The Sense and Nonsense in Sport Challenges
The various challenges you see on the internet lead you to believe that you can transform your body into that of a photo model in no more than thirty days. By repeating a series of exercises over the course of a month and gradually increasing the number of repetitions, your body should look noticeably leaner when you finish. Arms, legs, butt-cheeks, abs or even your entire body: for every part of the body a training schedule has been devised. However, doctors and sports scientists are sceptic about these types of trainings, and here's why.
Of course there are many advantages in doing exercise challenges. The first being that such a challenge has the advantage of a limited amount of days. That way, a month doesn't seem like that long and most will stay motivated until the end. If the challenge would extend to three or more months, a lot of people would lose interest. Besides, it is a good way to change your behaviour and motivate yourself.
Inciting people to exercise more is therefore a good thing, but if you want to see real changes, you of course have to work out for more than thirty days. You will for instance not be lean after a month, but you will, however, have more energy. A lot also depends on your current condition: a beginner will see a lot more results than an advanced athlete, because the latter is already quite accustomed to exercise.
Besides the advantages, there are also some drawbacks. Most challenges cease after thirty days, so you will not exercise longer than necessary. According to many doctors, people are quite satisfied when they have reached their goal and their healthy behaviour decreases dramatically when they stop exercising. If the visible results also vanish subsequently, our courage vanishes with it.
Yet we have to be honest: the results which are promised by fitness programs are often unrealistic. You will for instance not acquire a six-pack or tight thighs within thirty days. To get real results, you have to combine several work-outs and choose for strength- and stamina training to burn fat and build up muscles.
Moreover, those who suddenly decide to exercise fanatically, face an increased risk of injury. There are a lot of ways to do abdominal workouts. If you learn to do it the wrong way, you might risk getting ruptures in your muscles or you can get back problems. Therefore, doctors recommend planning in a session with a personal coach so you don't risk getting unnecessary injuries.
A fitness challenge is certainly not bad for you and your physical fitness, as long as you listen to your body and don't force yourself. It is true, however, that gradually building up your fitness is better than rushing it.17-12-2014