Random Observation/Comment #392: Fitness challenges make a lot more sense when you’re inspired with a group.
Q: I thought you just finished a challenge. What is it now?
A: Despite my efforts to cook somewhat healthy, the 30 Day Cooking challenge left me a little flabby around the edges. I almost expected it to happen, so I certainly jumped on the opportunity to be a part of the “New Leaf Fitness 31 Day Challenge” hosted by a friend from High School. She did all the planning, which I consider the “fun part”, but it’s good to hold to someone else’s standards.
Q: What is this New Leaf Fitness 31 Day Challenge?
A: There are beginner, intermediate, and advanced tracks, and they all involve a series of increasingly difficult goals that involve alternate groups of physical work-outs (e.g. push-ups, sit-ups, squats, jumping jacks, crunches, burpees, high knees, jogging, planks, stretching, etc), dietary restrictions (e.g. days without alcohol, sweets, sodas, processed carbs, etc), dietary musts (e.g. drinking A LOT of water, taking daily multivitamins, eating every 2-4 hours, 3+ servings of vegetables, 3+ servings of fruits, etc), and sleeping 6-8 hours daily. The organizer has provided us with the full calendar schedule, guidance along the way, and has even included bonus daily challenges that are posted in an active group discussion.
I think the key here is the active participation of the members involved in the challenge. The group discussions are truly inspiring, and sharing these daily results really shows how the Nike+ idea of creating a community around goals/achievements can foster healthy community motivation.
Q: We know you. How are you making this challenge one of your own?
A: I actually think the daily communication and additional bonus challenges gives this program a lot of freedom to evolve along the way. I am motivated to continue my normal paced work-out, but I will be measuring a few more things:
- Baseline measurements at the beginning of the challenge (e.g. within 1 minute, # of push-ups, # of sit-ups, # of burpees)
- Mindfulness on daily intake of calories (servings in carbs, red meat, and vegetables)
- Mindfulness on daily intake of liquids (water at higher quantities)
- Eat every 2-4 hours in smaller portions. Do not eat after 9pm.
- Large breakfast, medium lunch, and small dinner
- Removal of sodas and sweets for the 30 days
- Reduced alcohol intake to Friday and Saturdays
- Recorded Nike fuel points / steps taken
- Recorded hours slept
- Daily multivitamins – Yay, gummies!
In general, challenges shouldn’t be about restrictions, but rather an extension of how far one can go. I treat everything as a science experiment, so I like to analyze the results from all angles. The tracking I’ve added above is really just collecting data so the challenges add more value in the long run.
On a personal level, it’s all about what you learn from your experiences and how you can incorporate healthy activities into a normal routine after the challenge is completed.
~See Lemons Start the Fitness Challenge