What I Learned, And How I Surprised Myself With My Two Week Cardio Challenge

I woke up this morning and finally felt, for the first time in a long time, that my body was stronger. As I started to take a few steps after getting out of bed, I noticed that everything felt, well… less loose, to put it bluntly.

This wonderful feeling piqued my curiosity and I decided to hop on the scale. I was down three pounds. Three hard-earned pounds in two weeks, and I felt good.

Two weeks ago, I started a cardio challenge that was inspired by a recent bout of anxiety. My anxiety had lead to me taking up running and I could feel my anxiety melting away. This was when I realized that my body and mind craved cardio, something that I had been avoiding for a long time.

Going into the two-week challenge I had three main goals:

  1. To incorporate daily fitness into my routine and help strengthen my body.
  2. To use running as stress-release and to control my anxiety.
  3. To not only set a good example for both my kids and my husband, but to include them in my cardio journey as well.

But the challenge ended up going far beyond these three goals.

For the first few days I found it hard to work cardio into my day. I was constantly pushing it to the end of my to-do list and not making time for it before the day was over. Finally I had an epiphany. I had to make cardio my priority. So I began running mid-morning each day, which was the perfect fit.IMG_3718

It was a great feeling to know that I had got my run in and didn’t have to fit it in for the rest of the day. I also enjoyed breaking up sitting at my computer all morning and getting some fresh air and sunshine… even when a squirrel tried to throw a branch at me.IMG_3678

Next it was time to add my family to the mix. Although we haven’t done any bike rides yet due to some much-needed bike repairs, we have gone on many nature hikes. We even found a pond near our house and have enjoyed watching the frogs hop around.IMG_6450

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One realization my husband Mike and I had was to not only bring a double stroller for our twin toddlers, but also a wagon for our older kids. This way they could hop out and explore and run here and there, but when they got tired they could jump back into the wagon. This saved us from lots of complaining and the pushing and pulling added to Mike and I’s workout as well.

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When I challenged the kids to races, they thought it was so fun. Our twins couldn’t stop laughing from their stroller as they watched. Apparently the sight of mommy running is pretty rare and funny.

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But the biggest surprise for me was this: I became hooked on cardio. Actually so much that I started participating in activities I used to just leave for Mike. My new favourite activity is gardening, and I’m not just taking about pulling a weed here and there, but labour-intensive digging and planting.

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There is this feeling you get when you have been doing more cardio. Your muscles ache, but it’s a good, hard-earned pain. Your body feels tighter, you have more energy, your mind is clearer and you have more perspective. This is a feeling that I am going to continue reaching for, way past my two-week challenge.

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My entire family stayed hydrated with Ocean Spray® PACt® Cranberry Extract Water while staying active. As far as flavor goes, I find the Cranberry Mango Passionfruit tastes like a treat; it’s almost dessert-like. The Cranberry Raspberry and the Cranberry Pomegranate were more refreshing, with the Cranberry Pomegranate tasting a bit more tart.

We each have our favourites, mine being the Cranberry Mango Passionfruit. Beau has become an Ocean Spray® PACt® Cranberry Extract Water connoisseur. Her favourite flavours are tied between the Cranberry Pomegranate and the Cranberry Raspberry flavours, or what she calls “the red and purple bottles.”

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Knowing that I was only consuming 10 calories per drink was great, and that our whole family was hydrating themselves with a drink that has no GMOs lets me breathe easy.

Ocean Spray® PACt® Cranberry Extract Water is a tasty and low-calorie way to hydrate in a more meaningful way. Packed with the power of 50 cranberries, PACt® Cranberry Extract Water delivers unique cranberry health benefits. Visit http://pact.oceanspray.ca to learn more and find out where to buy PACt® water at a store near you.

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Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Ocean Spray® via Mode Media Canada. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Ocean Spray®.

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