I don’t have to tell you this – exercise is hard.
It’s challenging to be a full-grown adult with full-grown adult responsibilities and to consistently make time for exercise during the week.
Gym memberships are expensive, and you can feel pretty vulnerable there, especially if you’ve never really been a gym member before.
Exercising by yourself can be tricky. It can be hard to get motivated and stay motivated.
Before work? Too tired. After work? Too tired. Is it raining? No thanks.
But what if there was a way out of it? A way to stay motivated and have fun while exercising?
I can think of something: a virtual challenge.
Jump to:What Exactly Is a Virtual Challenge and How Does it Work?The Benefits of a Virtual ChallengeAn Attractive Reward System: Consistent Incentives The Whole Way ThroughThe Social Aspect: Mutual Accountability For EveryoneNon-Exclusivity of Exercise: Accessibility For All Fitness LevelsCreative and Learning Aspect: Unlimited Enjoyment For Every Kind of PersonCommunity of Support: Motivation, Consistency and Accountability All Rolled into OneConclusion
What Exactly Is a Virtual Challenge and How Does it Work?
OK, the best place to start is to figure out exactly what this virtual challenge business is, right?
Let’s jump straight into that.
A virtual challenge is an interactive fitness challenge centered around specific goals.
A virtual fitness challenge is inspired by historical and significant events or places, such as the Athens Marathon, the Inca Trail, or the Ring of Kerry.
You can participate in virtual challenges by yourself or as part of groups, and you can pick whatever distance-based exercise suits you best (i.e., running, cycling, swimming, walking).
Based on the specific challenge you pick, you will log your progress into an app, aiming for particular goals.
The app will map your progress, and you will advance along with a real street view of the location you have picked.
You can track this manually or with a fitness tracker, such as a Fitbit or smartwatch.
As you progress, you will receive consistent rewards, and at the end, you will get a beautiful shiny medal and a nifty certificate to celebrate your victory.
Virtual challenges are fun, interactive, and motivating. They are really unique forms of exercise and team bonding.
Sounds great, I hear you say. So, let’s not waste time and talk more about the benefits of signing up for a virtual challenge in more detail.
The Benefits of a Virtual Challenge
A virtual fitness challenge is the perfect solution to all of your exercise woes.
If you’ve heard of it but are still curious as to why you should spend your hard-earned money on one, this is going to be the section for you.
The main problems of everyday exercise are: motivation levels, consistency, accountability, accessibility and enjoyment, wouldn’t you agree?
The solutions a virtual challenge brings are motivation, consistency, accountability, accessibility and enjoyment along with visible results to your well-being.
Isn’t it funny how things work out?
Let’s make a list of these amazing benefits in more detail. Ready?
An Attractive Reward System: Consistent Incentives The Whole Way Through
Our brains love rewards and incentives. They keep us going even when our bodies are starting to tire and want to slow down.
With normal exercise, say going for a run in the park, it can be hard to get ourselves motivated to go for the run in the first place, and then it can be hard to keep ourselves going for the run itself.
It’s super easy to slow down and stop at the first signs of discomfort.
With a virtual challenge, there is motivation and incentive for each part of your journey.
When you advance along with your virtual map in the location of your choosing, you will receive electronic postcards upon reaching certain milestones. These postcards will include interesting information about landmarks and locations on the trail you are doing.
For example, you can get postcards from original Greek marathon markers if you complete the Athens trail.
You can see and track your progress through every part of the virtual challenge, and so you can easily see how well you are doing.
It’s far less tempting to turn around or stop when you know you are so close to the next milestone.
Your virtual map will be with you all the way, to show you street views and your progress in the real location, so your eyes and senses will never get bored.
If you’ve run in your local park 20 times before, this is a great way to wake yourself back up again.
Whenever you complete your challenge, you will receive a gorgeous and unique medal in the post.
The medal will relate to the specific challenge you took, and I guarantee it will be something you will want to show off to your friends.
These virtual challenges with medals will make you proud of yourself for a long time afterwards with this little physical reminder of your success.
In addition to all of this, there is an ecological motivation to completing your challenge.
For every 20% of the challenge you complete, you help donate money to plant a tree. In this way, for every challenge you complete, you plant five trees.
Improving yourself and the world at the same time? Sounds like a good deal to me.
With all of these incentives and motivating factors, you are far less likely to give up than in a normal exercise environment.
In fact, virtual challenges have a completion rate that is 4-5 times higher than any exercise class.
If you’re sick of quitting on yourself, virtual challenges offer you a way out of that endless loop.
The Social Aspect: Mutual Accountability For Everyone
In our number 2 spot, the advantage of doing a virtual challenge is the social aspect. Like we talked about before, exercising in a group can be hard if everyone is at different levels, and sometimes it works against you more than it does for you.
