As this blog indicates, I’m quite interested in challenges which help to create lifestyle changes. After you’ve purposefully engaged in an activity for a certain period of time, it can become habit. Therefore a challenge, even if it’s difficult, can be the motivating force to settle into better habits.
Today I was pleased to learn that ABC’s radio show Life Matters has recently started an exercise challenge. The goal is to spend six weeks performing physical activities at the nationally recommended healthy amount — 300 minutes (or 5 hours) a week.
This challenge is also a great reminder that exercise doesn’t have to be a chore — remembering to take the stairs more often, going for walks, reading the paper while standing up, cleaning the house more vigorously than usual, it all counts. People across Australia have already started participating, and my Twitter timeline is filling up with tweets in which people are tagging their activities with #abcgetfit.
British psychologist Richard Wiseman, who has studied willpower and New Year’s resolutions, advises that if you want to achieve your goal, you need to start small, reward yourself for making your target, and hold yourself accountable. That last part means telling your friends and family that you’re trying to achieve X. Share your intentions, and you’re more likely to succeed. Tell your Twitter timeline that you’re participating in a fitness challenge, and it might help you stick with it even better.
I think this challenge a marvellous idea. It started on Monday, so I’ve already missed most of the first week. But I think I’ll participate from tomorrow. I’d start tonight, but it’s already dinner time and, well, I’m tired… from my IKEA trip. And carrying furniture, and ironing the new curtains. Come to think of it, I’ve been standing, walking and lifting most of the day today. Do you think that might count towards my minute goal?