Some people do a great job of making an exercise goal and following through on it. Others struggle because a tremendous amount of time and effort are required in order to makes goals a reality. If you are one of those who struggle with accountability, enlisting the help of others may be the key to following through with your plans and reaching your goals. Here’s a list of ideas to help make exercise a priority while holding yourself accountable:
Create an Internet Challenge Group
If you have friends with similar fitness goals, you can use technology such as Facebook, Argus, or email to create a challenge group. Talk to your friends about exercise goals and create a group where everyone needs to post their exercises for the day. Participants should provide positive feedback to others regarding their successes.
Those struggling to exercise can post their concerns or missed workouts and get feedback to help them get in a little workout before bed. When it is later in the day, I tell people to do something that is not time consuming such as, squats, sit-ups, or push-ups. If they want to target a specific body part, I refer them to the Fitness Buddy app, where they can look at exercises for specific parts of the body.
If the group wants to ensure that people are being honest, the group can make proof a requirement. Argus, other apps and technological devices will track steps and miles. I prefer Argus over others because information about nutrition and water intake can also be added. Aesthetically, I find it to be the prettiest as well with bold colors and honeycomb shapes.
To set up a challenge in Argus, find friends, send them an invite and create a timeline. Argus will track the steps of all individuals and state the winner.
If the group is comprised of a large number of people that struggle to remain motivated, up the ante and throw some cash into the mix. I’m currently taking part in a challenge where each person needs to walk 10,000 steps each day for a month. Everyone puts in $10 before the challenge began. Each Saturday we need to screenshot our steps for each day of the week. Whoever reaches the 10,000 step goal every day for the month will split the money. The great part about this is that it will help participants make a healthy choice each day and also help them earn a little extra cash.
If the internet isn’t your thing or the constant use of technology seems like too much work, a Biggest Loser challenge may be a better idea. A group of friend or co-workers can compete to lose weight. Choose a time period for the challenge, invite people to join, and see what happens.
Everyone should be required to weigh in at the beginning and provide their weight to the person organizing the challenge. From there, the group can vote on a few things. Will the group track weight loss or fat lost? Also, do people need to weigh themselves weekly or just once at the beginning and once at the end? Make sure all information is clear to participants. For co-workers, it may not be a bad idea to bring a scale to work for everyone to use.
If people in the group live nearby, some members may choose to exercise together. Exercise is more fun when there is someone struggling with you. This also may motivate people because if they see someone has lost a substantial amount of weight, they will want to know their exercise routine.
Again, a money incentive is always nice. The group can decide if all the money goes to the winner, top female and male, or top three participants.The most successful Biggest Loser I’ve taken part in involved teams. If slacking means letting your team down, people are more likely to push through a workout or follow through on a workout. The fear of letting others down is strong and great motivation.
Things To Keep in Mind
The saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a week” is important to keep in mind. The challenges are designed to help people make changes to their habits in the hopes that the changes will become permanent. A London University found that it takes 66 days for something to become a habit. These challenges can be the foundation for that change.
However, change isn’t easy and there is a reason why these programs are called challenges. The ideal body will not be sculpted overnight, but health conscious decisions will be made immediately. Those healthy choices will hopefully have a lasting impact to help the ideal body occur with time and effort.
Christin currently teaches English in a Chicago suburb. Her time as a teacher helped her understand the importance of physical and mental health. Because of her interest in health, she went back to school and received a Masters of Arts in School and Community Counseling. With a desire to help others, Christin began blogging in the hopes of showing others how physical health can lead to a happier life.
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