Nothing feels more exciting than joining a challenge! I mean, who doesn’t love a good challenge that helps you rise up, focus, and be your very best?
Naturally, there are pros and cons to everything, including a challenge.
When it comes to a fitness and nutrition challenge, being aware of the benefits and considerations can help you have a better understanding of what to expect; not just from the challenge itself, but also from yourself.
Benefits of a Fitness Challenge
You’re taken outside of your comfort zone:
Yes, so much of life is outside of our comfort zones, but joining a fitness/nutrition challenge will certainly be a positive source of personal growth. Your results will be the reward of the work you put in and you are worth it!
It’s an elevated life experience:
Nothing is boring or mundane about a challenge! There is excitement and positive change happening!
Helps you gain perspective:
Being a part of challenges helps to give perspective on your level of effort, your focus, your mindset, how far you have come and so much more! Outside of a challenge, you can feel detached, unfocused and unaware of progress or areas of improvement.
Helps you get accountability/expert guidance:
Not knowing the answers, not knowing what is the “right thing” to do, not knowing if you should be hitting the brakes or gently pushing the gas pedal can leave you feeling frustrated, confused and stuck. When you have an expert with you, you will have the answers and guidance as you need them. You won’t feel alone and that will help you stay on track, remain feeling successful and learning about your health and wellness journey.
Sense of Community & Connection:
Doing it alone is not fun! I’ve said that myself and I’ve heard my clients say the same thing. Whether you choose a challenge that is individually focused or group focused, you will feel much more connected and have a sense of community when you join a challenge!
Things to Consider When Choosing a Fitness Challenge:
Naturally, you will need to shift some of your time and focus so that you can make the progress you are looking for. I don’t know a single person in the world that has a extended amount of time on their hands. It’s a matter of identifying priorities and shifting your attention to fit in the exercise, food prepping, etc.
Let’s face it, your results are not going to happen in a few weeks, let alone a few days.
Patience with the process is needed for a successful fitness/nutrition challenge. After all, it did not take you a few weeks to get you where you are now; so it will take more than a few weeks to get you to where you want to be.
How high do you set your bar for yourself? Are you a perfectionist? Do you give up when a small hiccup happens? What has happened in previous attempts where you perhaps considered yourself a “failure”?
You can easily set yourself up for a negative experience if your expectations of yourself are too high or you’re demanding too much of yourself.
Challenges can affect those around you.
When your family and friends are used to you going to happy hours weekly, bars on weekends, and living a generally more sedentary lifestyle, it can be challenging to have that change.
Lifestyle is a massive aspect of a health and wellness journey.
Talking to those around you to let them know you will be shifting some habits will help ease the transition. You can easily turn this into a “pro” to include them by inviting them to workout with you, grocery shop for healthier choices, and prepare healthy food together.
If nothing changes, nothing changes.
One of my all time favorite sayings. Because it’s true!
How much are you truly willing to change, even if it’s a challenge?
Bottom line: some of the habits you have around exercise and nutrition are not serving your health and wellness journey and if they do not change, how can you expect results?
Understand the challenge before you accept it.
There is a lot of variety out there when it comes to available challenges you can do from a fitness and nutrition standpoint. From what is included to how long the challenge is and whether it’s individual or team-based matters. How do you pick what is right for you?
What is included in the challenge?
This is very important so be sure the company or individual you work with explains in detail what you get with the challenge. The last thing you need is to ‘think’ you are getting one package that includes everything you need only to get a few of the components. You will not only be left frustrated but also lost.
The three main pillars of a successful health and wellness journey are Fitness, Nutrition and Accountability so making sure the challenge you choose has all three of those is critical.
Challenge Considerations: Fitness
From a Fitness standpoint, make sure you know if you are provided workouts that you are supposed to do on your own or if you can take classes that are provided. If workouts are provided for you to do on your own, do you have a space or gym to do it in? Do you know the proper form of the exercises in the workout? If it’s exercise classes with their community, find out what the workout class schedule is to ensure you can fit them in. If you can’t make any workout times offered, what’s the point?
Also, are the workouts or classes provided a proper fit for your starting point? If you are a beginner and join a challenge that provides intense and aggressive workouts, how will that feel physically and mentally? Probably not very good and that won’t make you want to actually do the workouts. If the classes are cardio heavy but you want to get stronger, how will that add up?
Challenge Considerations: Nutrition
With nutrition, it’s important to find a challenge that will help you rebuild a better relationship with food and help you break old habits that are not serving your goals.
Is the nutrition plan something that can help you eat healthier but also enjoy a treat now and then? How will eating off the nutrition plan affect your household, friends, or family? Will you be forced to restrict dairy, gluten or to eat certain foods that you do not prefer? Will you be getting enough nourishment or will you be hungry all the time?
Challenge Considerations: Accountability
As far as accountability goes, it’s the glue that holds everything together. Let’s face it, how many times have you said, “I know what I need to do, I just need to do it?”.
That is why the challenge you choose needs to have regular and consistent accountability with it.
A few great questions to ask regarding accountability are: Is it app based accountability? Meaning, does it send you a message or notification? Is it email based accountability where you get an automated email daily, weekly or monthly? Is it text based? Does it come from a human in real time or is it an automated mass message? This is important to know because you deserve the accountability cadence and personalization you need to stay on track.
How long is the challenge?
You can find challenges that are as short as 3 days and as long as 12 weeks. Knowing what your purpose is for the challenge will help you decide what length of time is best for you.
Most that are searching for a fitness and/or nutrition challenge desire true, sustainable change. They want to create healthy habits that feel good and help them get going in the right direction for their health and wellness goals. How much can you really learn and achieve in 3 days? On the other hand, 12 weeks may feel like eternity depending on your starting point.
No matter what, please remember, there is NO “perfect time”. There will always be a vacation, birthday, celebration or illness that comes along. The best case scenario is that the accountability coaching from the challenge teaches you how to maneuver real life instances like that so you can learn for real life.
2022 Fitness Challenges: Start Here
No time like the present to begin your path of health and wellness.
A really great way to get yourself started is our 28 day challenge with Feed Your Soul Fitness!
Of course, it includes Fitness, Nutrition and Accountability. We provide a human accountability coach that will reach out to you via text weekly to make sure you are on track, feeling good and learning throughout the process.
You will also love our private online accountability group where others share about their journeys. That connection will keep you going strong the whole time! Our fitness is perfect for those that are beginner/intermediate, so if you have an old injury or it’s been a few years since you worked out, you will feel right at home! You will not only get access to our small group training classes (either at our studio in Denver or Online from home from anywhere) but you will also get access to our on demand workouts you can do 24/7.
Healthy eating with mindful treats is the name of our game for nutrition! You will get a meal plan, grocery list and recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner so you will never be confused as to how much to eat, when or what! During our challenge, we will focus on Non-Scale Victories like more energy, clothes fitting better, and boosted confidence. We will cheer you on, teach you, and hold you accountable!
Bottom line, it’s never too late to get started. You are never ‘too old’. ‘too fat’, or ‘too far gone’! Just get started, take baby steps, and celebrate your wins each step of the way!