As we welcome in the new year and new decade, you may be starting to think about some of your personal goals. Many people make health-related resolutions for the year ahead, which often have to do with physical fitness, diet, and nutrition. One way to find the guidance, structure, and support to achieve your health goals is to join a fitness and nutrition challenge, which are often offered by health professionals around this time of year and easy to find online.
Here are some considerations when choosing the best fitness and nutrition challenge for you.
Benefits of Fitness and Nutrition Challenges
If you’ve ever taken a group exercise class or participated in a local 5k walk/run, you probably noticed feeling some extra motivation to keep moving that you might not usually feel when working out alone. This is one of the beauties of working toward health goals in a group setting.
Many people find that joining a group fitness and nutrition challenge often has the following secondary benefits:
- Offers a challenge you wouldn’t otherwise do on your own
- Offers insight and perspectives from others
- Provides group motivation and external support
- Helps to hold you accountable to working on your goals
- Allows genuine connections with other people, and possibly new friendships!
- Pushes you to work harder and make more effort than you might by yourself
- Encourages you to do things outside of your comfort zone
Regardless of what type of fitness and nutrition challenge you choose to join, it’s likely that you’ll experience at least some of these benefits. Of course, these often depend on how invested you are in the challenge and in the group setting. Remember that you get out of it what you put into it!
Fitness and Nutrition Challenge Ideas
There are so many health-related goals you could make for yourself, and probably just as many fitness and nutrition challenge groups you could choose to join in the new year. You may be surprised to find a huge variety of challenges being offered.
Here are some challenge ideas I’ve seen before to get you thinking about what you might be looking for this year:
- Hydration and water drinking challenges
- Eating more fruits and veggies
- Meal prep challenge
- Cooking healthy family meals
- Preparing more meals at home
- Healthy weight loss challenges
- Increasing muscle mass
- Pushup, situp, squat, or burpee challenges
- 15 minutes a day workout challenges
- Boosting your antioxidant intake
- Getting active in the office setting
- Clean eating challenge
- Eliminating sugar, (or alcohol, or caffeine, or junk food) challenge
- Eating out less frequently or eliminating fast food from your diet
- Eating for your gut health
- Daily healthy habits challenge
- Mindful eating
Many people offer challenges that combine more than one of these topics, too.
Which Fitness and Nutrition Challenge Is Right For You?
Deciding which fitness and nutrition challenge is the right one for you will depend on a number of factors. For instance, it’s important to get really clear about your personal health goals, how you want to achieve them, and what kinds of roadblocks you foresee potentially running into. Sometimes the best predictors of how you will manage your future goals is how you’ve managed them in the past.
Here are some useful questions you can ask yourself to help determine which kind of challenge might be best for your needs.
- What is the #1 goal I want to focus on and what will achieving this look like in my life?
- Do I feel more motivated in a group or individual setting?
- Do I prefer a self-guided challenge or one with more structure?
- Do I want homework that takes some time, or quick bites to help me achieve my goal?
- What do I struggle most with when pursuing health-related goals?
- Do I prefer daily or weekly nutrition challenges?
- What type of challenge would fit the best into my current lifestyle?
- What kind of challenge would be the most realistic for me personally?
- Do I need the most help with fitness or nutrition?
Keep in mind that joining a group health challenge is meant to offer support, but doesn’t replace individualized nutrition counseling with a registered dietitian or training plan devised by a fitness expert. Think of the group challenge as an opportunity to connect with others and “learn how to fish” in one specific area so that you can best apply it to your own lifestyle.
Deciding to give a fitness and nutrition challenge a try is a great way to ring in the new year. If you haven’t participated in something like this before, it may just be the thing you need to achieve your health goals.
I enjoy hosting fitness and nutrition challenges that align with a wide variety of health goals. If you’re interested in joining a 4-week nutrition challenge this new year, head on over to this page to learn more about the Body Revive Program.