Fun challenges you can do to help you keep fit

Exercise doesn’t have to be a boring, tiresome routine

I just did a fun game this past week with a bunch of our clients at the gym where I challenged them to follow the old Penny Story.

We all agreed to do one burpee on Monday. Then two on Tuesday, four on Wednesday, then eight, 16, 32 and finally 64 Burpees on Sunday. Yup – full push-up burpees.

There is another one going around – which is 50 burpees a day, for 30 days. Obviously a bigger challenge, with bigger rewards!

Stuff like this can be fun! (And not all of them involve burpees).

Another fun one I am in is to run 10kms each Sunday, and beat your time each week, and do this for six weeks, otherwise a 30 burpee penalty.

Oops – there are those burpees again! (In case you do not know what a burpee is, allow me to explain: from a standing position, you squat down, hands on the floor, feet out and do a push-up. Then you tuck your legs back under into a squat and jump up so your feet leave the ground in a little jump.

It’s a brilliant exercise you can do anywhere. Think you cannot get a workout in away from home? Ha! 50 push-up burpees in 10 to 15 minutes is a full body workout that is everything you need!

What else can you do?

Turn of a friendly card. We play this one in class at the gym and it’s a blast!

You will need a deck of cards, and each day of the week, deal yourself seven cards. The four suits create the game as follows (and we change this all the time, but here are four ‘home’ or travel examples): if the card is a heart: you do body weight squats.

A diamond is stand return lunges. Clubs is crunches and spades are push-ups.

The number on the card is the number of reps you have to do.

Ace is one, Jack is 10, Queen is 11 and Kings are 12. So let’s say you deal yourself the following: A three, and six Queen of Hearts, five of diamonds, Jack of Clubs, Ace and 10 of spades. Then you would do 20 squats, five lunges (left and right lunge together count as one), 10 Crunches and 11 push-ups.

Each day will be different, and by the end, you will have three unused cards.

Play the Sally Up song by Moby (actually called Flowers).

It’s easy to find on Google or YouTube etc. Then pick an exercise like a squat or a plank. For the squat – ‘down’ is when your knees are bent, ‘up’ is standing.

For the plank: ‘down’ is elbows and toes on the floor, ‘up’ is when you are hands and toes on the floor.

The song goes: “Bring Sally up, bring Sally down, lift and squat, gotta tear the ground.

(And it says this about 7 million times. OK, not really, but there are 30 ups and 30 downs). There are a few parts with other lyrics – where you just hang on for dear life. It’s three and a half minutes, and awesome!

Plus it’s a great song. You could have a Sally Up Challenge and alternate Squats and Planks every day for a month. You can also add in shoulder presses, or push-ups, or dips.

It goes on and on. So fun!

If you want to get outside you can do things like walk 20 minutes and try to get farther each day for a week. Or look at a plan of Sylvan Lake and map out all the trails.

Plan to walk every single one of them in a week. As our town grows, our amazing council makes sure those trails get better and better for us!

It doesn’t have to be physical either.

You could challenge yourself or a friend to drink two litres of water a day, with a bonus for getting in one more litre (max three).

A group of our gym folk have taken on a ’30 day sugar free’ challenge and as much as they are finding it tough, the changes are amazing!

For any of these challenges, it is easy to build a facebook group or texting group to help support you through it!

As Hal and Jo-Ann used to say on our Canadian Participaction commercials – keep fit and have fun!

Scott McDermott is a personal trainer and the owner of Best Body Fitness in Sylvan Lake.

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