Committing yourself to a health challenge can be a daunting prospect for anyone, especially if it is something totally new to you. However, a well thought out health challenge that focuses on building solid, sustainable health and lifestyle habits such as the RFT 6 Week REALignment Challenge, can be extremely rewarding… even life changing! And given the current environment with COVID and lockdown and closed gyms etc, now is the perfect time to get not only your good habits, but your health back on track.
Using myself as an example, with the birth of my first child 4 months ago, my routine went ‘slightly askew’ you might say. I will be using this challenge to get back into routine. A routine of hitting my calories, hitting my protein, getting my training sessions done etc. A solid 6 weeks of getting back into the swing of things so to speak, and then maintaining it post challenge.
You see, a challenge can have this almost magical effect on a persons determination. It’s like a switch is suddenly flicked on. The switch is always there, but it lays dormant for many people, UNTIL they are committed to something. Take events like Dry July or STEPtember for example. When people are invested into these events, going a month with no alcohol suddenly becomes priority, or going from 2000 steps per day to over 12000 is now automatic. Why? Because you’re involved in something. You don’t want to let yourself or other people/team mates down.
Some other benefits of doing a challenge include:
Weight loss challenges are habit forming: Why? Because they last weeks or even months. Getting into the routine of working out and building new patterns takes a couple of weeks. At first you dread it, you slog through, then a place has been made in your schedule, in your life, it’s what you expect to do everyday–it’s part of the plan. Once you work it in and plant it deep, you’ve got something you know how to sustain and your body will ask for each day–a habit. From there, success!
You’re going to learn new skills: You’ll get tips on eating healthy, new ideas for workouts, you’ll probably take some classes you hadn’t looked at before. You’ll get a variety of new tools for the tool box, so that when the challenge is over, you can keep building, keep the momentum going, instead of stalling out when your routine starts to feels stale and uninspiring.
Accountability. We usually have the best intentions in life, don’t we? We mean to lose weight. We mean to make healthier choices. We mean to call our mothers on the phone more often. But what happens is that intentions without any actual action just become wishes we’ve made. Joining a challenge is a simple step you can take that swings you from intention into action!
Community: “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” ~ Helen Keller I love this quote because it really captures the importance of community, for each and every one of us. As the saying goes, “there is power in numbers”. Why do it alone, when you can be a part of a positive, encouraging, and uplifting community? Losing weight is hard enough! You don’t need to go through your weight loss journey alone. When you hear about the stories, struggles, and challenges that other people are going through, it helps you to feel motivated, inspired, and like you’re not alone. This is crucial on those days when you feel like giving up, or feel like you’re never going to reach your health and fitness goals. Plus, knowing that you have a community of people to vent to, talk to, and share your wins with (no matter how small they may be), is very motivating.
You’ll feel healthier: And really, isn’t that what this is all about? With health comes a sense of well being and lessening of stress. Think of that morning run as a chase after your healthier self and pick up the pace! Or your next strength training session as a chance to gain more strength!
When it’s all over you’ll have such a feeling of accomplishment: You did it! You stayed the course, worked harder than you thought you could, lost weight and took a big step toward a healthier future. What could be better than that?!
So if you’ve got a health related goal, no matter how big or how small, getting involved in a challenge could be exactly what you need to not only achieve a new body, but to also set yourself up for a better quality of life longterm.