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    Top 10 Things I learned from the Equinox 3 Week Challenge 

    I just finished up the Equinox 3 Week Workout Challenge and it was challenging, fun, and I learned a lot about myself during these 3 weeks.  Also Aneesh and 4 of our other friends who workout at the gym also did our own mini challenge. It was fun to have a little friendly competition with our close friends.

    Overall I ended up in 9/83 in Bethesda and 3/6 with our friends.  I was out of town and could not get to the gym on 5 out of 21 days of the challenge but I made an effort to get to the gym on most of the other days.  I feel proud of my own personal results and accomplishments.

    Best of all the money we put in for our own personal challenge is all going to a great cause. We are donating it to 1000 Urban Scholars, a wonderful non profit organization founded by Minal Kundra, one of the 7 friends in our mini Equinox challenge.  1000 Urban Scholars gives motivational scholarships to kids in 9th grade in DC wards 7 and 8 to encourage them to stay on track. They are given tuition money to their 4 year college/university when they matriculate.  In my mind all seven of us are winners and in the end we are all supporting our friend, her amazing organization, and these young scholars.

    So here is what I learned from the Equinox 3 Week Challenge. It is not in any particular order but #6 has to be the most frustrating and irritating thing I learned. Ladies-I know you will agree with me on this one!

    Top 10 Things I learned: Equinox 3 Week Challenge

    1.  I increased my frequency to the gym.  Prior to the challenge I averaged about 2-3 visits/week at the gym.

    Week 1 October 26-Nov 1: 5 workouts

    Week 2 Nov 2-8: 4 workouts 

    Week 3 Nov 9-15: 7 workouts

    2. I tried new classes and did a variety of workouts each week including yoga, spin, and strength training classes. I enjoyed having varied workouts and hope to continue to incorporate a variety of classes in my workout routine.

    3. I pushed myself more than usual and increased the intensity of each and every workout. I was out of town the first two weekends but when I got back on those two Sundays I was tired yet I made my way to the gym. Trust me…that would not normally happen.

    4. I have a renewed interest in Yoga.  I don’t have the time or patience for the longer classes but the 45 minute classes were perfect. They were intense, focused, and so effective. And the benefits of doing yoga first thing in the morning for me were amazing. I felt positive, happy, and energetic for the entire day. I go back and forth when it comes to yoga and I think the key is finding the right type of yoga and a good instructor. I personally enjoy vinyasa flow. I also think yoga is a complete and balanced workout because you focus on breathing and your mind and body during each yoga workout.

    5. I  missed Pure Barre classes and can’t wait to get back to the barre studio.

    6. I didn’t lose a pound. Yes yes I know muscle weighs more than fat and I certainly feel toned but come on…not even a pound? Really? I do feel healthy, toned, and my clothes fit better but I would like to lose 5 pounds. So I am now doing my own food challenge and keeping a food diary because I have certainly proven here that if I want to lose a single pound I will have to make some tweaks and improvements with my diet. Exercise alone won’t cut it…not at my age anyways.

    7. It’s a lot of fun to do workout challenges with friends. Humans as a species thrive on competition.  We all raised the bar with our workouts and motivated each other to stay in the game and to be accountable.

    8. I already knew this about myself but the challenge confirmed that when it comes to workouts I like to get them done in the morning. I tried the 6 am workouts but that is just way too early for me. I like having a cup of coffee, check my emails, and then start my day with a good workout around 8am.

    9. It takes a lot of discipline to do a challenge like this, stick with it, and make it a priority. I don’t think I can sustain 5-7 workouts a week with my schedule but there is no reason I can’t make time for 3-4 workouts every week.

    10.  I am so much more organized and efficient with my time and day with scheduled workouts.

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