Do Those 30-Day Fitness Challenges Really Work?
We see them all over our social feeds. It is those squat challenges, the ab challenge, the full-body challenge, the get rid of belly fat challenge. What they all have in common is its duration: one month. But do those 30-day fitness challenges really work?
Go on Pinterest alone and the user sees countless 30-day fitness challenges. This includes the kinds designed for beginners. There are one to “get rid” of fat in various body parts like inner thighs.
Want to “transform your butt?” Take this challenge.
There are even more health-centered 30-day challenges that include rules like no soda, daily workouts, and meditation.
These challenges seem a bit gimmicky. Featured with perfectly toned fitness models in its artwork that reveals the workout, it’s hard to know whether or not results truly are seen.
The Purpose Of The 30-Day Challenge
They say it takes 21-days to form a habit (although some believe it is 66 days on average). So why 30-days?
Put sweetly, these types of challenges are fads.
They are designed to be shareable on social media with groups dedicated solely to do them and have that accountability.
Even though they are fitness fads that don’t mean it’s not a good idea. Or that these challenges don’t really work.
The purpose of it is to motivate people while encouraging them to commit to complete the exercise(s) each day for those 30-days.
There is hope that the person then continues working out or takes up another challenge to keep up with the habit of exercises.
The person who takes up the challenge gets nothing other than the satisfaction that they finished the 30-days and hopefully a little more fit in the process.
Do They Work?
There are a few reasons why 30-day fitness challenges actually work.
But a few why they don’t.
As mentioned above, these challenges are a great way to help create a habit. By taking exercises one day at a time it appears to be easier to stick to a fitness plan—at least for the short-term.
Many people don’t want to let themselves down and give up before the 30-days. After all its only 30-days.
The beauty here lies in the fact that it is only about a month. This seems less intimidating than a 12-week training plan.
It’s the ideal way to get started working out because the exercises only call for a few moves like squats each day or a 25-minute full body sweat session.
But is this really enough to yield results?
The short answer is yes and no.
No, these challenges won’t dramatically transform the body. Don’t expect major weight loss and extremely toned muscles.
However, since it does require working out daily, fitness does improve. As a result weight loss can start to occur, although this is probably small at first. Muscles are getting stronger.
The Challenges That Work The Best
The challenges that work the best are the full-body ones. This includes exercises like 50 jumping jacks, 40 squats, 30 lunges, 20 crunches, and 10 flutter kicks.
The idea here is all muscle groups and getting worked on. Squats are great to do each day but only the hamstrings, glutes, and abs are gaining benefits.
The best challenges include arm workouts along with core, legs, and glutes.
It’s also best to switch up the exercises to not get bored and to continue to have the muscles guessing.
For those who are new to working out, the best 30-day challenge should be focusing on time, not moves. Instead of aiming to do a set amount of crunches every day, opt to get at least 10 minutes of exercise in for each day.
The Challenges That Don’t Work
The worst 30-day challenges are those that include food. It’s extremely hard to cut something out from the diet for 30-days.
Think of these are the 30-day smoothie or soup challenge. Restricting the diet to that extremely simply isn’t a good idea.
Plus, many of these fad challenges try to lure customers into purchasing supplements.
In general, many of these 30-day fitness challenges don’t work.
That’s because many find that they lose motivation a week or even a few days into it. The worst again is the single challenges like abs and squats. Over the month, it becomes routine to a fault and boring.
Besides losing motivation, it’s hard to see results in just 30-days. This makes some feel like giving up before the month is over.
Most of these challenges are focused heavily on legs, which means those looking for an arm workout too then have to take up yet another challenge.
These challenges do increase fitness. So sure the person won’t get the butt they were dreaming of in 30-days, but they will find they can do more squats and lunges than before. This means an increase in muscle strength and growth. Stick to the habit to continue to not only feel but also then see results.
Another reason why these don’t work is that it is one-sided. Sculpting and building a fit body also requires proper nutrition. And the nutrition ones are lacking well-rounded fitness plans.
Once the 30-days is over, muscle gains can decrease after stopping the workouts. This is another reason why they often fail to yield results.
With that said, it’s still worth it to give a 30-day fitness challenge a chance.
While bodies won’t be drastically changed, it does help to get back into the habit of making healthy choices and taking the time to workout.
Giving a challenge a chance means there is nothing to lose. Challenge yourself with various kinds to increase overall fitness over time.
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