Friday, July 25, 2014

Fitness Challenge

One of my favorite series on television is Mad Men on American Movie Classics.  It’s a show about an advertising agency set in the 1960’s and features stories, fashion and advertising from that era.  Much like Mad Men, fitness is making a comeback to the masses. What was once only for “those people,” fitness is experiencing a renaissance with a boom in popularity, attention and participation.

Last week I introduced you to the lasted electronic devices in personal fitness trackers!  These devices are usually worn on the wrist and track your steps and provide feedback on your activity level. Like other personal devices like smart phones, tracking your activity can be addictive and in this case this obsession can be a healthy one, literally!

Now that you have your personal fitness device, what’s next?  Another new element to the fitness boom concerns health and fitness challenges.  I was very excited and happy to see my employer institute a two month fitness challenge for employees that will reward the prizes for those with the most minutes of activity with the overall goal of getting people active and on the road to good health.

Participants can link their personal fitness devise to their heath challenge account and can also manually enter data.  While I am very active with all my training the fitness challenge even raised my level of activity and awareness and has provide for some fun dialog with coworkers.

Fitness challenges can be an excellent way to help you get and stay active.  While there are many national challenges to choose from, I found that most people experience the most success when setting up their own challenge with friends and family. Here are some ideas for helping you set up your challenge with friends and family.

Identify those closest to you that will be active in the challenge and will be supportive of each other. Remember the goal is for everyone to get fit and healthy and enjoy the process.

Set goals for the challenge with prizes or a big celebration for the top three in the challenge.

Setting up a private group on Facebook is an excellent way for members to share their results and share encouragement with each other.

Texting workout results to the team is a great way to stay connected and can motivate others to get moving.

The challenge can be set up in many different ways.  For example you can have your challenge be a set of exercise everyone does every day for 30 days then compare the pre and post challenge fitness results such as pounds or inches lost. Another idea for a challenge is award prizes for the top three individuals that have the most active minutes in a predetermined time frame.

No matter what you choose for your challenge, remember the goal is to get moving, have fun and enjoy the process.  Fitness challenges can be really fun and you may be surprised to find you have a very competitive side. 

Chris is a Certified Personal Trainer and exercise and endurance enthusiast.  He competes yearly in numerous running races, marathons, ultra marathons, triathlons and other endurance events.