11 Jan Ready, steady, 2016!
At the beginning of the year we’re all fired up with resolutions to be healthier, fitter and more purposeful. This January, the first Flex challenge of the year boosts this New Year energy with the power of competition. The Flex January Fitness Challenge challenges members to do 15 classes in just 30 days. “Healthy competition can really boost your motivation and drive, and change people’s attitude towards exercise,” says Flex instructor Gemma Kelly. “It also helps people interact with others and have fun while they are working out.”
The “competition effect” is a valuable tool when it comes to reaching many goals, but particularly physical goals. “We often don’t push ourselves as far as we could,” says Gemma. “We find excuses to put off exercise or we don’t perform to our highest level.”
While working out solo works best for some, for others the competition created by working out in a group helps spur them further. Gemma reports that in group classes she sees people go the extra mile due to the group dynamic. “In Xtend Barre people push themselves further than they have before, while smiling and sweating next to others who are all experiencing the same emotions. And by the end of the class they are so impressed they didn’t stop, they feel a huge sense of achievement and satisfaction.”
Combining competition with a specific goal can give powerful results. “It can become something like an addiction, that high you feel after a class,” says Gemma. “The body feels energized and rejuvenated, and you can feel you’re aching in all the places you want to feel more toned.”
“Having that extra motivation to get better, be healthier and become fitter also gives you a mental and emotional boost,” says Flex instructor Cheng-Fang Wu. “It makes you feel good about exercise and yourself, and perpetuates a positive cycle of continuing to work towards the goal.”
She says taking baby steps is the best way forward. “Goal setting needs to be achievable so that you can feel the rewards.”
She suggests using competing with yourself to constantly turn in personal bests. “I encourage self-evaluation, so you focus on your own improvement rather than only comparing with others. This keeps the competitive element positive.”
Pilates is not a competitive sport, however there are ways to introduce that extra element of competition with yourself. “If, for example, you can’t perform a 100, start within your range and try to better your score at each attempt,” says Fang. “Challenge yourself to go further each time until you see improvements. It is, however, essential to listen to your body. Take baby steps to avoid injury, and don’t worry if you’re not perfect.”
“I think the January challenge is a great idea,” says Gemma. “It’s a healthy goal and will show members how much they can achieve, teach them how far they can push their bodies, give them a more positive outlook on their goal and allow them to actually experience the results that are possible.”
The idea is that these new habits will create a positive knock-on effect for the rest of 2016 too. “Ultimately every day we should spend time moving our bodies,” says Gemma, “and I hope members will feel the benefits of regular exercise and start to make time for it throughout the rest of the year.”
The first six members to complete the challenge will win a dining experience for up to four people at one of five fantastic restaurants and the next 12 will get a spa experience at one of Hong Kong’s favorite day spas. For more information read here.