The 30-Day Challenge STARTS NOW!

The 30-Day Challenge begins TODAY so let’s get started!

Once again, this is about your personal plan and sustainable breakthrough in the area of physical health and wellness – a lifestyle change and a new way of thinking and being. 

At PLS, we strongly believe that the deeper meaning is found in our relationships and in community and so, we encourage you to begin this Challenge by connecting with a friend for support and do this together.

As you develop your plan and identify your goals, it is important to ask yourself a few clarifying questions, such as:

If you continue in your current state of health, what will your health look like and how will you feel five years down the road? How about in 10 years?

  • What example of health and wellness are you modeling to your family and those around you?  Would you want them to imitate you?
  • What legacy of health and wellness will you leave behind?
  • How motivated are you to reach your goals in the 30-Day Challenge?
  • If failure was impossible, what would your goals be?

It may be helpful to write out your own Personal Wellness Statement as you commit to this plan with a desire for breakthrough and lifestyle change.  As an example, your statement could be:  For me, physical self mastery and development is a foundational value. Through daily exercise and sound nutritional habits I will master my body’s appetites and powerfully impact my spiritual, emotional, relational and mental wellbeing as well.

Personal Plan and Goals:

Some things to consider –

  • What weight do you desire to have?
  • What [waist] size do you desire to have?
  • Do you have other measurable physical goals?
  • Do you desire to run a 10K or a triathlon? Other?
  • What are your nutrition goals?
  • What forms of exercise do you like and could be part of a workable workout regimen?  It should include cardio, strength training and stretching  – and with a good starting point or foundation that you can build on.
  • What time of day works for you to do your workout and how long of a workout will you begin with?  30 minutes?  One hour?
  • Be intentional about carving out some time the night before to meditate on / pray about and visualize your New Wellness Lifestyle.  Begin to see yourself experiencing the breakthrough you have always desired.

15 thoughts on “The 30-Day Challenge STARTS NOW!

  1. Congratulations!! You made it to Day Number TWO of the 30-Day Challenge! Keep up the hard work and perseverance, your breakthrough is right around the corner. Today I want to share with you a study that was done at the renowned Mayo Clinic in 2008. It is my hope that it will motivate and encourage you as much as it did me.

    “Those who exercised for just 20 minutes had a significant improvement in their mood after 2, 4, 8, and 12 hours when compared to those who did not exercise. Other studies have shown that at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day can have major benefits for long term health. Regular exercise can improve good cholesterol, lower blood pressure, prevent type 2 diabetes, keep weight off, keep bones healthy, prevent certain types of cancer, strengthen the immune system, improve depression and anxiety, and help us sleep. In addition to the short term effect of boosting our mood, exercising reduces stress and increases energy and stamina.”

    Friends, let’s maximize this amazing gift of life we have been given in this body of ours by raising the bar on our health and fitness. Then, as our health increases, our hope will increase and as our hope increases, we will realize everything and anything is possible for us to achieve!!!


    Everyday is a “new beginning” full of new opportunities and possibilities. Today is your day to reach your goals whatever they might be. Years ago I heard this said: Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: NOW.

    “Here’s what I tell anybody and this is what I believe. The greatest gift we have is the gift of life. We understand that. That comes from our Creator. We’re given a body. Now you may not like it, but you can maximize that body the best it can be maximized.” – Chicago Bear Coach Mike Ditka

    Let’s keep focused on our goals. NOW is a new day full of new opportunities for a new beginning. Honor this gift of life and maximize what we have been blessed with from our Creator

  3. Well done! You’ve made it to Day 4 of the 30-Day Challenge! I want to encourage you to keep up the hard work and perseverance.

    It’s time to do an evaluation as to how you’re feeling and how your plan is working. What adjustments need to be made regarding your nutrition plan and workout regimen? If needed, make the adjustments and begin to prepare for next week.

    Keep in mind the three main components of Physical Intelligence: 1. Wise Nutrition, 2. Consistent Balanced Exercise and 3. Proper Rest, Stress Management and Preventive Thinking. Continue to nurture and work these three strategic areas and your personal potential will powerfully continue to grow.

    Remember … You Were Made For More!

