This is the first time I have held a fitness challenge and I have to say the uptake and enthusiasm for it has surpassed
my expectations! I wanted to take a few moments to reflect on it and why it is successful.
Personally, I am a very self motivated person with regards to sport and having races (or this year personal challenges) to train for is enough to get me out the door. I have built the habit to train 5 or 6 times a week and sometimes it is easy to forget that this is not the same for everyone. I have been really uplifted by how building a small community will inspire and motivate people to take a step up to the next level.
For this challenge I added the option to join a WhatsApp group. This has made the group feel accountable to the others. Knowing that they can share what they have been up to each week has been really important. I love how excited they all are for others’ achievements. Some members don’t even know each other so it has been very heart warming.
Mental health benefits
I think because we are doing this during various levels of lockdowns (in different countries) it has also helped people with their mental health. To have a reason to get out the door and for some into nature has been of great benefit to many in the group. This has possibly been my biggest surprise.
Everyone can do more fitness than they expect
What came out of this challenge is seeing people being encouraged to get out and train at moments they really don’t want to, then reporting back that they are glad they went and they feel great for doing it. I think that often there is a perception that there is no time to train but, when put on the spot, they can find 30 minutes here and there.
In a time when we have less opportunities to get out it is a bit of fun to do something together. I think everyone gets some enjoyment from sharing what they have achieved. We have also had some very ingenious ways to workout including digging a hole (for a communal garden) and sheep wrestling by a member of the group who owns livestock (I assume in a very humane way).
When I asked the group how they have found it so far, this is what they shared:
- Trained more than normal
- Been a bit easier than expected
- The group helps definitely!
- I’m not as unfit as I think I am
- Getting out and doing stuff helps the rest of my day/week :)
- Feeling the shared energy of the group is motivating. We are all in it together and helping one another. Which is all under your professional and wise guidance Lorna ? Being apart of this challenge especially during lock down help keeps you on track both physically and mentally which of course is very important.
- Being part of the group has motivated me to do more in the week than I was previously doing and sticking to it! Find everyone is inspiring in their own goals and the help of your good self giving motivation & encouragement is also a “let’s do it” boost. It’s been fab both physically & mentally for me and I feel fitter & stronger going into week 3.
As you can see a fitness challenge has so many benefits. I am super proud of my group and we are not even finished!