Are you interested in taking part in a virtual challenge but want to know a little bit more about it and how it will actually benefit you before you take the leap?
No worries! We’ve got you covered.
Keep reading this blog post to find out everything you need to know about how a virtual challenge works to help you meet S.M.A.R.T fitness goals this year.
Jump to:What does S.M.A.R.T stand for?How you can set your own timeframe? Pick your own form of exercise!How you can easily log your progress? How your progress is recorded and rewarded? What does it mean to be a winner at the end of the challenge? To Finish up
What does S.M.A.R.T stand for?
Ok, first up, what exactly are S.M.A.R.T goals?
S.M.A.R.T stands for:
When you are setting a goal concerning health and fitness, it needs to be something that actually gets the job done.
S.M.A.R.T goals help you figure out exactly what you want to achieve: What do you want? Why do you want it? How are you going to do it?
They then help you set a concrete timeline in which to make progress and a definitive deadline by which you will have reached your goals.
They will help you accurately measure your progress and make sure that your goals and activity are relevant to the outcome you want. Anything that you are doing needs to be something that will actually help you achieve your goals and that serves a purpose in the wider context.
Why does this matter?
Why am I teaching you about this acronym and not talking about virtual challenges and how they work?
Because using S.M.A.R.T goals is exactly the way that virtual challenges work.
Ad hoc approaches to fitness can lead to inconsistency and end up leaving you confused and unmotivated. The Conqueror’s virtual fitness challenges set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound goals that help you take control of your own fitness journey while being motivated and rewarded in a variety of ways.
The challenges set out to help you take part in consistent exercise and stay motivated while doing it. They measure your progress and incentivise it with rewards and visual inspiration.. They promote relevant progress and help you keep track of it easily. They help you set a timeframe for your success and then provide a framework that will ensure you stick to it.
They help you win. No wonder they are also called virtual challenges with medals.
It is the S.M.A.R.T framework that makes virtual challenges so effective, and why they have an average completion rate 4-5 times higher than any other form of exercise programme, class, or regime.
I want part of that! I hear you say.
I want to know how it really works! I hear you say.
Ok, ok. Let’s talk more in-depth about how virtual challenges are the answer to your fitness needs and how they solve a lot of the problems you’ve been having in that area for years.
How you can set your own timeframe?
This aspect covers two main points in our acronym – measurable and time-bound.
Setting a goal is all well and good, but we need to know exactly when we want to have completed this goal and how we are going to quantify our progress while we are on our way to meeting it.
We need a deadline, and we need a way of tracking our progress.
If we just say something like “I’d love to take part in a race” or “Doing a fitness challenge would really help me get in shape, I’m going to do that”, how will this help us actually achieve our goals?
We could have these thoughts and intentions in our heads for months, even years, before we take any steps to do anything about them – if we ever take these steps at all.
Even if we do get around to starting a fitness journey with a goal in mind, if we don’t have a concrete way of measuring our progress while we do so, we can very easily end up frustrated and uninspired. It would feel more like a hamster going round on a wheel rather than an athlete approaching a well-deserved finish line.
On top of this, we all have very different lives and very different schedules, so even if someone did swoop in and save the day by giving us a deadline, this wouldn’t work out for everyone involved.
Virtual challenges have the solution to all of these problems, and it is pretty simple.
The solution is: giving you the power to set your own deadline for your virtual fitness challenge.
Whenever you pick a virtual challenge you want to participate in, you will be able to choose when you would like to complete it by – and this can be in either weeks or months. You can choose anything from one week to 18 months.
This means that whatever kind of person you are and whatever kind of schedule you have, you can participate in a challenge that works for you and that you will be able to complete.
But it also means that you are accountable to a finishing date, and this leads to a decreased chance of you dropping out or giving up.
A finish line in sight is a finish line you will remember, stick to, and eventually run through with pride.
Pick your own form of exercise!
This point touches on the letter “a” of the S.M.A.R.T acronym – achievable.
Not everybody is the same kind of athlete or has the same preferences or abilities when it comes to exercising, and with a virtual challenge, that is absolutely okay.
Where you might have found other forms of exercise classes, programs or regimes inaccessible to you due to their ability level, you will not find this issue with a virtual challenge.
You can pick whatever kind of exercise you want and use it to count towards your progress in your challenge.
Not everyone is into running and most of us want to vary our exercise and not be bound to just one activity – especially if we are doing a challenge that spans a longer time-frame. You can opt for all kinds of virtual challenges with medals. If you are into walking, feel free to opt for walking challenges with medals and so on.
The list of indoor and outdoor activities that you can use to complete your challenge is long.
Here are just some of the forms of exercise you can do to reach your own goals. They are split into two categories: distance-based activities and non-distance-based activities.
- Treadmill running
- Stationary bike cycling
- Horseback riding
- High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
Yes, even housework counts.
When it comes to non-distance based activities, all you have to do is use the pre-set Conqueror conversion chart to convert your time spent on these activities into miles or km. Then you can input your distances into your app and track your progress, just the same as with any of the distance-based activities.
Virtual challenges don’t discriminate on ability, preference or equipment available. Everyone can compete in their own way, and everyone can win in their own way.
At the end of the day, meeting our fitness goals, getting in shape, losing weight and being the healthiest versions of ourselves isn’t about impressing others with the kind of exercise we do or how expensive our equipment is. Every moment counts because every movement of our body does count.
Virtual challenges focus on the right priorities when it comes to health and fitness, and this is evident in their accessibility.
Every type of exercise has its particular benefits: swimming boosts your heart rate and builds endurance with minimum stress impact on the body, rowing is great for building stamina, yoga has mental as well as physical benefits, and dancing increases aerobic fitness. But everyone agrees that walking is the most accessible exercise for reducing stress, improving sleep and just giving you a boost to be more productive.
And that’s one of the reasons why housework’s on the list. Think of the steps you take while keeping your living space clean. I don’t know about you, but I’d be thrilled for housework to count towards my fitness goals and challenge progress. I’m working up enough of a sweat anyway!
How you can easily log your progress?
Measurable and achievable progress. That’s what we’re after.
With virtual challenges, your progress is easier to log than ever.
Everything goes through the distance log in your Conqueror app, and there are multiple different ways to input your distance.
As we’ve said in the previous section, you can convert your non-distance based activities through the handy conversion chart available on the Conqueror site. Figure out the distance equivalent to the duration of your chosen exercise and log it in your app.
For distance-based activities, you can connect your favourite smart tracker with the Conqueror app. You can use a Fitbit, an Apple Watch, Strava, Google Health, MapMyRun, Map My Ride, MapMyWalk, or Runkeeper.
This makes it easier than ever to measure your progress and keep tabs on yourself and your activity.
How your progress is recorded and rewarded?
Again, measurable and achievable. That’s the key to success.
Whenever you pick a virtual challenge to complete, you will be transported to a location or route of your choosing. Your logged distances will advance you along this route until you eventually complete it and win the challenge.
On the way to your destination, you will see your progress on the street view of your chosen route. This will help the challenge come to life and give you a visual sense of your progress.
In addition to this, there is also a set of short-term and long-term incentives to keep you progressing and achieving throughout your challenge.
In terms of the short-term incentives, you will receive a number of virtual postcards, depending on the route you pick for your challenge, which will align with locations on your challenge route. These will be quirky little nuggets of information and motivation sent directly to your inbox once you hit certain milestones. For longer routes, there will be more postcards and so more motivation to keep you engaged.
There is also a sustainability reward embedded into the challenges. For every 20% of the challenge you complete, Conqueror Challenges will plant one tree. By the end of each challenge you complete, you will have planted five trees. Since August 2020, there have been more than 4,000,000 trees planted due to this reward system. It adds up.
Having such short-term and structured rewards embedded through your challenge helps your goals stay S.M.A.R.T. They are specific, measurable and achievable through these periodic incentives and trackers.
This also helps the process stay relevant, as all the incentives and rewards are designed to measure and encourage distance. There’s no point in getting rewards randomly; they need to be directly linked to what benefits you in your overall goals and objectives. With a virtual challenge based around your fitness, weight and health goals, your rewards need to be based around you putting in the work with your exercise and the corresponding distance covered. Getting rewarded for doing this helps to keep pushing you forward and supports you in meeting your goals.
Long-term incentives include a vibrant and connected community waiting for you in the private virtual challenge Facebook community, and your very own medal shipped out to you whenever you reach your final goal.
Let’s talk more about that medal and its significance.
What does it mean to be a winner at the end of the challenge?
The Conqueror medals that come as final prizes for completing a virtual challenge are really nothing short of amazing. Every virtual challenge has its own unique and beautiful medal which reflects the culture and design of the location in which the challenge is set.
They really are one-of-a-kind pieces of art and tokens of achievement that you can proudly display and show off in your home for many years to come.
If you haven’t seen them, have a browse through the challenges and look at some of the gorgeous examples of medals on their individual pages – I’m sure you will be blown away by some of them.
Is getting the medal at the end just about the aesthetic beauty of the medal?
Of course not.
The medal signifies something much larger than just a pretty shiny object. Conqueror challenge medals are a direct and quantifiable measure of your personal success – a visual reminder of how far you have come and what you have worked to achieve.
There is nothing more disappointing than working hard on something over a period of time and then feeling as if you have nothing to show for it at the end. Working without measurable goals is demotivating and uninspiring. Having something tangible at the finish line waiting for you helps to keep you motivated even when the challenge is over.
Once you get one of those gorgeous medals, you will be surprised at how quickly you will want to sign up for yet another challenge.
It’s all about reward, incentive and measurable success.
To Finish up
Exercising as an adult isn’t always the easiest thing in the world.
We might have had a certain set of fitness and health goals in our minds for a while now but are struggling to make any progress or achievement with these goals.
Virtual challenges are designed with a S.M.A.R.T framework in mind. This means they help you to achieve your goals in a carefully structured and implemented way. Everything is designed for success, and this is evident in the successful results of those who have taken part.
Say goodbye to giving up halfway, feeling down and never making it to the finish line.
Instead, say a big hello to progress, achievement and success.
Virtual challenges work in a smart (and in a S.M.A.R.T) way and if this blog hasn’t convinced you yet, you will just have to go and try one for yourself.
See you at the finish line.