If you have ever struggled with sticking with something, or achieving your New Year’s Resolution, give streaking a try.
Get your mind out of the gutter; we are referring to fitness streaking, not running naked in front of a crowd. Fitness streaking is committing to exercising for a certain period of time and a specific amount of days. The bottom line is repetition; a fitness streak is a commitment to repeating a daily exercise habit for a number of days in a row.
Fitness streaks typically focus on doing a certain exercise for 30 minutes a day, and then repeating it daily for 30, 60 or even 90 days. The exercise could be high-intensity workouts, yoga, a daily bike ride, running, daily squat reps, or even push-ups.
Streaking can be very fulfilling and can create a way to jump start a fitness regime. However, health benefits do not show up overnight. Once your challenge is met, it is important to keep up the exercise regimen, whether it is with a new fitness streak, or a variety of exercises to meet your goals.
The Pros and Cons of being a “successful streaker.”
- Creating a short-term goal can help you stay motivated.
- Streaking is a great way to get your body moving in order to meet a goal, or kick start your workout regimen.
- Create Daily Habits
- In order to achieve a streak, it is vital to do the target exercise every day, so it is an exceptional way to create a new habit, and we know it takes 15 days to do so.
- The actual goal you create for yourself can hold you accountable. Additionally, you can start a fitness streak with friends and hold each other accountable.
- Doing the same exercise daily can cause injury due to overworking the same muscle group. On top of that, you may not be working other muscle groups, so some muscles become stronger while their counterparts do not. This can create imbalance in the body and lead to injury.
- Mental Fatigue
- Performing the same exercise day after day can cause you to become mentally fatigued and bored with the exercise.
- Hit a Plateau
- You may hit a plateau due to staying at the same level of performance. In order to keep improving muscle tone, you need to vary the exercise and/or the intensity of the exercise.
- You may be likely to quit after the streak is met. Once the goal is met, it is common to take some time off, or “take it easy” for a while, instead of jumping into another workout challenge.
How to be a Successful Streaker
Any progress is good. Instead of getting down on yourself for missing a day or two, look at how many days you did meet your goal. Being a successful streaker is about creating new, healthy habits.
Choose an Activity you Enjoy
You will be more likely to succeed at the streak challenge if you choose an exercise that is enjoyable to do. You should also choose something that is friendly to your body. For example, if you have a shoulder injury, a push-up challenge is likely going to cause you shoulder pain. If you have a knee injury, opt for biking instead of running.
Choose a Challenge that Meets you Where You’re At
An ideal streak goal would be to challenge yourself, but not be too over the top. No one wants an injury due to over use of one muscle group, or too strenuous of exercise. But neither do you want the challenge to be too easy for you, where in that case you won’t see results. If you are a beginner, you may want to do every other day instead of every day.
Make the exercise streak into a game. Get a group of friends, family members, or colleagues together and see who’s up for the challenge. Everyone can chip in a certain amount of money, or come up with a prize for the winner. Make it fun to stay motivated.
Track your Progress
If you monitor your progress, you will be more likely to achieve your goals. Sharing your goals with team members or a coach will also help you stay accountable. With all the tracking devices available, it’s easy to share your progress with others. Download a Goal Tracking PDF
Don’t stop with just one goal. There are other ways to create healthy habits for your physical, mental, and emotional health. A goal could be to get a certain amount of sleep per night, to drink a minimum number of ounces of water per day, to eat healthier, to stretch more, or even to meditate daily.
Plan for a Support System
Whether it is a health coach, a group of peers, or your best friend, it’s important to have a support system to help you meet your goals. If you are having an off day, reach out to one of your supporters for encouragement and some good vibes. You’ve got this!
Transitioning When Your Streak is Over
Streaks can be great to get you a jump start on your exercise routine. But, keep in mind the overall goal is to incorporate a routine of exercise into your life. How will you plan to transition from a streak/a string of streaks to a lifetime habit of exercising?
Have a Plan for What is up Next
Do you have another streak in mind? Do you plan to incorporate the exercises you learned into a new routine? You don’t want to lose progress with the routine you’ve built, and the cardio and muscular benefits you’ve gained.
Think about how you can incorporate the same routine into a lifetime of healthy behaviors. Make your short-term streak into a lifetime streak!
- Brisk walk
- Push ups
- Mountain climbers
- Bird dogs
- Flossing your teeth
- Eating greens
- Drinking water
- Wearing sunscreen
- Practicing something
- Going to sleep at a certain time
- Doing a bedtime routine
- Plan your tomorrow