- Exercise & Fitness
Start a Family Fitness Contest
Do you need a little motivation to get in shape?
Maybe all you need is a little competition between you and your friends and family.
Imagine knowing that all that separates you from glory is a mere 1000 steps, wouldn't it make you push a little harder to get those extra few steps in? Maybe your 70 year old father-in-law is 8,000 steps ahead of you for the week; doesn't that make you want to take a walk RIGHT NOW so you don't die of embarrassment?
You Should Start a Family Step Contest. It's easy!
Starting a family fitness contest is one of the easiest ways to encourage your family to stay in shape. By adding a little friendly competition, you and your family members will have built in accountability and encouragement.
All you have to do is pick a quantifiable target, set an end date, and establish a reward system.
Ideas For Fitness Contests
- Achieving weight loss goals.
- Walking the most miles.
- Bike riding the most miles.
- Participating in the most active minutes.
- Getting 1 hour of exercise a day, everyday for a month.
- Most pounds lifted.
- Achieving a healthy BMI.
You can have one winner, or open it up for everyone to win by achieving their own personal goals. For instance, if the goal is to walk an hour a day for a month, the whole family can celebrate with a dinner out if everyone acheives that goal.
The other approach is to have one winner take all by running the most miles, losing the most weight, or walking the most steps. The choice is yours and all of them can be beneficial to your family's health.
As always, before starting a new health regimen, consult with your doctor. For the sake of winning a contest, don't push yourself so hard that you injure yourself. The whole point of the game is to get healthy.
Contests Have Worked Wonders For My Family
One summer by father and I did a step contest where we set an end date and dueled against each other to see who could walk the most steps.
We are both competitive and quickly found ourselves "one-upping" each other. By the end, we were each walking between twenty and thirty miles a day to beat the other person. It even got to the extent that I was pretending to go to bed only to walk in place in my room. While I was at work my dad would sneak in twenty miles while I helpless had to watch without being able to participate until after I clocked out.
We're Starting a New Contest For the Summer
Even though we are now spread out across the state, my family and I have decided to host another step contest. Here are the rules.
The Rules of Engagement
Every week until the end of August we will duel each other for the most steps. Each week, the winner of the most steps will receive a cup of coffee or a $5 giftcard from each of the losers. Then, for the most steps for the whole summer, there will be a larger undisclosed grand prize that is bought by the losers for the winner.
How This Has Motivated Me Personally
- I park farther away from stores so I will log more steps while getting there.
- I pace when there is down time.
- I march in place while doing the dishes, brushing my teeth, or watching TV.
- I set daily goals and will walk all the way up to 12:00 AM to reach them.
- I have become highly competitive and will do almost anything to get ahead.
My Favorite Fitness Tracker
Ways to Track Your Steps
I don't always have my phone on me when walking around the house or going somewhere in pocket-less pants, so the Fitbit is my favorite choice for fitness tracking. The Fitbit App is free and works flawlessly with the device. It's really easy to see how far your have walked, the calories you're burned, and the minutes you've been exceptionally active. Charging is really easy, quick, and holds for several days.
Free Step Counter App
If you are someone who is glued to your phone, downloading an APP might be your cheapest and easiest option. There are several fitness apps on the market, but I really like the free Pacer App. If you use MyFitnessPal, the Pacer app syncs up nicely with it and deducts the calories you've burned walking from what you've eaten.
If you don't want to spend about $100 or more on a fitness tracking device, another option is to purchase an inexpensive clip-on pedometer. You can purchase them at most sporting good retailers, department stores, and pharmacies. They usually run about $10-30 depending on how high-tech you want it and what items you want it to track.