Business GrowthFundamentals and Best Practices 17 Exercise and Wellness Challenges to Kickstart the New Year

17 Exercise And Challenges To Kickstart The New Year

Exercise and wellness challenges are a great way to motivate your clients to kickstart healthy habits. And, now that 2024 is here, it’s the perfect time to start planning your upcoming challenges for the year.

In this article, we’ll highlight some of the benefits of running exercise and wellness challenges, why they work, 15 challenge ideas to get you started, and tips for getting you started.

Let’s dive in!

Check out: TRAINERIZE UPDATE | Elevate your Coaching with Challenges

What are exercise and wellness challenges?

First, an exercise challenge is different from a long-term fitness goal. Meaning, it typically lasts for a specific period of time. And, it usually involves fulfilling a certain goal or challenge daily.

Similarly, an exercise or wellness challenge can motivate people to get back into their fitness routines or work towards their long-term fitness goals.

Finally, don’t forget that an exercise challenge can be anything you choose. So, get creative from a step challenge to a plank challenge, a running challenge and more.

What are the benefits of exercise and wellness challenges?

Firstly, an exercise or wellness challenge offers many benefits to your clients. For instance, it helps develop strength in a specific area and promotes the formation of healthy exercise habits. 

Next, exercise challenges give clients a set time to commit and have the added benefit of wellness. Many clients prefer committing to a specific start and end date rather than longer periods like six months or a year.

Finally, challenges are a great way to build community and push people to work harder. Build top-notch client relationships

🔗 Build top-notch client relationships
FREE GUIDE: The Ultimate Guide to Client Engagement


17 exercise and wellness challenge ideas

The possibilities for exercise and wellness challenges are endless. Here are 15 of our favorites to get you started.

1. Step challenge

A step challenge is a great way to motivate your PT clients to increase their daily fitness post-holidays.For example, you can create a challenge for people to walk 10,000 steps each day. Then, they can share their success in your online community.

Similarly, another fun twist on a step challenge is to increase the number of steps throughout your challenge. For example, you can challenge clients to take 5000 steps a day in week one, 6500 steps a day in week two, 8000 steps a day in week three, and 10,000 steps a day in week four. Increasing the number of daily steps throughout your challenge helps keep people’s engagement and motivation high.

2. Plank challenge

As you know, planks are one of the best ways to help clients develop a strong core. But, for many clients, planks take a lot of work to hold. A plank challenge is a great way to help clients develop confidence in their ability to hold a plank (while also building strength in their core at the same time).

Plank challenges are also the perfect way to ignite a little friendly competition. So, be sure to have members “plank-off” together if you have a gym space or encourage clients to post their plank-holding ways on social.

3. Ab challenge

Like a plank challenge, an ab challenge helps strengthen your clients’ core muscles and abs. The difference is that rather than focusing on planks alone, clients complete different ab exercises throughout your challenge. Also, since your personal training clients’ ab strength varies, having a set of modifications can help attract clients of all levels of experience to participate in your challenge. And, as a bonus, one of the best things about an ab challenge is that it requires no equipment.

4. Squat challenge

The benefits of squats are endless, from strengthening bones and muscles to increasing hormone production and boosting moods. Therefore, a squat challenge is an easy way for clients to feel the positive effects of exercise immediately. However, when designing your squat challenge, keep in mind that when done incorrectly, they have the potential to cause injury. Therefore, we highly recommend making proper technique a big part of this challenge.

5. Upper body and arm

The variations and possibilities for this challenge are endless, from pull-ups to arm presses and anything in between. Because the goal of this challenge is to build arm strength, whether you structure this challenge by reps, weight, or even the number of push-ups, you can’t go wrong.

6. Burpee challenge

Have you ever run a fitness class and heard a unanimous groan at the mention of burpees? They’re a challenge for many but also incredibly beneficial in promoting fat loss and improving heart health. To help clients benefit from a high-intensity workout, challenge them to complete as many burpees as they can in a minute. Then, throughout a 30-day challenge, they’ll definitely see an improvement.

7. Cardio challenge

For a cardio-boosting challenge, set your personal training clients up for a running, rowing or cycling challenge- or a combination of all three. A cardio challenge can be as simple as doing 20 minutes of walking each day. The goal is to get your clients moving and their heartbeats up!

8. 30 minute exercise challenge

A 30-minute exercise challenge is a great way to help people get back to developing and incorporating fitness into their daily routines. This challenge asks members to exercise for 30 minutes a day.

How they choose to do that is totally up to them. So members can get started immediately, whether it’s high-intensity training, walking or running. And, as a bonus, a 30-minute-a-day exercise challenge for 30 days is often the perfect launching point to creating a habit of daily exercise long term.

9. Mindfulness challenge

Next, help people see health as a full mind and body experience by hosting a mindfulness challenge. Whether it’s yoga, meditation, or affirmations, a mindfulness challenge is a great way to combat stress and anxiety—both important factors in living a healthy lifestyle.

10. Healthy eating challenge

Healthy food and exercise go hand in hand. Encourage clients to develop healthy nutrition habits through a 30-day nutrition challenge. Whether you post new recipes or have your members do the same, this is a great way to get back to healthy habits around food, especially post-holiday season when people tend to indulge in treats, heavy meals and more alcohol.

