Healthy Competition in Exercise
As summer begins, a lot of us will be getting on a last-minute diet before our holidays. Studies have shown that competition encourages people to exercise far more than a supportive approach does. So how can you use healthy competition in exercise to make sure you reach your goals this year?
Purchase a smart device
Activity trackers such as Fitbit allow you to add friends and set up challenges either by yourself, in pairs or in groups. These include step challenges such as the ‘workweek hustle’ or the ‘weekend warrior’ which measure how much you walk/move over the week or weekend. The app sends you reminders of when a friend is approaching your step goal which helps encourage you to get moving so that you won’t be beaten! This is extremely healthy competition which genuinely makes you want to exercise more.
Attend competitive classes
More and more gyms and classes are encouraging competition within exercise. For example, in a fitness class, ‘who can do the most jumping jacks in a minute?’ or ‘whose heart-rate rose the most?’. This might be motivating for you if you usually stand at the back of the class or don’t really push yourself to your fullest potential.
It’s often the case that people who started exercise regimes with a ‘we’re all in this together approach’ often give up quicker because if one drops out it gives the other team members an excuse to do the same. Still, its not to say that if the majority of the group worked really hard that the others wouldn’t follow suit, but the nature of competitiveness rather than support means its less likely that if one person is slacking, you’ll lessen your efforts too. In fact you probably will instead want to take advantage and get ahead. If one person falls behind, they are going to want to get back up much quicker than if they were in a supportive group who would give justifications and understanding for a lack of exercise.
So, if you want to get fitter this summer, include some healthy competition in exercise that you do. Get your friends and colleagues involved and reap the rewards. Remember, all bodies are different so it is better to make the competition about who moves the most rather than who loses the most weight. Someone could work really hard and not lose much weight and someone could have a mediocre week and lose more, its all about getting out there and trying your very hardest to improve your mood. Go, move, and release those endorphins!