    “Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.” – Winston Churchill

  4. What happens to us mentally when we neglect our bodies? We cannot only lose our health, but ‘mentally’ we can also lose our focus, our creativity, our endurance, our toughness, our courage, our learning capacity, and our retention. To the contrary, when we exercise, rest and eat properly, we retain our mental focus and toughness as well as our thirst for learning.

    “Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” – John F. Kennedy

  5. In their book, “The Power of full Engagement”, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz emphasize that managing energy, not time, is the key to high performance and personal renewal. They certainly respect time management, but they suggest that the highest criterion to be used in the management of one’s time is how you manage your energy. By studying nature and the natural laws that govern all humanity, they emphasize the importance of respecting the cycle that oscillates between activity/performance and rest/renewal. They use the whole person approach: body, mind, heart and spirit. They focus on the importance of habits, which they call rituals, to increase our energy and performance capability.

    “Research is now clear that the inability to manage one’s self efficiently leads to premature aging, diminished mental clarity, and even blocked access to our innate intelligence. The converse is also true: Increasing internal coherence leads to more efficiency in all physiological systems and greater creativity, adaptability and flexibility.” – Doc Childre and Bruce Cryer

  6. There are more and more studies being done that show that exercise can lift your mood, reduce depression and lessen anxiety. There are even some studies that show that exercise might be linked to a heightened creativity and imagination in individuals. Listen to what the United States Surgeon General says about exercise:

    “Exercise reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression and fosters improvements in mood and feelings of well-being.”

    For those who do not find the time to exercise regularly, you are missing out on one of the least expensive and easy ways to improve your emotional well-being. Exercise can increase your ability to deal with stress and anxiety, which are two factors in a “bad mood”. Although exercise cannot be called a “cure” for any anxiety or emotional disorders, it can be one of the most important factors in your recovery program.

  7. Researchers have not determined exactly what about exercise improves your emotions and sense of well-being. The theories vary, but many feel it has something to do with various hormones which are released during exercise.

    Participating in intense exercise has been shown to stimulate the brain, which causes the release of hormones called endorphins. Endorphins are generally known as a hormone that suppresses the feeling of pain and heightens an individual’s sense of well-being. In studies, it has been shown that the endorphins begin being produced about 15 to 20 minutes after exercise has been initiated. After about 45 minutes, the endorphin production hits its peak.

    “Your body hears everything your mind says.” – Naomi Judd

  8. Another hormone that is affected by exercise is serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical that helps maintain a “happy feeling” and seems to help keep our moods under control by helping with sleep, calming anxiety, and relieving depression. The release of serotonin occurs with repetitious activity, like you find when you are walking, jogging, running and riding a bike. This can be extremely beneficial, as there is a link between low levels of serotonin and various negative disorders, like depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and aggressive behavior.

    “A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.” – Tom Stoppard

  9. Another reason exercise is such a powerful weapon against bad moods is that participation in physical activity gives individuals a sense of achievement. It also puts the person “in control” of their bodies, which can break the negative thoughts that may be echoing in their minds. Similar to the sense of achievement is the increased self-esteem individuals who exercise enjoy. When someone exercises, their body builds up strength, endurance, and often looks better. That may raise the person’s self-esteem dramatically, which will lead to better emotional health.

    “Exercise is the chief source of improvement in our faculties.” – Hugh Blair

  10. Exercise is found in the here and now, too, which can help a person avoid depression and bad moods. Many times, preoccupation with the past or the future will lead to depression and bad or negative feelings. Since your focus is right there when exercising, you don’t have the chance to allow those negative thoughts to overwhelm and control you.

    When you begin exercising to improve your emotions, the best thing to remember is to start out slowly. Having anxiety or overdoing it can lead to frustration and discontinuation of your exercise program. Since this is definitely not what you want, consider these simple exercises to begin: Walking – Swimming – Dancing – Bike Riding – Low Impact Aerobics.

    Once you have found a “groove” and are exercising on a regular schedule, you will surely see the benefits of better moods.

    “Exercise to stimulate, not to annihilate. The world wasn’t formed in a day, and neither were we. Set small goals and build upon them.” – Lee Haney

  11. The 5 components of physical fitness are often used in our school systems, health clubs and fitness centers to gauge how good of shape we are truly in.