But with a virtual fitness challenge, you can have the social aspect of exercise you’re looking for, all while everyone goes at their own pace. Taking part in the challenge with other people keeps you accountable for reaching your targets and goals.
You are tracking your progress and everyone else can see it, so you have nowhere to hide away. The social tracking aspect keeps you consistent and motivated.
You can choose the activity you will do to reach your goals, and everyone can have a different one. If you’re not much of a runner, that’s OK; you can walk while the others in your team run, swim or cycle.
You can be part of all the fun and not push yourself too far beyond your limits. Working in a team also helps share the load, so if you want to partake in one of the longer challenges but aren’t sure whether your capabilities are at that level yet, you can bring in your friends, colleagues or family to share the win.
It’s easier to stay accountable and motivated when you share the load with people who support you. Working as a team can make big distances seem smaller, and you are much less likely to give up whenever you have a team at your side, rooting you on.
Non-Exclusivity of Exercise: Accessibility For All Fitness Levels
Your virtual challenge can be part of a much wider personal training regime on the opposite end of the scale.
If you are training for a marathon, triathlon or any kind of race, doing a virtual challenge is a fantastic way to train.
By doing so, you increase your endurance and stamina, helping yourself get into a consistent training routine.
You can also use a virtual challenge alongside any other training regime or programme you are already in without getting overwhelmed. Just set your own pace and your own schedule, so you don’t have to worry about over-exercising to meet your goals.
All exercises and activities are valid when it comes to doing a virtual challenge. It can be demotivating to have to do a certain activity you hate to reach a goal, but it can be very motivating to be able to pick your favourite activity and do that instead.
You can walk, hike, cycle, run, and do indoor or outdoor training. Basically, do any exercise you want to meet your virtual challenge goals. If running isn’t your thing, you are absolutely not required to do it, ever.
All you have to do is have fun doing your favourite exercises and get fitter while you’re at it.
Creative and Learning Aspect: Unlimited Enjoyment For Every Kind of Person
Doing a virtual challenge brings in many extra elements that regular exercise activities simply do not have.
If you are more of a creative and visual person, doing a virtual challenge could be ideal for working out.
If you find grey gyms and empty parks demotivating, you can liven up any walk or run with the beauty of a city of your choosing.
A virtual challenge is also a learning experience, as you learn facts about each location you are virtually in. This keeps your brain stimulated and active while exercising, which increases your chance of sticking at it. If you love history but don’t love working out, a virtual challenge is a great way for you to get into exercising while still enjoying what you enjoy.
There is a little something for everyone, and there is motivation to be found no matter what kind of person you are.
Not everyone is motivated by pure exercise alone, and that’s okay. No matter what you are motivated by, a virtual challenge has it ready for you.
Virtual challenges with medals make exercise accessible and enjoyable for a lot of different people.
Community of Support: Motivation, Consistency and Accountability All Rolled into One
Even if you have decided to take part in a challenge by yourself, you still will not be alone in your journey. After you sign up for a virtual challenge, you will receive a link to join a private Facebook group of fellow challengers. There you can enjoy the support and motivation of others with similar goals to yourself.
Feeling a bit down and losing your mojo? Your group will have your back. Seeing others pull you up and seeing others struggle with the same hurdles will remind you that you are human. This is perfect for the days where it feels like all your motivation is gone and you are just stuck in the mud.
Having support from others will keep you consistent throughout the challenge, rather than fluctuating up and down too much. Posting and taking part in the online community will also keep you accountable for your progress throughout your challenge.
Get re-motivated by your new friends and your new active community. You’re all in it together.
Exercise as an adult is hard. It’s difficult to make time, it’s laborious to stay motivated, and it’s challenging to keep yourself accountable.
And it’s easy to slack off and quit. Many of us struggle in typical exercise environments, like gyms, exercise classes, and working out ourselves. We find exercising boring, unsatisfying and difficult.
A great way out of all these problems is to try out a virtual fitness challenge.
Virtual challenges are a way of engaging in exercise that is fun, interesting, and motivating.
You can track your progress, gain rewards, and engage with others while getting the exercise you need.
You can do so in any way you want, and it works for your body. Everyone who finishes is a winner and you can take it all at your own pace. Walking, swimming, cycling, or running are all equally valid distance-based activities for the challenges.
Not only do you engage with healthy exercise, but you also engage with history and geography. Learning about and seeing other countries and famous trails along the way will help both your mind and your body stay in tip-top shape.
There is a virtual challenge online community waiting for you. Ready to motivate you and support you.
You can use your real-life friends and family for support, too, with co-op challenge options available.
When you choose to participate in a virtual challenge, you are guaranteed a great time that ultimately helps you get into shape.
It’s time to get re-motivated.