Tomorrow is the 1st May, so I figured why not do a 30 day challenge for the month?
30-day challenges have pluses and minuses. The challenge is very motivating, and anything that helps motivate a fitness improvement is good. But they also tend to focus on one exercise, which is less useful for overall fitness, and can even lead to injury if care isn't taken.
A lot of people that know a lot more about fitness than me will explain that being able to do 250 squats is impressive but also fairly pointless - you are far better off following a balanced routine.
I came across this Ab challenge on the Running Bug (which is a great site for anyone that enjoys a bit of running) and I liked it because it doesn't just focus on performing one exercise ridiculously well. Instead it has four exercises which progressively get tougher, so after thirty days you should have pushed your core strength up a level or two.
Click here or on the image below to get the full plan, with videos for how to correctly perform each of the four exercises
I'll couple it with some running and cycling and see how it feels. You never know - I might even spot a six-pack lurking somewhere around my midriff.
Core strength is vital for sailing - it helps you hike harder for longer, and it helps to avoid injury too. Having a weak core tends to lead to poor hiking posture, especially as you get more tired, and this kind of boost to core fitness should help give me a foundation to improve my general fitness, while keeping me injury-free.
Some important words of caution, though. I'm not a gym instructor, and if you're starting a new fitness regime you should talk to a fitness professional before doing something new. Also, because this challenge focuses on one area, you need to be extra mindful of your body. Don't let a challenge that is supposed to keep you injury-free leave you with an injury. Your health is more important than the challenge, so listen to your body and act appropriately.
And make sure you get the form right - there's very little benefit to any exercise if the form isn't correct.
If you don't like the Running Bug Ab challenge, then there are hundreds of others you could try too.