> Skip repeated content

The 30 Day Fitness Challenge: Carrying the Challenge Forward

incorporating healthy food options

It’s been our pleasure over the past 30 days to offer you a range of tools and information for taking positive steps for your health and well being. All of the resources we’ve provided will continue to be available through the HSS Playbook blog, YouTube channel, and Facebook page, so you can return to them anytime you need them. We welcome and encourage you to reach out to us if you have any questions or just want to share your progress! We want to offer you a few additional thoughts and exercise modifications as you carry the challenge forward, or are just discovering our resources and need to start slow.

You may have seen our video on Adding More Fruits and Veggies to Your Diet, but how do you make those changes stick? Research shows that building healthy habits requires at least 3-4 weeks of consistent effort – whether it is drinking less soda, eating one more serving of fruit and vegetables each day, or flossing. Choose one or two changes based on our suggestions over the past month and make a commitment to continue them for the next 3-4 weeks until they become a habit. Create a plan (such as a shopping or recipe list), reach out to others for support (such as colleagues, friends or family) and get guidance from a nutrition professional to provide insights and feedback for turning your new healthy action into a permanent, healthy habit.

We also showed you some workouts to tone and strengthen your Upper, Lower, and Total Body. These are good, foundational exercises, but there’s whole range of fitness levels out there and wherever you are on your journey we’re here to support you. Here are some modifications for the exercises we demonstrated to suit wherever you’re at -beginner, intermediate, or advanced. Form is incredibly important, so if you have any questions at all please contact a certified fitness professional.

Exercise Modifications

  1. Planks
    1. Beginner: Perform the exercise standing and leaning against a wall
    2. Intermediate: On the floor, hold the plank for 30-60 seconds
    3. Advanced:
      1. First variation: While holding a plank, lift your right foot off the floor and move your leg slightly off to side, then return to center and place it back down. Repeat on the left side. Alternate 3-4 times.
      2. Second variation: Perform the plank while resting your elbows on a stability ball
  2. Push-ups
    1. Beginner: Perform the exercise standing and pushing against a wall
    2. Intermediate: Perform the exercise on the floor, but with your knees bent and your feet lifted. Kara demonstrates this modification in the Upper Body and Total Body workout videos.
    3. Advanced: Full push-ups with your legs straight
  3. Up/Down Planks: You can vary the intensity level of this exercise by increasing or decreasing the number of repetitions.
  4. Glute bridge: Whichever variation of the glute bridge you perform, remember to keep your hips high and level throughout the exercise.
    1. Beginner: Keep both feet on the floor as you perform the bridge
    2. Intermediate: While you’re in bridge (hips off the floor), slowly march your feet in place. Continue marching for 30-60 seconds.
    3. Advanced: Single leg bridge
      1. First variation: while you’re in bridge (hips off the floor), lift one foot up off the floor and hold it for 30-60 seconds. Bring that foot back down to the ground, and lift your opposite foot.
      2. Second variation: Keep one foot lifted off the ground as you raise and lower hips, then repeat on the other side. Perform 10 repetitions on each side
  5. Squats
    1. Beginner: Squat back into a chair
    2. Intermediate: Free squats relying on your body weight for resistance, as demonstrated by Jamie in the Lower Body and Total Body workout videos.
    3. Advanced:
      1. First variation: Perform the squat while holding dumbbells or a barbell to increase the level of resistance.
      2. Second variation: Perform squat jumps, lifting your feet off the ground and jumping up into the air as you extend your legs, then returning to your original squat position each time as you land. Those are two separate variations – do not attempt to combine them and perform squat jumps while holding weights
  6. Lunge with rotation
    1. Beginner: Perform the lunge, but do not rotate your upper body. Simply lunge forward and return to a standing position. You may keep your hands on your hips rather than holding them out to your sides for this variation
    2. Intermediate: Perform the lunge with rotation as demonstrated by Jamie in the Lower Body workout video.
    3. Advanced: Hold a medicine ball as you perform the exercise.

Whichever variation you try, remember to work at your own pace and take a rest between sets or exercises if you need them. As with any such program, if at any point during your workout you begin to have pain, feel faint, or experience significant physical discomfort of any kind, you should stop immediately and consult a physician.

Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your journey towards greater health and fitness! We hope you’ll find the resources that we’ve provided to be beneficial, and if there’s anything else you’d like to see please let us know. Always feel free to reach out to us with any questions or feedback.


Topics: Performance
The information provided in this blog by HSS and our affiliated physicians is for general informational and educational purposes, and should not be considered medical advice for any individual problem you may have. This information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a qualified health care provider who is familiar with the unique facts about your condition and medical history. You should always consult your health care provider prior to starting any new treatment, or terminating or changing any ongoing treatment. Every post on this blog is the opinion of the author and may not reflect the official position of HSS. Please contact us if we can be helpful in answering any questions or to arrange for a visit or consult.