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Getting and staying fit is hard. Although consistently putting in the effort to work out is rewarding, it’s still a difficult undertaking. Fortunately, a fitness challenge makes getting and staying fit simple, fun, and just tough enough — all from the comfort of your own home!

a woman and a young girl doing a fitness challenge

There’s a challenge out there for everyone. Whether you want to do your first pullup or hold a plank for 5 minutes, you can find a challenge that matches your fitness level and your goals. You can even do most of these challenges with a buddy… and perhaps start a little friendly competition.

Here’s everything you need to know about starting an at-home fitness challenge!

A Fitness Challenge for Everyone

Challenges come in all shapes and sizes. From beginner walking to advanced trail running and from basic pushups to nauseating burpee challenges, there’s no shortage of variety.

If you’re looking to build your muscles, get your heart rate up, or both, you’ll have plenty of challenges to choose from.

The majority of these challenges require no equipment at all; there are a few, though, that do require some equipment — for example, it‘d be pretty hard to do a pullup without a bar to pull yourself up to.

Strength Challenges

There are more than 600 muscles in the human body, and each one of them can be strengthened. Regular strength training does more than just make you stronger. It can actually help reduce injury risk, decrease body fat, and overall just make you feel better about yourself.

If you’re looking to strengthen a specific muscle, muscle group, or your whole body, a fitness challenge gives you a structured, progressive way to do it.

In general, there are 4 categories of strength challenges.

  • Upper body challenges strengthen the muscles of your chest, shoulders, and arms. Try this pushup challenge to get you started.
  • Lower body challenges focus on the muscles of your lower limbs — like your glutes, quads, and calves. This 30-day lunge challenge is sure to set your legs on fire.
  • Abs and core challenges target your core muscles which include muscles of the abs, back, and more. This plank challenge will help you build a solid core.
  • Full body challenges are just what they sound like. They train your entire body. For example, this ninja challenge will take you through a month of full-body training.

Strength training is a great way to noticeably improve your health and fitness. A fitness challenge will help you get stronger at your own pace so that you can reap all of its benefits.

Running & Cardio Challenges

Some people absolutely love to run. Others, not so much. Whether you like to run or not, the benefits of regular cardiovascular exercise are invaluable. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. This has been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

a man and a woman doing a running challenge across a bridge

No matter you’re experience — from an accomplished marathoner to a budding jogger — there’s a fitness challenge that will push you to get better. By the end of it, you’ll be ready to crush the competition in your next race or conquer your new favorite route.

Most beginner challenges start out with low-to-moderate intensity intervals. These intervals are generally 3, 4, or 5:1. This means that for every 1 minute of running, you’ll walk for 3, 4, or 5 minutes, respectively.

As the challenge progresses, you’ll begin running for longer periods of time. Before you know it, you’ll be able to consistently run your entire route!

There are plenty of other non-running cardio challenges too. Rowing, cycling, and even jumping jack challenges are all fun, rewarding options. At the end of the day, if it gets your heart rate up, there’s probably a challenge for it.

Spice Things Up with Some HIIT

If you’re looking for something extra challenging, high-intensity interval training (or HIIT) might be for you. HIIT is a simple principle: train at a high intensity for a short period of time.

HIIT workouts are usually shorter and are made up of bursts of high-intensity work followed by periods of low-to-moderate intensity recovery. These challenges often combine elements of both strength and cardio training, and are a key training tool of elite athletes.

HIIT workouts are great if you’re trying to test your limits, if you have limited time to work out, or if you just want to try something new. This beginner HIIT challenge will get your heart pounding in less than 10 minutes a day.

Choosing Your Perfect Fitness Challenge

A challenge is a great way to improve and maintain your fitness whether you’re looking to build strength, gain speed, or push yourself. The sky’s the limit when it comes to fitness challenges, but they aren’t one-size-fits-all.

If you can’t find a challenge that works for you, make your own! Take what you like from a few different challenges and drop what you don’t. This will give you a custom challenge that is tailor-made just for you.

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