12 Spring Fitness Challenges - for Every Exerciser
Sunday, April 12, 2015
LifeTime WeightLoss in Anika Christ, Exercise, exercise advice, fitness challenge, fitness ideas, spring

Spring is often the perfect time to take up a new exercise goal. The weather is better, which means there's more incentive to be out and active. 

Why not seize the new beginning with a personal fitness challenge?

More than a regular exercise routine, a challenge pushes us to train for a particular performance goal and offers that rewarding finish line effect. 

This time of year you'll find all kinds of events that serve as challenges - or you can create your own using nearly any kind of exercise.

Choose the perfect challenge for you to reinvigorate a stagnant fitness routine or to kick off a new level of performance - all while adding fun and competition to the mix! Check out these 12 challenge ideas that span the full fitness spectrum.

Alpha Challenge (Advanced)

The Alpha Challenge is one of our proprietary in-club events, ranging from beginner fitness to advanced. Alpha is designed to push the limits of participants using exercises that range from cardiovascular endurance to power and strength

This challenge happens next Saturday, April 18, and can be a great starting point for ongoing Alpha Training or high level Alpha events.

Walking Challenge (Beginner)

Have you ever had a friend or family member claim that walking was their main tool for weight loss?  Commit to a set time each day for a walk – whether it be first thing in the morning before work , during a lunch hour or right after dinner. 

Establish an amount of time (~30 minutes) and complete each day for a month. Do it outside as often as possible to soak up some vitamin D and to enjoy the new spring weather.

30 Days of Yoga (Intermediate)

Yoga practice can provide a plethora of benefits including muscle building, stress management and relaxation.  Commit to 30 days of yoga, whether through your own at-home practice, with the guidance of a downloadable app or reference book, or by attending a group class. 

Take the time to plan out your goals by establishing where you’ll practice and what specific classes or other resources you’ll take advantage of. Within that plan, schedule a little variety to balance a routine you can manage with novelty that will keep you engaged.

Run Your First 5K! (Beginner)

Whatever the reason, hearing the word “5K” can feel extremely scary for many people until they complete their first one. 5K events continue to rise in popularity and can be a great “commitment” challenge for anyone who wants to blend personal fun and fitness engagement. 5Ks are also great because you can walk, jog or run as your fitness level dictates. 

A 5K is also a “finish line” activity, which offers the rewarding experience of tangible achievement. Bring your friends or family to make it a social event!

Train for an Adventure Race (Intermediate)

“Mud Runs” and similar challenges have become extremely popular over the last few years because they provide entertainment and competition that friends experience together.  Rally around some friends, family or coworkers, and commit to training for an event this spring. Pledging initially will foster excitement in the group, but it will also encourage camaraderie and competition as you train for it. Most events provide some sort of training plan once you sign up.

Plank Challenge (Beginner)

Mastering the plank can be a great way to improve your core stability and is a common exercise members do when working on their midsection. Having control of your abdominals and stabilizing your spine should be something we try to do daily.  

Practice planking and improve the amount of time you spend doing it each day by taking the plank challenge for one week. If you can only hold it for 10 seconds, try 15 the very next day, and continue to add 5 seconds each day after.

Try a Tri! (Beginning - Intermediate)

Challenge yourself to bike, run and swim. Triathalons are popular among our endurance-minded members but really all of us can and should challenge ourselves to do this type of exercising. 

One of my favorite ways to modify a typical triathalon is to have clients bike for 30 minutes, walk/run for 20 minutes (at an incline) and swim (or walk in the pool) for 10 minutes. Although this is often easier to do inside the club, warmer temps mean you’ll have the opportunity to train outdoors when the mood strikes.

Body Weight Challenge (Beginner)

How many squats, sit-ups or push-ups can you do in a minute? What if you took this question as a daily challenge for an entire month? Whether you focus on one exercise or all three, each one is an imperative movement that every person should know and be doing for their fitness health. Challenge yourself to “beat” your number each day, and you’ll get stronger and fitter by the end of the month.

10,000 Steps a Day Challenge (Beginner  - Intermediate)

We love talking about “getting enough steps” with our clients. In fact, activity monitors have become a huge trend among our clientele. Research has shown time and again that the average person benefits from getting 10,000 steps each day spead throughout the entire day, yet most of us continue to fall short (generally hitting only the low thousands). 

Commit to 30 days of getting enough steps – 10,000 per day. If you don’t have an activity monitor or pedometer, talk with a fitness professional, who can help you select a device that works best for you. Those 30 days will change your consciousness about movement and help you establish a positive long-term habit.

GOYA Challenge (Beginner)

If you’re like most Americans, you’re sitting throughout most of the entire day, and it’s having a direct impact on your metabolism. I often challenge my clients to “break” their standing fast by scheduling GOYA blocks in their calendars each day - even if just a few times a day. Set an alarm and “GOYA” at least one time every hour during the work day - AND extend GOYA time after you get home! Make it a family challenge to avoid sitting on the couch once you get home from work or school. 

GOYA time can be spent taking a few laps around the office or up and down the staircase during the work day or by doing active chores or home activities that involve creative movement.

Physique Show (Advanced)

Although it can take a lot of attention and dedication, body building or physical shows can be a great challenge for a number of people. Many of our 90-Day Challenge Transformation winners and contestants use the 90-Day period as a window to get ready and prepped for such an event.  

Because these are all-or-nothing events that can require considerable upfront costs (e.g. personal trainer and coach, posing suits, etc.), once you commit you are not likely to back out. And although categorized as an advanced challenge for most people, I’ve seen beginner level individuals excel at this type of training and eating plan. If you’re looking for the ultimate challenge to take your nutrition and exercise to the next level, this type of challenge might be right for you.  

Meditation Challenge (Beginner)

Although rarely considered a physical activity, meditation is an amazing way to reduce stress in the body and help clear a busy mind.  Commit to meditating each and every day for at least 2 weeks.  

Find a quiet place at home, or take a break during your day to relax and breathe. After a 2-week challenge, most of my clients commit to meditating on a regular basis.

Are you interested in taking on a spring challenge and would like more ideas, guidance or support? Talk with one of our fitness professionals today. Thanks for reading.

In health, Anika Christ – Senior Program Manager of Life Time Weight Loss

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.

Article originally appeared on LifeTime WeightLoss (http://www.lifetime-weightloss.com/).
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