Now more than ever it’s important to prioritise your wellbeing, both physical and mental. These articles are to help you stay active and look after your wellbeing during this unprecedented time.
Find out more at warwick.ac.uk/sport/together
Pull through page title
Pull through abstract and format in bold and large font
Perhaps you vowed to make healthy lifestyle changes when the new year started, but now aren’t quite sure where to start. Or maybe you’re keen to find out how to have more energy. Whatever your new fitness goals are, it can be hard to find motivation to exercise, especially if you aren’t able to stick to a routine or go out to exercise as much.
However, small changes to your routine can make a world of difference when it comes to general health and fitness, including motivation and energy levels. Here are 5 of the best fitness challenges out there to try right now.
It’s easier than ever to track our daily steps, whether it’s by using a fitness watch or a smartphone with an inbuilt step counter. But with home working on the rise, many people tend to walk less.
Try challenging yourself to reach 7,000 steps on weekdays and 10,000 steps on weekends. You might think this won’t make much of a difference, but walking is a brilliant way to improve your heart health and general overall fitness. It’s gentle on your joints, and you might even discover new local beauty spots too.
2. 20-minutes a day challenge
Dedicating just 20 minutes a day to some form of activity is a great way to set realistic fitness goals for beginners. Creating healthy lifestyle habits, including self-care and nutrition changes, and improving your overall fitness, takes time. This challenge is ideal to help you start making small daily fitness goals.
To get started, you could try committing to exercising 20 minutes a day for 30 days. It doesn’t have to be an intense HIIT class every time. You could choose to walk to the shops rather than drive, join an online virtual class, or squeeze in a quick home workout between meetings.
3. Couch to 5k
For those keen to try running, it’s important to remember that it’s all about making small changes to improve health. You may not be able to run a marathon just yet, but it all starts with taking the first step outside.
Couch to 5k programmes are perfect for beginners looking to make healthy lifestyle changes by running. They’re often free and suitable for runners of any level. They can help build you up to running 5k within three months through structured weekly challenges.
4. 30-day squat challenge
When executed properly, squats have incredible benefits for joints, mobility and balance. If you’re looking to start a healthy lifestyle and build up your leg strength, then squats are a great exercise to try.
First off, focus on your technique. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed out. Brace your core, then send your hips back to squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor while keeping your chest lifted. Stand back up, pushing through your heels, then repeat. Once you’ve mastered this, try one of these two challenges:
- Easier: Start with 20 bodyweight squats on the first day, then add an extra 5 every day, taking one day off every three days. By day 30, you should reach 100 squats. If this is too hard, you can always break it down into smaller progressions too.
- Harder: As above, but start with 50 squats on day 1, then jump to 70 squats on day 5, 100 on day 9, 130 on day 13, 150 on day 17, 180 on day 21, 220 on day 25, and 240 on day 29. By day 30, you should reach 250 squats.
5. Two-minute plank challenge
Did you know that planking a few minutes a day can not only strengthen your core, arms, legs and glutes, but it can also help prevent back pain and improve your posture? No lifestyle change program would be complete without a core-strengthening exercise and planks are a great way to do this.
You could start by trying to plank for 20 seconds for the first couple of days. Then once you’ve got that down, you can try increasing this to 30 seconds. By slowly increasing the time every two days, you’ll be able to build up towards planking for 2 minutes by day 30.
Cheryl Culliford-Whyte Content Contributor, Warwick Sport
Cheryl has interests in all kinds of fitness, keeping healthy and looking after your wellbeing. She enjoys hiking, lifting and healthy baking.
Please note: if you are using the information provided in any Content Core article, please read the terms & conditions.