Whole Life Challenge 2016
I’ll be participating in the next round of the Whole Life Challenge, which starts up January 16th. I’m no stranger to nutrition challenges (Whole30 and Prescribe Nutrition are two I’ve followed and recommend), but the WLC is my favorite. Not that the others are bad, but the WLC’s seven daily habits line up really well with my beliefs about health and wellness:
- Nutrition. The focus is on eating lots of whole, nutrient dense foods (meat, veggies and fruit), and avoiding packaged, processed and sweetened foods.
- Exercise: A daily dose of the exercise of your choice, for a minimum of 10 minutes (but hopefully more), is recommended.
- Stretching: We lose flexibility as we age. Daily stretching can help counteract the aches and pains associated with this decline.
- Water: No need to elaborate here……most people could stand to drink more water on a daily basis.
- Sleep: I’ve been working on this in my life for the last year or so, and even an extra 20-30 minutes per night makes a big difference in my energy levels.
- Lifestyle: This category changes weekly during the challenge, but it has included meditation/prayer, intentional connection with others, adding an extra vegetable to each meal, or limiting time on social media.
- Reflection: A daily reflection on your energy level, mood, food choices, etc is encouraged each day and recorded on a message board. The replies and comments are so encouraging and helpful, especially on the hard days.
It’s set up as a game, with points allotted for each of the seven habits, which you enter each day. For the nutrition section, there are levels to choose from, basically a beginner, intermediate, and advanced, depending on your health and fitness goals.
I participate at the Lifestyle level, with is the intermediate. This level isn’t very different than my usual day-to-day life in regards to food and activity, but by really focussing on the seven daily habits for the eight weeks of the challenge, the good habits are that much more ingrained in my life, and I usually pick up one or two new habits.
While you can participate in the challenge on your own, I highly recommend getting a group of friends and/or family together to form a team. The accountability, connection, shared goals and camaraderie is a huge help as the challenge progresses. Plus, if you have a competitive streak, you will love checking in daily to see who’s in the lead.
I can’t recommend the challenge enough. If you’re looking to make some new, healthy, long-term changes in your health, check it out.