Push your fitness boundaries with Instagram challenges

Since I joined Instagram two years ago, I have taken part in about four Instagram challenges. They were all related to yoga poses but there are also other challenges for general fitness, such as those hosted by @blogilates, who posted a 30-day challenge for her followers. By taking part in this challenge and using the appropriate hashtag, people can follow the progress of other people and motivate themselves! It’s like having a virtual exercise buddy.

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Taking part in yoga challenges on Instagram has forced me to practise poses that I normally avoid and also allow me to document my progress over two years. Here is how it works:

1. The host shows a preview of 30 poses to be done daily for one month. There are usually a few hosts per challenge and sponsors that will give out prizes, such as yoga leggings, at the end of the challenge to a few people.

2. To enter the challenge, you have to follow the daily poses and include the names of the hosts and the sponsors in your Instagram post so that they can take a look at your entry. Do this for the next 30 days or 10 days, depending on the length of the challenge.

3. Take a pretty picture! Get a friend to place the camera at a low angle if your pose is close to the ground. Choose a nice background. The beach is a good choice.

4. Use the hashtags provided by the host, which should allow other people to easily find your photos. It is very encouraging to get nice comments and words of motivation on your photos!

When I started on one of my earlier challenges, I couldn’t straighten my legs in firefly pose. One year later, I looked less like a cockroach and more like a firefly! I dare say that my photography skills have also improved – I became more fussy about lighting and background when I took photographs.

In this case, the firefly pose was something that I would never practise on my own if I wasn’t forced to. Indeed, I went on YouTube to search for instruction videos. I fell on my bum many times and tried different variations before I figured out the right way to carry my weight. I also learnt the various stretches to prepare for this pose.

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Paleo vs clean eating

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I follow several health conscious Instagram users. They post photos of their workouts. Some even have videos so you can watch them lift weights in the gym or perform CrossFit routines. And from time to time I would receive photos of food and how they were “clean eating.”

“What’s clean eating?” I wondered.

Most of the time, clean eating involved fruits, vegetables and whole grain, and seem to be really popular with girls trying to lose weight (And girls posting pictures of their well defined abs).

I found a really good diagram, courtesy of eMeals, of the difference between paleo and clean eating. Continue reading Paleo vs clean eating