What are the Benefits of a Fitness Challenge?
This month I am participating in a fitness challenge and after only one week, I am fired up.
I had a jumpstart on some of these benefits because I was aware of them as a personal trainer. Even so, that knowledge wasn’t enough to keep me going. I needed a proverbial kick in the backside. And this challenge fit the bill.
Here are the benefits I’m (re)discovering:
1. The social aspect of being part of a group helps me stay the course—even if that social aspect is online.
2. Forms on which to record my goals, progress, and activity level keep me on track. (It is well-documented that those who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them. It makes them more real.)
3. Walking the dog has many benefits, including counting the time as cardiovascular exercise.
4. If I’m serious about building muscle, I must up my weights.
5. It’s good to have most of my fitness equipment and books in the same room. In my case, that’s right beside my office. They’re pretty hard to ignore when they’re in my peripheral vision whenever I’m at my computer.
6. The more I exercise, the more enthused I feel, knowing I’m doing something with multiple health benefits.
7. Buying fresh fruits and vegetables from the farmers’ market means I eat better. For some reason, I feel worse about tossing these than I do those I buy from the supermarket. Maybe it’s the personal connection with the farmers, seeing as I’m all about relationships.
8. Doing one thing that’s good for me leads to an increasing desire to do other things that are good for me.
9. For the first time in forever, I’m drinking approximately two litres of water per day. I would like to up that to three. It will come in time. Buying a one litre reusable container and keeping it full and close at hand is a huge help. (And having the washroom right beside my office is helpful too. 🙂
10. Keeping healthy munchies nearby decreases the likelihood that I’ll grab something that has little to no nutritional value. I now have a can of natural almonds on my desk and eat from 12 to 24 per day.
11. Knowing even a little about how the healthy foods I eat nourish my body makes me want to eat more of them.
12. As my habits improve, my family will benefit as I make wiser shopping choices.
13. The more I eat well, the less interest I have in food that has no nutritional value and the more I enjoy the taste of healthy foods.
And those other benefits . . .
- Weight loss
- Decrease in body fat
- Toned muscles
- Less chance of developing osteoporosis
- Increased cardiovascular health (As an asthmatic this is of particular importance to me.)
- Ability to think more clearly and work more efficiently
- Plus countless more
This journey is definitely worth it. And I truly don’t feel as if I’m denying myself anything. In fact, it reminds me that I want to stay the course for the long haul.
To my fellow “guinea pigs”: You can do it!
And to our “taskmaster”: You set a good example and will do so for many others in the days to come; I just know it.
Other health & fitness articles by Stephanie: