7 home fitness challenges for beginners
Today is National Fitness Day; the yearly event which aims to inspire us to get moving and remind us of the role that physical activity plays in helping us lead healthier, happier lives.
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, many of us are spending less time moving and more time cooped up indoors. But exercise is one of the best ways to boost physical and mental health, so there’s no better time to get off the sofa, switch off Netflix and release some feel-good endorphins!
We’ve pulled together 7 at home (or outside) fitness challenges to help you get the ball rolling. No gyms, no fancy equipment—all you need is some motivation, a pair of trainers and your water bottle! Pick a challenge (or combine a few for maximum impact) and push yourself to power through 30 full days.
Why 30 days? Scientists believe it takes around 30 days to form a new habit. 30 days of small, but consistent, physical activity might just inspire you to continue with a positive ongoing health and fitness routine!
Start with the daily stretch
No matter which of our challenges you to choose to complete, make sure to stretch and warm up your body before you get going. Stretching helps to prevent injuries, but also doubles-up as a great stress reliever.
Need some stretch inspiration? Check out The Daily Stretch from PT and Purition ambassador Tom Meehan; a series of easy-to-follow stretches for you to try at home.
1. Steps challenge
Simply placing one foot in front of the other can do heaps for your physical and mental wellbeing. Walking burns calories, builds stamina and can do wonders for your stress levels. You’ll be surprised at how much the simple act of getting out in the fresh air every day can make a positive difference to your mood!
How to do the steps challenge: Set yourself a daily target and make a point of reaching it every day, for 30 days straight. No excuses—squeeze in those steps at every opportunity you can. 10k per day is a great starting point, but if you regularly exceed this, aim for 15 or 20k. Use your smartphone or watch to track your steps.
2. Plank challenge
The plank is a relatively simple move that comes with a long list of benefits. The plank essentially helps to strengthen the core, which in turn, can help to tone up your abdomen, improve your posture and reduce back pain. It’s an especially beneficial exercise for office workers!
How to do the plank challenge: The aim of the 30-day plank challenge is simply to plank every day to build up your own plank time. On the first day, set up your stopwatch and plank for as long as you reasonably can. Each day thereafter, increase the amount of time that you hold your plank by at least 10 seconds. Power through the 30-days and see how much you can supercharge your core strength!
Not sure how to plank? Check out Women’s Health’s guide to planking before you get started.
3. 10 minute sweat challenge
Feel like you’ve never got time to exercise? Sweating it out for just 10 minutes a day is a great way to boost your fitness and build confidence, without taking up too much of your day!
How to do the 10-minute sweat challenge: Set up a timer for ten minutes and rotate through the exercises below, until the time is up. If you’re completely new to fitness, 10-minutes of intense cardio work might feel near impossible for the first few days. But power through as many reps as you can and you’ll notice a marked difference in your stamina once the 30-days are up. Make sure to stretch before and after your sessions and drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- 30 star jumps
- 20 burpees
- 30 high knees
- 20 squats
- 30 air punches
Top tip: Feel that 10-minutes is too easy? Start at 10-minutes and increase your time by a minute each day.
4. Couch to 5k challenge
Okay, this one’s a little longer than 30-days, but it’s still extremely achievable! If you’ve always wanted to run but have never known quite where to start, the Couch to 5k plan is for you.
The free app will take you from sofa to 5km within just nine weeks; complete with a choice of motivational virtual coaches (think Jo Whiley and Sarah Millican!) to keep you feeling pumped and inspired. Don’t feel intimidated—the plan takes things slowly and aims to gradually build up your fitness and stamina.
How to do the couch to 5k challenge: Grab your trainers, search ‘Couch to 5k’ on the app store, download the free app and get started on your mission to 5k. Make sure to stretch well before and after your runs.
5. Squat challenge
Want to tone-up or strengthen your lower body? There’s no better exercise than the simple squat! Squats are the king of lower body exercises; they work your glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves in one go, whilst also crushing some serious calories.
How to do the squat challenge: Keep things simple and set yourself a goal of completing 10 minutes worth of bodyweight squats per day, for 30 days straight. Your aim should be to increase the number of reps you can blast through in 10 minutes. If you feel you’re absolutely smashing it halfway through the month, you could always add some weight. Don’t have my dumbbells? A large bottle of water or a rucksack filled with a few food tins will do the trick!
Not sure how to squat? It’s important to get your form right, so check out Women’s Health’s guide to squatting before you get started.
6. Stairs challenge
Got a stairway in your home? Who needs a gym! Running up and down a flight of stairs will burn calories, get your heart pumping and help to strengthen your quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves.
How to do the stairs challenge: One set = 5 minutes of continuous climbing and descending of your stairs, followed by one minute of recovery. Over the course of 30-days, you’ll gradually increase your sets to build upon your stamina. Don’t forget your one-minute for rest and hydration between each set!
- Day 1–5: 1 set (5-minute climb)
- Day 5–10: 2 sets (10-minute climb)
- Day 10–15: 3 sets (15-minute climb)
- Day 15–20: 4 sets (20-minutes climb)
- Day 20–25: 5 sets (25-minute climb)
- Day 25–30: 6 sets (30-minute climb)
7. Wall sit challenge
Looking for a super-simple home fitness challenge? You’ll love the wall sit! All this easy-to-follow exercise requires is a flat piece of wall or a door. This type of squat strengthens your legs, back, abs and glutes and builds endurance all-in-one, by activating your muscles and putting them under some serious tension.
How to do the wall sit challenge: Similar to the plank challenge, the aim here is to build upon your wall sit time and see how much you can increase your time once your 30-days are up. On the first day, set a stopwatch and time how long you can hold your wall sit for. Make sure to push yourself—power through that burn for as long as you can! Each day thereafter, try to increase your wall sit by 10 seconds.
While wall sits are simple enough, it’s still important to get your form right. Give this video a quick watch before you get started.
Fuel your fitness challenges with Purition
Whether you’re looking to lose weight, get fitter or simply work towards a healthier, more balanced lifestyle, Purition can help. Using Purition for your breakfast, lunch or a post-workout boost will provide an additional source of high-quality protein, fibre and healthy fats to support your new exercise regime and amplify your results.
Most high-street protein powders contain gums, artificial flavourings, sweeteners and synthetic vitamins and minerals in huge quantities. But Purition is different. It’s made using seeds and nuts, plus triple-filtered whey protein isolate (original) or a combination of European grown plant protein (vegan).
A glass or two a day will drip feed essential nutrients into your body to fuel your home fitness challenges and keep you feeling full, which will help you make healthier food choices throughout the day. Thousands of people have used Purition to lose weight or improve the quality of their diet. Why not try out a Discovery Box and see the positive changes it could bring for you, too?
Naomi, PT & Mum, reviews Purition
Interview with alpinist, Matt Helliker
Fitness fuel: Healthy Living Lucy reviews Purition
Getting into fitness
What you should do next...
1. Subscribe to our newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest news, recipes and advice about healthy eating.
2. Try Purition for 14 days
Unlock all the benefits of a whole foods diet with none of the effort. Get 2 weeks of easy nutritious meals & pick your own flavours!