What is a health or fitness challenge?
Simply speaking most challenges consist of one or multiple exercises or healthy living habits that you need to do for a set amount of time. Some focus on a central muscle group while others may be more broad. This could be ab exercises for a month, avoiding processed food for a specific amount of time, simply exercising every day, 20 minutes of cardio a day etc. Many challenges also include a rest day to ensure that you are giving your muscles time for recovery.
Why do they work?
- Fitness challenges are usually very simple to implement and do not require a great deal of training or fitness knowledge. They often consist of basic movements or principles that you can repeat for a set period of time.
- They often rely on the idea that you build up to something so many challenges start with low repetitions or easier movements and work up to something that requires more muscle and stamina. This is a good way to build muscle and also not intimidate people from the onset.
- Fitness Challenges usually come in the form of a calendar (by week or month) that outlines the movements or behaviours that you are supposed to follow. This is a visual reminder that you can place somewhere to remind yourself of the task at hand. The calendar also allows you to tick off the days so it helps keep you accountable.
- Challenges are often done with a friend or a group or on a social network. This is a great way to have people around you that are in the same boat. We are also less likely to give up when we have an accountability partner.
- Challenges can be adapted and chosen based on the equipment that you have access to, this makes is a great option for a wide variety of people. There are so many challenges to choose from.
How to be successful with a Fitness Challenge?
- Choose one that involves movements that appeal to you. If you do not like running a running challenge may not be ideal for you.
- Choose one that involves movements/ criteria that you can do. If you are a vegetarian you may not want to eat paleo for a month and if you have bad knees you may need to find a challenge that is easy on the joints.
- Find someone to keep you company and do the challenge with you – an accountability partner.
- Go all in. Ensure you are prepared to take a challenge seriously. If you don’t really want to do it, you likely won’t and if you do not complete it you are less likely to benefit from the results you would have had.
- Use the calendar as a visual cue, reminder and accountability tool!
- Find a challenge that is appropriate to your fitness level. Most start off at a pretty approachable level but don’t start with something that might scare you off.
What are some common challenges?
20 minutes of cardio every day for a month…you can choose your own cardio to tailor it to you (walk, bike, treadmill, elliptical, stairs, jump rope, swim…)
1 month without processed food
1 month without eating out
30 day glute challenge (google it and choose your favourite one)
What are your favourite challenges? Add them in the comments below.