    Total fitness can be defined as how well the body performs in each one of the components of physical fitness as a whole. It is not enough to be able to bench press your body weight. You also need to determine how well you can handle running a mile, etc.

    On yesterday’s blog post I gave you the first of the widely-recognized 5 Components of Physical Fitness; now here are the remaining 4:

    2. Muscular Strength – Muscular strength is the amount of force a muscle or muscle group can exert against a heavy resistance. Anaerobic exercise improves muscular strength.

    3. Muscular Endurance – Muscular endurance is the ability of muscle or muscle group to repeat a movement many times or to hold a particular position for an extended amount of time. Both aerobic exercise and anaerobic exercise can improve muscular endurance.

    4. Flexibility – Flexibility is the degree to which an individual muscle will lengthen. Stretching improves flexibility.

    5. Body Composition – Body composition is the amount of fat in the body compared to the amount of lean muscle mass (muscle, bones, organs etc.).

    Now that you know what the 5 Components of Physical Fitness are, you will be better able to develop an effective fitness program.

    “Our growing softness, our increasing lack of physical fitness, is a menace to our security.” – John F. Kennedy

  12. We all know that being physically fit is good for us, but why is physical fitness important? Over the next 2 days I will sharing the top 10 benefits of physical fitness. Here are the first 5:

    1. You’re more likely to live a long and healthy life. Regular exercise reduces the risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and several types of cancer. It also reduces the risk of having a stroke. In one 8-year study of more than 20,000 men, those who were lean but unfit had twice the risk of death as those who were lean and fit.

    2. You’ll have more energy, strength and stamina. People who complain that they don’t have enough energy to exercise fail to realize that working out gives you energy. In one study, middle-aged women who lifted weights for a year became 27% more active in daily life than before they started lifting weights. Regular exercise also increases your strength and stamina, allowing you to better handle common activities such as caring a heavy bag of groceries or climbing a flight of stairs.

    3. You will keep excess body fat off. If you try and lose weight simply by dieting, you’ll lose more water and lean muscle mass than you will body fat. If regular exercise is a part of your weight loss program, you’ll lose primarily body fat and be able to maintain (or even gain) lean muscle mass.

    4. You’ll keep your bones strong. Both men and women start losing bone mass around age 35. Lifting weights can not only stop the loss of bone mass, but in some cases can even reverse it. This drastically reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Weight bearing exercises like walking and running also keep bones strong.

    5. You’ll prevent or reduce lower back pain. Strengthening your abdominal and lower back muscles can help prevent lower back pain, and it can also reduce discomfort if you already suffer from this pain. You might also be able to avoid back surgery by strengthening your abdominal and lower back muscles. In one study, 35 of 38 people who had been recommended for back surgery were able to avoid surgery by following an aggressive strengthening program.

    “Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.” – Winston Churchill

  13. Fat loss expert Tom Venuto has compiled a list of the best foods to eat in his book “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle”. These are foods that Tom says will help you lose body fat and get fitter and healthier.

    The primary reasons Tom considers these foods so good are because they are nutritionally dense, contain little or no sugar, contain little or no fat, are high in fiber, and have a high thermic effect. A high thermic effect means many of the calories in these foods are burned off during digestion and won’t be stored as fat.

    Tom explains that food quality doesn’t fall into two categories: “good or bad”. Food quality ranges from very poor, to poor, to fair, to good, to excellent. It’s a scale spectrum.

    Food quality can range from highly processed with zero nutritional value on the low end of the scale (an “F” grade) to all-natural with high nutritional value on the high end of the scale (an “A” grade).

    Tom says that your goal should be to make the best choice possible from the foods available in any given circumstance. You may not always be able to eat the best thing possible, but you don’t have to eat the worst thing either. If you’re faced with a choice between bad and worse, choose bad. If you’re faced with a choice between good and great, choose great.

    Here’s Tom’s list of the best foods to eat:
    Oatmeal (old fashioned, not instant)

    Yams and sweet potatoes
    Potatoes (white or red)
    Brown rice
    Whole wheat bread and any other whole wheat products
    Fresh fruit
    Low-fat and non-fat dairy products
    Chicken breast
    Turkey breast
    Egg whites
    Lean red meat (top round, extra lean sirloin)
    Fish and shell fish

  14. Fat loss expert Tom Venuto has compiled a list of the worst foods to eat in his book “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle”. These are foods that Tom says you have to avoid if you want to lose body fat and get fitter and healthier.

