The benefits of regular exercise are often regarded highly when discussing fitness, weight management, dieting, and lifestyles. You can benefit from improvement in many areas of your life by committing to regular exercise. Aside from the usual changes in your body, you can also often the changes in other areas such as motivation, concentration, and productivity to name a few. but what would happen if you went beyond doing regular exercise and instead did exercise every single day? Can 30 continuous days of exercise make a difference?
Recently I took part in the RED January challenge. This involved doing exercise every day for the entire month of January. Whilst I was hopeful at the start of the challenge to be able to lose some weight and take advantage of some other benefits from regular exercise, I was surprised to see the extent to which change happened. I am happy to report that the daily exercise for the entire month really did make a difference. I noticed changes in my body, in my appetite, in my mindset, and some other areas too.
What Exercises Did I Do?
I wanted to stay as varied as I could in the exercises that I did over January. Unfortunately, the coronavirus put an end to many of the plans that I had hoped to do in that month. despite this, I still feel like I managed to get a good selection of different exercises in. Namely, I did at home workouts using my kettlebell, practised yoga, went running as part of the couch to 5K app, and also went on long walks.
Mostly during the week, I would use my kettlebell and go running. The long walks would typically happen at the weekends, with the yoga filling in any gaps in the schedule.
I found this to be a good variety of different exercises, as I did not want to risk finding the challenge difficult due to the repetitive nature. If you are going to undertake this kind of challenge yourself, make sure you add a lot of variety to keep things interesting!
Under different, non-coronavirus, circumstances, I would have also liked to do some other forms of exercise, such as racket sports and hiking. I was also hoping to fit in some forms of exercise I had not done before or were done rarely, like some other sports.
When I started the challenge, I was under the impression that the biggest challenge I would face would be staying motivated. This never really came to pass, however.
At the start I had the eagerness of new beginnings. I wanted to complete the challenge, raise money for Sport in Mind (the charity benefactor of the RED January event), and improve my fitness. The first week was easy because of this heightened motivation that we all get starting something new.
Week two and three were the hardest motivation wise but I do not think it was that serious a problem for myself. I think this was because I was getting into a routine. I had the month’s exercise already mapped out. The same types of exercises normally happened at the same times of day, such as running first thing in the morning. This kept be going. I think I also benefitted from the lack of other activities to do during the lockdown. It is not like I was missing out on doing something else because I decided to do exercise instead!
Then, in the final week and a bit of the challenge, the motivation came from the changes in my body and other changes I noticed about myself.
Effects of 30 Continuous Days of Exercise
It was in this final week that I could really start to feel the difference in doing daily exercise. I noted that my weight had dropped, and my body was starting to change shape, my muscles had started to get bigger (I noted, with particular satisfaction, my arms in the mirror one day when passing by), and I felt more motivated and inspired in other areas of my life.
I was feeling good about things at the end of the month, and even decided to continue for a little bit longer with it.
The biggest benefit to me doing the challenge was that it changed my perspective on exercise. Before, exercise was a chore. Something I would keep up with for a few weeks in some program or another, and then forget about as other things took my attention.
But now it was different. Now I was not just someone who wanted to be a fit person. I was a fit person. Even though I was still quite far in reality from being “fit”, the shift in mindset made everything easier. I would go and do exercise regularly because that is what fit people do. Not because I wanted to change myself. Not because I felt like I should or had to. Because it is just who I am.
This powerful mindset shift is something I have found can be applied to just about anything you want to do and will certainly be something I will be exploring more of in the future. Keep your eyes peeled for a post about it in the coming months.
Conclusion: Can 30 Continuous Days of Exercise Make a Difference?
In short: yes.
I was amazed at how well I adapted to the challenge, how much it changed me, and how it made me feel. Doing daily exercise will increase your motivation (in exercise and other areas of your life), can help you stay inspired, and can have dramatic effects on your weight and body shape over time.
Certainly, I would do this challenge again, probably next January, and I would recommend everyone trying it. It can change the way you think about yourself, just like it did for me!
It is worth mentioned that, because of the variety of exercise I was doing, that my body was able to rest between the exercise. 30 continuous days of exercise does not mean doing the same exercise daily! Normally the exercise I would do would focus on a different area of the body than the previous days exercise. I also want to note that I am not a trained medical professional and you should seek your doctor’s advice before starting any new fitness regime.
Daily exercise can have a big positive aspect on your physical and mental wellbeing. If you have done daily exercise regularly before, please leave a comment below so you can let us know how you found it!