December Body Declutter Challenge Series: C25K App Review

Nearing the coming of the new year, between the many shopping errands and cooking and eating during get-togethers, somewhere in between these times, I always hope to not gain weight. It’s hard to do when it’s the season of gift giving, get togethers, and eating. I love food, I do, and it’s quite evident on my Insta feed. So, I try to maintain a healthy relationship with food and eat what I want, when I want – in moderation – and endeavor to partner it up with “exercise” to at least break even – not gain weight in the process of enjoying time spent with fam and friends. Without sufficient exercise to burn the extra calorie intake, it ends up as excess weight for me.

I fall under the moderate exercise activity bracket, but my exercises are not what some may define as exercise in a traditional way. In all honestly, I just move. I mow the lawn, I rake leaves, I love to walk and bargain hunt, and so forth. But now that I’m older, the metabolism has slowed down quite a bit and the muscles need more targeted activities to stay fit. I’ve always made it a point to save on things I to achieve when possible. Saving on fitness is just one of them.

So, for the month of December, I placed myself on another declutter challenge, with focus on free resources to help me achieve it. November was all about decluttering my grocery budget. This current month, I am decluttering my body. This week and the following weeks, I will be trying different free exercise apps to help me stay fit during, and after, the holidays to start off my new year fitter. I truly believe that humans are creatures of habits and while habits take time and effort to set, even the slightest of change towards positivity can reap rewards.

My choice exercise has always been walking by the water with my GSD. All other exercises take a lot of mental and physical effort for me.

The Goal

  • Each week, I will try one free exercise app.
  • I will try it for a week and do an app review of how it faired for me.
  • I will post the review here on my blog after the trial week is done and move on the next free app I want to try, and so forth.
  • I want to change my mindset about exercise and look forward to it, not drag it like it’s a chore.
  • I am targeting exercises without the need for gym memberships and/or equipment, because true to myself, I always try to trim the budget when I can.

Here’s Week 1 Exercise App Review: C25K

  • C25K stands for Couch to 5K, created by Zen Labs
  • This app is set to help me manageably progress into running 3 miles (5K) straight over the course of 8 weeks. After the 8th week, I should be able to run 3 miles in 30 minutes.
  • There’s a 5-minute warmup before the workout and 5-minute cool down after, an approximate 30-minute workout, 3x a week.
  • The runtime increases as the weeks (and days) progress:
    • Week 1
      • Day 1 – 2- 3: 60 seconds run/90 seconds walk alternating for a total of 20 mins (30 minutes session)
    • Week 2
      • Day 1 – 2 – 3: 90 secs run/2 mins. walk alternate for a total of 20 mins. (31 mins. session)
    • Week 3
      • Day 1 – 2 – 3: 90 secs. run/90 secs. walk; 3 mins. run/3 mins. walk; 90 secs. run/90 secs. walk; 3 mins. run/3 mins. walk (28 mins. session)
    • Week 4
      •  Day 1 – 2 – 3: 3 mins. run/90 secs. walk; 5 mins. run; 2.5 mins. walk; 3 mins run/90 secs. walk; 5 mins. run (31 mins. session)
    • Week 5
      •  Day 1: 5 mins run/3 mins walk; 5 mins run/3 mins walk; 5 mins. run (31 mins. session)
      • Day 2: 8 mins. run/5 mins. walk; 8 mins. run (31 mins. session)
      • Day 3: 20 mins. run (30 mins. session)
    • Week 6, Day 1: 3 sessions = 34 minutes
      • Day 1: 5 minutes run/3 mins. walk; 8 mins. run/3 mins. walk; 5 mins. run (34 mins. session)
      • Day 2: 10 mins. run/3 mins. walk; 10 mins. run (33 min. session)
      • Day 3: 22 mins. run or 2.21 miles (32 min. session)
    • Week 7
      • Day 1 – 2 – 3: 25 mins. run (35 mins. session)
    • Week 8,
      • Day 1 – 2: 28 mins. run (38 mins. session)
      • Day 3: 30 mins. run = 3 miles (40 mins. session) Final!

How it faired

  • This app was brought to my attention by Andrea of SavingJoyfully.com – back in October 2018.
  • I tried this app for 3 weeks prior to the month of December but stopped for whatever reasons I give myself for not exercising and started again to include it in this December Declutter Challenge.
  • What I like about this app is that it helped me progress slowly, does not matter how fast or slow I run, just as long as I do. It’s the minutes that count, not the distance. 
  • It works on a self-motivated pace. I can choose when to start the workout during the week, just as long as I do it 3x a week.
  • Although this app’s training is doable on a treadmill, I do have a handmedown treadmill at home, I felt the constant switch between the walk and run on the first couple of weeks cumbersome on the treadmill.
  • It gave me an audio notification when to walk or run throughout the workout so I didn’t have to continuously watch the time to know when to take a walk-rest or run. This can also be turned off.
  • I can also add my own music during the workout and the audio notification speaks over it when it’s time to switch to running/walking.
  • There’s a forum available on the app to get some help and support for an array of topics. I love how I can get some positive and informative motivational support from a community with the same goals as myself.

Final Words

My purpose of starting this body declutter challenge is not so much to lose weight but to get fit. As a 40+year-old woman, it’s harder for me to stay fit without effort. I’ve done my fair share of being a “couch potato” with the help of Netflix! Now it’s time to move. I want a workout I can stick to and while the success of exercise is based on mindset, I am hoping seeing some progress will motivate me to keep on going, which in turn, will help make exercise a part of my daily habits. Running is not natural for me and so it takes effort to get myself to do it. I have no intentions of running a marathon but I just simply want to be able to run without being winded.

Have you tried C25K? How did it fair for you?

What my Declutter Challenge workout look like thus far.

Tune in next week for another free exercise app post I will bring to your attention to help you get back on track with your fitness goals.

Update (2/6/19): I have followed and finished the 8 eights on this app and I can now run up to 30 minutes straight. I am not currently working on speed to hit actual 3 miles in 30 minutes. Check out the other exercise app reviews here. 

Until next time.

P.S.

I do not claim to be a fitness expert. If you are uncertain how to get back on track with exercise, please consult your doctor.