    The primary reasons Tom considers these foods so bad are because they are high in empty calories, high in sugar and/or unhealthy fat, and low in fibre.

    many of these foods also cause a rapid rise in blood sugar, which causes the body to produce high levels of insulin. High insulin levels can cause the body to burn fat less effectively and to store more fat. High insulin levels can also cause other health problems.

    To explains that food quality doesn’t neatly into two categories: “good or bad”. Rather, food quality ranges from very poor, to poor, to fair, to good, to excellent. It’s a scale or spectrum.

    Food quality can range from highly processed with zero nutritional value on the low end of the scale (an “F” grade) to all-natural with high nutritional value on the high end of the scale (an “A” grade).

    To says that your goal should be to make the best choice possible from the foods available to you in any given circumstance. You may not always be able to eat the best thing possible, but you don’t have to eat the worst thing either. If you’re faced with a choice between bad and worse, choose bad. If you’re faced with a choice between good and great, choose great.

    Here’s Tom’s list of the worst foods to eat:• Doughnuts
    •Fried foods
    •Ice cream
    •Fruit drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages
    •Potato chips
    •White bread
    •Hot dogs
    •Fast food hamburgers
    •Sugary breakfast cereals

  15. Having a healthy eating plan is just as important as having a regular exercise routine when it comes to getting and staying fit and healthy.

    But whats the right way to eat?

    Here are 10 guide lines for creating and following a healthy eating plan:

    1. Make gradual changes to your eating habits.

    Don’t completely change your diet all at once, as this will increase the chances that you’ll give up on a new eating plan. Make gradual changes to your diet and these changes will eventually become habits.

    2. Eat breakfast.

    Eating breakfast provides your body with the nutrients and energy it needs after a night of fasting. It also jump starts your metabolism. Your breakfast should include protein and complex carbohydrates. Avoid simple carbohydrates that contain white flour or white sugar, as they will cause your blood sugar level to rapidly rise then drop, which will leave you feeling hungry and tired.

    3. Eat smaller, more frequent meals.

    Eating five or six smaller meals or snacks throughout the day instead of two or three big meals will keep your blood sugar level steady, which will help prevent cravings. It will also help keep your metabolism elevated and provide you with a consistent supply of nutrients and energy.

    4. Don’t eliminate macro nutrients.

    Your healthy eating plan needs to include all three macro nutrients – protein, carbohydrates and fat – as your body needs all three in order to function properly and stay healthy. As previously stated, you need to determine what mix of protein, carbohydrate and fat works best for you, but you should never eliminate any of these macro nutrients from your diet.

    5. Eat primarily lean protein.

    The majority of the protein in your diet should be lean protein that comes from foods such as chicken breast, and low-fat dairy products.

    6. Eat primarily complex carbohydrates.

    The majority of the carbs in your diet should be complex carbs that come from foods such as whole grains, vegetables, beans and brown rice. Limit simple carbs that contain white flour or white sugar.

    7. Eat primarily unsaturated fat.

    The majority of the fat in your diet should be unsaturated fat that comes from foods such as olive oil, natural peanut butter, fatty fish and fish oil. Limit saturated fat (but you need some in your diet) and avoid trans fat as much as possible.

    8. Eat plenty of fibre.

    Eating plenty of fibre will keep your blood sugar level steady, which will help prevent cravings. It will also help your body better absorb the nutrients from food and help keep you regular.

    9. Drink plenty of water.

    The importance of drinking plenty of water should never be overlooked. Here are just a few of the health benefits of water: It removes toxins and waste products from the body. It enhances digestion and helps prevent constipation. It helps the body metabolize stored fat.

    10. Don’t deprive yourself.

    Your healthy eating plan doesn’t have to be perfect and it can include some of your favorite un-healthy foods – just don’t eat them too often or in large amounts.

    In conclusion, now that you have some guidelines for creating and following a healthy eating plan, get started today on developing the type of eating plan that works best for you.

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