Here’s a 30-day challenge that can start right away

If you’re looking for a daily challenge that will test your ability to stay consistent and also make you feel amazing every day, all it really takes is 30 minutes daily. No need to wait for a New Year’s resolution.

It all comes down to mobility. If you start today, can you do mobility days in a month?

Try 30 minutes for 30 straight days of a simple workout that will help you burn calories, stretch sore muscles, loosen stiff joints, and work your heart and lungs.

Here’s the workout and why you should consider this 30-day challenge. It will sound very simple – but the impact will be huge.

Mobility 30 Training

Repeat 3 times:

  • Cardio of your choice (bike, elliptical, rowing or swimming): 5 minutes
  • Stretching compound or foam roller: 5 minutes

That’s it. That’s the challenge.

It’s up to you whether this mobility workout is the only one you do, or if you make it a separate workout that’s in addition to your current programming. While doing this, I highly recommend choosing a non-impact cardio activity. But if you prefer to run or walk, you can do the Mobility 30 workout with any cardio activity of your choice.

In fact, if you intend to do this for 30 days straight, you may find that mixing up your cardio choices from day to day will help prevent it from becoming too repetitive. You can also choose an upper body mobility and flexibility workout on odd days and a leg, hip and lower back mobility and flexibility workout on even days of the week.

Who should try this?

Beginners

This workout as a stand-alone daily program is a great way to build the habit of making a daily 30-minute appointment. If you don’t currently exercise with any consistency, a combination of 5 minutes of cardio and 5 minutes of stretching is an easy way to build a fitness habit.

After 30 days, you’ll find that the time slot you created during the day can be replaced with a variety of options, including longer cardio or a quick circuit of resistance and weight training. In fact, you may find that instead of stretching every five minutes with this workout pattern, you can do five minutes of cardio followed by five minutes of circuit training on machines at the gym or rhythmic gymnastics at home. There are many ways to grow from here, but the most important part of getting started is building the habit.

Stressed or burned out athletes

There is also the other side of the fitness spectrum. You may have trained hard all your life and recently performed a gut-checking activity as an endurance race. If you’re on the verge of overtraining, consider replacing a few weeks of training with a series of daily mobility days. You will feel better after this unloading cycle.

Of course, you may also face stress from work, family, or life in general. No matter the source, stress is stress. Finding an easy way to metabolize the stress hormones coursing through your veins without pushing yourself over the edge with harder workouts will require some humility. Allow yourself a break before you break.

People looking for a change

Assess yourself and see if you need to work on your flexibility and mobility. You probably will, as most of us skip stretching when it comes to fitting any type of exercise into the day. This Mobility 30 training model allows you to take a break from high-rep rhythmic gymnastics while maintaining some cardio activity and engaging flexibility and mobility that are often overlooked by even the most regular exercisers.

People who need help with flexibility and mobility

This one is pointless. If you don’t feel like you can afford to give up any of your other activities, see if you can find an extra 30 minutes in your day to do the Mobility 30 workout. Keep the cardio light and easy. You can do this later in the evening after dinner and before bed. You’ll find it very relaxing whether you put it on at the end of a workout or at the end of the day.

Don’t wait for the first of the month to start. I personally started the Mobility 30 challenge this week and so far I’m on day three. I’ve done both options. I did it as a standalone workout and added Mobility 30 as a supplement to the end of the training day. So far both are working as I suspected and everything is nice and easy.

— Stu Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit his fitness e-book store if you want to start an exercise program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to [email protected]

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