The Skipping challenge seemed like a good choice for June (much more appealing than the Burpee Challenge in May!). What could be hard about skipping? I can remember skipping at school at break and at lunch and have held my own as required in Circuits classes over the years. I have even lent a skipping rope to Len Goodman (from Strictly) but that is another story!
I knew that a 15 day Skipping Challenge would give a quick cardio blast but would I really gain from it? I think it would be fair to say that everyone found skipping harder than they remembered it being. What is particularly difficult is to keep jumping high enough as you get breathless so that you don’t trip over the rope. There were also a number of issues around the length of ropes and the height of ceilings but these were sorted relatively quickly. So what did we get from the skipping challenge?
- Getting up and moving. We agreed that it was easier to get up and do it straight away. If we left it then there was a real chance that we would forget…. You do need to get dressed first though or at the very least put on a sports bra. It is also advisable to wear trainers as it really hurts your toes if you whip them with the rope. Your day is then up and started and you feel up for it from the word go.
- Getting better at skipping. The plan started with 100 skips a day and then added 10 each day. This was deliberate in that you had time to practice your skipping before day 11 when the real fun would begin. The round of tabata added in at that stage took the challenge to a whole new level. The tripping decreased, speed improved and it felt ‘better’.
- Quicker recovery. Skipping gets you really breathless. It is hard going and it gets harder as you add in more and do it every day. The interval training then adds a bigger challenge. What you do notice very quickly though is that whilst you are still breathless your recovery gets quicker and you are ready to go again.
- Sense of achievement. Taking on a challenge and being disciplined about completing each stage brings rewards beyond the physical. Posting on the fit4evermore page helped with focus and let everyone share and celebrate their successes.
- Different challenge. I always talk about keeping your training mixed up so that you continue to see improvements. Trying a new challenge and doing things that you wouldn’t normally do is the most effective way to change and improve your fitness. It is often by doing the things that you find hard that you see the biggest gains.
- Building community. I love the fit4evermore challenges as they encourage people to get involved and to share what they are doing. The age range is fab – skipping went from age 8 to 69. Running these events catches your attention and lets you work in a virtual team rather than doing your own thing and struggling to motivate yourself. You just get on and do it and are held accountable by posting too.
I love the fit4evermore Challenge Series and the aim is very simply to get you all to move more and more often. There are options for any fitness levels and you try different things. They are challenging and will get results if you stick at them.
The July Challenge is all about ‘Going the Distance.’ The intention this time is to move further whether walking, running, cycling or swimming or a combination of all the above. I have deliberately set this challenge in July when many of you will be on holiday and have children at home. You set your own target and can get the whole family involved too. The only rule is that you are recording activity over and above what you would normally do. For example, if you walk 10,000 steps then your target relates to how many more steps you will do for the 15 days. My plan will include all the modes of movement with the aim being to swim, run and cycle more than I have been in recent weeks. We start on Sunday 2nd July for 15 days. You need to make sure that you have signed up here if you haven’t already done so that you can follow the instructions and set your target for the challenge.
There will be a new challenge each month so why not join us and boost your activity levels and fitness too. The challenges are free and suitable to everyone. fit4evermore is all about being stronger, healthier, happier.
I hope that you have found that useful and will join our next challenge. Please add your comments too.