Get Fit in a Month: A Guide to 30 Day Fitness & Workout Challenges
The idea of improving your health and fitness in just one month sounds almost too good to be true. So is it? Read on for our guide to 30 day fitness workout challenges.
Can you get fit in a month?
The idea of being 'fit' implies something different to us all. For one person being fit might mean being able to jog for half an hour, while for someone else, it may mean being able to deadlift 100kgs. However you define 'fit', what we know for sure is that you can definitely make improvements in your fitness in a month - whether it's being able to run further, lift more reps with the same weight, perform exercises with better form, or notice improvements in your energy levels, there are so many benefits to reap from exercising. A month is a good time to establish good healthy habits and create a long-lasting routine which helps keep you active and feeling great from the inside and out.
Being realistic is key to fitness progress
The more you can tailor your workouts to suit your needs and goals, and make it something you enjoy, the more likely you are to stick to it and notice a difference in 30 days. If running is something you enjoy, why not set some running challenges? If you enjoy cycle class, why not set a challenge to attend a class 2 times a week? Whatever challenge you set, make it one that gets you excited and motivated to move.
Can you change your body in 30 days?
When people say they want to get fit in 30 days, many tend to focus on making drastic changes to their exercise and nutrition. This approach can often be unsustainable in the long term. While you may see results faster by making big changes, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's healthy, long lasting or the best approach. This is why we see many dieters who take this approach often find themselves gaining the weight they lost after a period of time. That's not to say you can't change your body in this timeframe if this is your goal. It is doable. But if you want to get fit and stay fit, we would suggest in the first 30 days to focus on implementing positive, healthy habits which fit with your current lifestyle. This way, it'll be much easier to stick to it and stay on top of it. After 30 days you can expect to notice a stronger, healthier body that can push further and more effectively than it could before a month earlier.
Remember that faster results doesn't necessarily mean better or sustainable results. Focus on implementing good habits that will help you long term.
How to improve your fitness in 30 days
1. Determine your fitness goals
What is your aim for the end of 30 days? Are you planning to be able to do 50 sit ups? Run for half an hour? Hold a plank for 2 minutes? Lift a 40kg barbell? In order to plan your 30 day fitness journey, it's a good ideas to have a firm idea of your specific goals. This can form the perfect starting point from which you can base your routine and will enable you to measure your success more effectively. Our How to Set Fitness Goals guide gives more details about how to get going.
2. Plan which days you're going to exercise
How many times you can workout will depend on how much time you can realistically allocate and stick over 30 days. Factor in any other commitments or responsibilities you have and set days and times for when you can realistically workout.
Say for example your Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings are free, you can set yourself a time to hit the gym. You enjoy weight training and want to improve overall strength. You can split your weekly routine into 3 full body sessions, allowing you to target muscles groups 3 times a week with adequate rest in betweeen, which will help and allow you to get stronger.
You can always start small and gradually build in more sessions or time as you get fitter. Having a plan allows you to manage your time better so you don't leave it behind.
3. Consider other lifestyle changes you may need to make
Seeing improvements in your fitness can involve a shift in your lifestyle that goes beyond just how long you can devote to training every day. To see the best results, you’ll also consider other elements of your daily life, such as diet and nutrition, or how much sleep you have each night. In order to strengthen and boost your physical abilities, you need to make sure that you’re supplying your body with the right kind of energy, namely from healthy food and lots of rest. We have plenty of diet and nutrition articles to help inspire your lifestyle changes, such as this post on healthy food swaps. And you can find out more about why sleep is so important for exercising, as well as how to recharge and feel energised with these guides.
4. Make sure to include rest and recovery time
While it may feel like a desperate sprint (quite literally in some cases) to hit your fitness goals, it’s incredibly important to make sure you’re giving your body adequate recuperation time. Rest days are an essential part of any training plan, as this gives your muscles time to repair, and your body time to rebuild energy ready for your next workout. If you don’t allow for rest days during your 30 day fitness plan, you could risk Overtraining Syndrome (OTS), which can mean a negative impact on your energy levels and mood, and increases the chance of injury (which in turn could scupper your chances of success over the course of the month).
This guide explains more about why rest days are important, as well as some tips on how to factor them into your plans.
5. Be aware of your body’s limitations
It’s important to factor in your body’s starting point when completing a 30 day fitness challenge. Work at your own pace and look to improve gradually. A good approach would be to use these 30 days to work on some of these specific challenges, by focusing on strengthening key muscle groups. Also, if you’re a complete beginner, you may not be able to meet extreme goals in just a month - the NHS couch to 5K plan, for example, takes nine weeks from start to finish and, while there are 30 day options available, it may be better to take a few weeks longer and enjoy the journey a bit more.
Workout challenges or 30-day fitness plans can be great way to increase your motivation to exercise. Turn your favourite workouts or way to move your body into challenge can be a way to enjoy your time spend being active. For workout ideas check out our free workouts guide.