Tales From the Garden
This or That: Summer Reading Edition

Get Strong: Your Monthly Fitness Challenge July 2022

Several months ago, I introduced my monthly fitness challenge, explaining my "inspiration" and why I think it's so important to do strength work ESPECIALLY as we age. (You can read all about that here.)


How are you doing? By now, I hope you're having some success with my challenges. Keep up the good work. Every day! (And if you haven't started yet? Well. You can begin today!)


Here's this month's fitness challenge:

Challenge #10 -- Create a 2-minute Every Damn Day routine for yourself. And then do it . . . every damn day.

When it comes to improving our strength, consistency is key. This month, I'm challenging you to create a 2-minute routine that you can build into your day, every day. What you put in your 2-minute routine is completely up to you, based on what you want to work on regularly. 

Here's my 2-minute Every Damn Day routine: (Start your stop watch!)

  • First, I do 10 push-ups. (Why? Because I want to focus on strengthening my upper body and core, and push-ups are a great way for me to do that.)
  • Next, I do 5 pilates roll-ups. (Why? Because I want to maintain my core strength, stability, and flexibility. And I hate core work, so 5 is enough.)
  • Then, I do a yogic squat. (Why? Because it's good for my hips, my knees, my legs, and my ankles. It keeps me flexible, and it translates into a functional movement I can incorporate into my life -- squatting down in the garden, or when I'm doing housework, etc.)
  • From the yogic squat, I move back onto my butt and roll back into a plow pose. (Why? Flexibility and mobility, mostly -- but it also keeps my spine supple . . . and it feels really good, too.)
  • Then I roll out of that and into another yogic squat.
  • From there, I stand up (no hands!), and do my hands-free sit-on-the-ground/stand-back-up practice. (Why? So I can keep getting up and down from the floor. Fighting gravity is a good thing to do every day.)

Done! (Hit your stopwatch again; It should be . . . just a couple of seconds over 2 minutes.)

I do this every day, usually after my meditation time, but sometimes I tack it on at the end of a yoga practice or other, regular workout. If I'm having a busy day and won't have time for my regular workout, I do it just after I brush my teeth in the morning. It's quick. It's easy to do. It's become a habit.  

As you create your own 2-minute routine, the most important thing is to keep it short, simple, and filled with do-able elements that YOU need. You don't need to sweat. You don't need to suffer. You don't need to change clothes, even. You just need to do it every day.

So. What are you going to include in your 2-minute routine? That's up to you! Consider what you want to work on, and what will help you get stronger. Some elements you might consider:  

  • 5 jumping jacks
  • 5 crunches
  • 10 reps of shoulder presses with a light weight
  • a 30-second forward fold
  • quad stretches
  • skipping down the hall and back
  • holding a plank for 30 seconds
  • standing on one leg for 15 seconds
  • (and then the other!)
  • 5 cat-cow cycles
  • 5 leg lifts
  • 10 kegels
  • 3 bridge poses
  • a downward dog or two

The possibilities are endless!

Find a routine that works for YOU, and make it a habit -- every damn day.

Try it.
See what happens.


Previous Get Strong Monthly Fitness Challenges:

Challenge #9 -- Try this 10 minute beginners yoga once a week for a month.

Challenge #8 -- Give yourself a couple of hugs (every day).

Challenge #7 -- Pay attention to how you walk. (With every step.)

Challenge #6 -- Get your feet off the ground! (And make it an everyday practice.)

Challenge #5: Get down on the floor. And then get back up again! (And make it an everyday practice.)

Challenge #4: Identify your core, learn how to engage it, and . . . do your Kegel exercises every day!

Challenge #3: Increase your physical activity every day.

Challenge #2: Stretch your hamstrings, activate those glutes . . . and spare your back just by changing the way you bend over.

Challenge #1: Strengthen Your Lower Body by Doing Body Weight Squats . . . All Day Long



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Well, I'll admit that I am not doing so well with this. And I need to! Of course I have excuses (lumbar fracture, vertigo), but basically I just need to buckle down and DO IT. I really like this idea of a 2 minute routine every damn day! That sounds feasible and easy and I plan to start TODAY. Thanks!


This is a great idea and I appreciate your list of suggestions. I do love the stretch of a cat-cow so that's definitely going on my list along with a plank and some squats and getting up from the floor. I've been doing that consistently from the bottom step but I think I need to push myself and get up from the floor now. I will say, I can definitely see the change doing that has made, particularly when getting up from a glider chair or couch!


Like Carole, I've been working on getting up from the bottom step, and I have improved. I need to work on the floor now (if only the floor wasn't so low). Since this has helped, I guess I'm forced to try 2 minutes every damn day. (Even I can do some sort of exercise for 2 minutes!)


I love this idea of build your own 2 minute every damn day routine! I am still working on getting up hands free... I have not quit! lol

And I have been doing the 10 minute yoga at least once a week. Thank you for inspiring us to get up off our asses and move our bodies!


In the middle of this crazy heat wave, Steve and I have started walking again. One day down. Heading for two.

I do stretch when I get up. Don't know whether it is a full two minutes, but I'm pretty consistent about it.


I was very good about doing a routine of exercises every day (a 2-minute plank, deep knee bends, crunches, and pushups), but since my workouts have gotten so draining in the heat, I haven't been as good about doing them every day. I need to get back to them!


Great Idea! I'm going to set up my own two minute plan this weekend. I may have to make it a pre bed 2 minute plan. I do yoga/exercise/meditation rotation at 3:30 when I get out of work but some later night stretches may be in order.


Perfect for as the coffee brews! I was looking for a permanent spot for some push-ups. Thanks Kym!


I'm reading this and, well, I'm crying and laughing at the same time. I'm hoping a few months from now I can modify your 2 minute workout into something I can do.


Sounds great. I have a slightly longer routine that I do each morning - stretches, a yoga pose or two, and some upper body weights. I try to vary it some so I stay focused on really using the muscles. It sure is easier now that I am retired to stick to the routine.


My two-minutes-every-damned-day is getting up from a chair/toilet/recliner without using my hands. I can almost always do it, except at the end of the day; then my muscles are too tired. But now I am concentrating on not using my hands. That is such an ingrained habit!

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