11. Mindful journaling challenge

Next, help your clients engage in a transformative journey of self-discovery with the Mindful Journaling Challenge. Through this practice, clients can gain insights into their inner world, navigate challenges with clarity, and cultivate a deeper understanding of themselves. Lastly, expressing gratitude in journal entries helps foster a mindset of appreciation and resilience. This challenge serves as a powerful tool for promoting mental well-being and personal growth.

12. Daily meditation challenge

Similarly, encourage clients to Immerse themselves in a daily meditation practice with the aim of cultivating inner peace and mindfulness. For example, they can begin by dedicating  five minutes a day to quiet reflection, focusing on their breath or a guided meditation.

As the challenge progresses, gradually ask clients to extend the duration of their sessions. Encourage them to explore various meditation techniques to find what resonates best. Through consistent meditation, clients can reduce stress, enhance emotional well-being, and build a foundation for a more centered and resilient life.

13. Gratitude journal challenge:

Next, foster a positive and appreciative mindset by inspiring clients to take on the Gratitude Journal Challenge. Each day, ask them to reflect on and document three things you’re thankful for. 

The act of acknowledging and recording moments of gratitude helps shift clients’ focus from challenges to blessings, promoting a more optimistic outlook on life. Similarly, over time, this practice leads to increased feelings of happiness, improved relationships, and a heightened sense of overall well-being. The Gratitude Journal Challenge is a simple yet impactful way to infuse positivity into your clients’ daily routine.

14. Digital detox challenge

Next, encourage clients to embrace the Digital Detox Challenge to find moments of peace and presence in today’s technology-driven world. For example, designate specific times during the day to disconnect from digital devices, allowing clients to engage fully in the present moment. Use this time to explore activities that promote relaxation, such as reading a book, going for a walk, or practicing mindfulness.

Similarly, the break from constant connectivity can lead to reduced stress, improved sleep quality, and enhanced overall mental health. By intentionally carving out moments of digital-free time, your clients will restore balance into their lives and cultivate a healthier relationship with technology.

15. Sleep challenge

Additionally, help clients prioritize their well-being with the Sleep Challenge, focusing on the crucial role of quality sleep in overall health. For example have them establish and track a consistent sleep routine, aiming for 7-9 hours of restful sleep each night.

Similarly, encourage them to create a calming bedtime environment, free from screens and distractions, to improve the quality of your sleep. 

Lastly, adequate and restorative sleep contributes to enhanced mood, cognitive function, and physical well-being. The Sleep Challenge empowers clients to prioritize this fundamental aspect of self-care, unlocking numerous benefits for their overall health and vitality.

16. Nature connection challenge

Next, help clients connect with the healing power of nature through the Nature Connection Challenge. For example, have them commit to spending time outdoors each day. Whether it’s a leisurely stroll in the park, a hike in the woods, or simply sitting in a garden. This challenge offers a myriad of benefits, including reduced stress, increased energy levels, and improved mood. The Nature Connection Challenge is a simple yet effective way to incorporate the therapeutic elements of the outdoors into clients’ daily routine.

17. Reflections and intentions challenge

Lastly, help clients embark on a journey of self-discovery with the Reflection and Intentions Challenge. For example, have them start and conclude each day with a dedicated moment of reflection, creating a powerful framework for mindfulness and self-awareness. This daily practice not only fosters a deeper connection with oneself but also promotes a more conscious and intentional approach to life. 

5 pro tips for running a successful exercise challenge

1. Be specific

Your challenge should have specific criteria, including a start and an end time, to make it worthwhile for members. It should also be specific regarding how it will help clients achieve their long-term fitness goals. So when designing a fitness challenge for your clients, be sure to take the specific needs of your target audience into account.

2. Make it measurable

A well-run challenge allows clients to track and measure progress easily. So, it should be easy to quantify whether you’re measuring timing for an exercise like the plank challenge or asking members to workout for 30 minutes a day.

3. Make it challenging

Part of the goal of any challenge is to push your clients outside of their comfort zone, which is why it’s important to challenge people’s current skills and abilities. When hosting an exercise challenge, be sure to consider all levels of ability and skill and provide modifications for those who are more advanced.

4. Set realistic goals

Keep in mind that as much as you want to challenge your clients, you don’t want to make your challenge so challenging that it’s unrealistic to achieve. For example, setting a 5-minute plank challenge would be too much. So again, be sure to consider people’s skill levels and set realistic goals that motivate people to carry on.

5. Make it time- defined

Another key to a good challenge is to make it time-defined. 30-day challenges are common, but you can do anything you want, from a week challenge to a 30-day challenge, you name it. Just be sure that it has a bedding, middle and end, and you’re good to go.

Finally, another pro tip is to incentivize your clients. Whether you have a draw for a prize after the challenge is complete or offer badges along the way. Being recognized and encouraged helps keep engagement in your challenge high. And, don’t forget, none of these challenges have to be a standalone process! Therefore, consider bundling a few for the ultimate mind-body impact. 

Get Started with Challenges on ABC Trainerize

With the new ABC Trainerize Challenges feature, you can choose between leaderboard challenges where clients can compete with one another or set up challenges where everybody wins.

Set the rules for how clients can earn points, such as completing a workout or hitting daily nutrition goals. Then, enroll your clients into the challenge, patiently count down to the start of the challenge, and watch engagement soar!

Learn more about Challenges on ABC Trainerize here.

Comments are closed