Monday, January 21, 2013

The 2013 Family Fitness Challenge

Like 99% of America I wanted to start 2013 with a resolution to eat healthy and exercise more. Ok, I made up that statistic, but definitely 99% of the people I know share this goal. I know that any goal is easier to attain with the support of family and friends, or with a little healthy competition, so I decided to combine these in putting together our 2013 Family Fitness Challenge.

We are two weeks in, many pounds have been shed already, and even more healthy habits are being formed or reaffirmed. Perhaps you want to have your own fitness challenge? Borrow some of our ideas. Here's how it works.

This is a raffle challenge. If you do 30 minutes or more of cardio for 4 days during the week, you earn one raffle entry. Do 5 days and you earn two entries. Six days earns you three and all seven days earns you four entries in the weekly raffle. Because nutrition is a vital part of weight loss and overall health, I added an eating piece to the challenge. If you eat healthy for the entire week (no cake, cookies, chips, candy, ice cream, etc) then you earn an extra entry. If you write down every thing that you eat for the entire week, healthy or not, you earn an additional two entries. We recently discovered an amazing app you can put on your phone called, My Fitness Pal, that allows you to track everything you eat, count calories, and factor in your calories burned during exercise as well. It's a great way to be sure that you are not overeating, which would definitely hinder your weight loss goals.

So at the end of each week, I put every one's name, multiplied by the number of entries they earned that week, in a bowl. I also put the predetermined prizes in another bowl so the prize for the week is also a surprise. The prizes you choose depends on your group's initial buy-in costs and the interests of the group. Our challenge costs $25 to enter and the prizes range in awesomeness from the $50 gift card to the store of your choice, to the amazing, ultimate prize, a signed 8x10 glossy of my kids.

I created a Facebook group that only the members of the challenge can see. On this page the participants are encouraged to enter their daily workouts, share about their healthy eating, share recipes, and offer words of encouragement for others. Having the daily check-ins really does make it a lot harder to make excuses not to exercise. It's also made my mom much more proficient in the use of Facebook.

We have six weeks remaining in the challenge. I personally am feeling healthier and more energetic already. I love the competition and camaraderie that goes along with participating in this challenge. But I must admit, I do miss candy!

1 comment:

  1. Well, this is very interesting indeed. Would love to read a little more of this. Good post. Thanks for the heads-up. ab exercise