of November, I completed a 30-day yoga posture challenge called #ThankfulYogi. The challenge was hosted by @aloyoga @northcarolina_yogagirl and @learningtobalance (Instagram accounts). This was my first challenge of any sort that I completed from start to finish. Not only was I interested in this yoga challenge because it pushed me to practice yoga almost daily, but the whole “Thankful” piece was right up my alley.

Nicknamed “Thankful Yogi” after the American Thanksgiving holiday, thisΒ  yoga challenge caught my attention because each day was given a word to be thankful for. For example, on Day 5 of #thankfulyogi, the thankful word of the day was “health”. Each day I reflected on a particular word, thinking deeply about what I was/am truly thankful for. It was a really nice practice of gratitude, which made me think of my one of my favourite TED Talks by Louis Schwartzberg:

(I highly recommend taking the time to watch his video, it is very emotional and inspiring.)

I think that exercise challenges are overall quite positive if done for the right reasons. No, most exercise challenges won’t reward you with losing 50 pounds in two weeks, but these types of challenges can put you in the right mindset for staying focused on your workout goals, which can improve your fitness and health dramatically in the future. For me, the yoga challenge improved my strength and flexibility, which has allowed me to graduate to more challenging classes at my yoga studio here in Shanghai.

If you’d like to see photos of my #thankfulyogi challenge, look to the right of this blog post and you can view all of the photos on my Instagram account. @jessicamarcone



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