When you’re starting a fitness journey, many people opt to take on challenges to help them stay on track and accountable to help them reach their body goals. Some of these challenges can focus on strength, requiring you to do several push-ups daily.
On the other hand, some challenges could be motivational, pushing you to be more accountable about squeezing in quick sweat sessions throughout the week. Although these challenges could seem like a great way to headstart your fitness journey and keep you on track, do they actually work?
The Quick Answer
The million-dollar question that every fitness enthusiast asks is this: Do fitness challenges work? The short answer is yes and no.
Because each person’s body is built differently, some people may notice results, while others won’t see any progress right away. However, the act of creating a fitness habit and practicing this new behaviour daily is something that you win at the end of the challenge.
The Change That Creates a Habit
According to scientific research conducted by the European Journal of Social Psychology, a person can form a habit if they practice a routine for 18 to 254 days. This is why challenges often last for a month, so it helps you develop a habit that would be beneficial for you in the long run.
However, you should know that missing one day doesn’t stop the process, and you don’t need to start again. But what matters is how a person perceives a challenge — this will determine how long a habit will form.
How Change Happens
The first stage is the precontemplation stage, wherein you begin to be proactive about making changes. The next stage is to start creating a battle plan on how you want to approach and make the change. Finally, you start doing things daily that contribute to your lifestyle change, eventually forming a habit.
In some cases, people tend to stop and drop the habit — this is completely normal and shouldn’t be seen as a failure. Understand that this is part of the process, and you can always keep trying until your habit is formed.
Why Fitness Challenges are Good For You
Whatever habit you want to form, you’ll most likely find a 30-day challenge for it. As mentioned earlier, different types of fitness challenges focus on a variety of fitness goals — it could either focus on strength, or it could be one that could enhance your habit or fitness experience.
A 30-day challenge comes with a few benefits:
- It pushes you to make a change;
- The repetition boosts momentum;
- It motivates you to keep going;
Seeing that it takes an average of 66 days to form a habit, make it a challenge to continue the challenge even after 30 days.
Bonus: Three Challenges that You Can Do that Actually Work
Challenge #1: Nutrition
This nutrition challenge won’t force you to change how you eat right away; instead, it motivates you to change one meal per day from your current eating habits.
For example, you can change your snacks from chips to fruits daily and then eventually incorporate more greens and fibrous meals in the coming days.
Challenge #2: Fitness
Fitness challenges help you start a more active lifestyle, and you don’t have to force your body right away. You can begin the challenge by doing simple activities like a 15-minute walk that would eventually progress to a 30-minute run throughout the month.
Challenge #3: Mental
30-day challenges don’t have to focus on your physical health; you can also do challenges that would improve your mental state. Improve your mindset by doing a 30-day journal challenge by answering prompts daily. This will help you release clouded thoughts and put your mental state at ease.
The Bottom Line: The Real Challenge is Sticking to the Challenge
If you’re serious about forming a healthier and better habit, sticking to your fitness challenge for more than 30 days. Seeing that it takes about 66 days to form a habit, being disciplined and changing your behaviour about how you see a challenge and the benefits you get at the end will motivate you to keep pushing forward.
How Can Kalev Fitness Solution Help You?
If you want to dive into fitness challenges, check out Kalev Fitness Solutions. We are expert personal trainers in Vancouver who specialize in cross-training, cardio, fitness classes, boot camp, nutrition consultations, weight-training, and more. Let us help you reach your full potential — check out our services today!