Get fit for summer with 5X50 challenge
With spring in the air many people will be looking to kickstart a summer of improved fitness and more activity (especially if you have booked a walking or cycling holiday) There is no doubt that during the winter it is harder to motivate yourself to go outdoors for a walk, run or bike ride, but spring brings warmer weather and more daylight hours.
To help you on your way to becoming more active and healthier a 50-day fitness challenge will launch on March 29, 2015. The 5X50 Challenge was created in Scotland but calls on people worldwide to pledge to do some kind of exercise for 5k or 30 minutes for 50 consecutive days.
Now in its fourth year, the annual 5X50 Challenge
can be completed in five different ways.
Challengers can choose one of the five platforms to complete their 50 days, including:
- The movers: Individual/team/school complete 5k distance by walking, jogging, running, cycling, rowing etc for 50 days
- The added extras: Individual/team/school complete minimum 30 minutes of activity/exercise including the above with addition of yoga, weight training, exercise class etc for 50 days
- The pairs: Two people split the challenge to cover 5k for 50 days between them, so each person does 25 days.
- The teams: Five people cover 1km per day for 50 days by walking, jogging, running, cycling, rowing, swimming etc.
- The builders: Individuals build from five minutes of activity to 50 minutes of activity by the end of the 50-day challenge.
Why do the 5X50?
The aim is to complete 50 days of keep-fit activities – and to change your habits from less active to more active. You’ll join thousands of people worldwide in a community of keep-fitters from March 29 to May 17.
You could aim to become fitter, lose weight, walk further, get back on your bike and clock up more miles or simply find a form of exercise that you like, such as yoga, netball, aerobics classes, and pledge to do it every day for 50 days.
So many people have found that it has changed their lives.
David Nicoll found the motivation to get fit and lose many stones of weight after the sudden realisation of how out of shape he was. Aged 40 he was prompted to start walking for fitness.
David, of Auldearn, near Nairn, says: “My son Jordan needed to become fitter for Army training and I got on his case for not trying hard enough. One day he snapped back: ‘It’s easy for you to sit on the couch and criticise me for not doing enough, eh, fatty.’
“My response was to challenge him to a run. I said that when he ran I’d run, too. But my first attempt was woeful. After just 250 metres I could not carry on.”
Searching the internet for inspiration David came across the 5x50 Challenge. When he started his first 5x50, David simply walked the dog for 5k each day. Over the weeks he built up his speed until he was finally able to run the full 5k distance.
He said: “Each day I’d try to go a little faster and then I started to run some of the 5k and walk the rest. After many weeks I was jogging more than I walked and at six weeks in I managed the whole 5k as a jog. I was elated.
“I wasn’t going fast and it wasn’t a pretty sight but I had achieved something I was delighted with.”
Another benefit of David’s 5x50 pledge was a gradual weight loss.
He said: “I hadn’t been trying to lose weight but the pounds came off. That’s when I realised the difference to how I felt about myself and I took to dieting more seriously.”
In total, David lost five-and-half stones in only one year – and has been able to stay in good shape ever since. He has also taken part in many running and cycling events.
David said: “If I can do it, anyone can and it’s so easy to get started. The 5x50 can be any kind of exercise so long as you do it consistently every day for the 50 days.
“I’ve found that I need the goal for motivation but once I get going I don’t want to let myself down by missing a day of exercise.”
Five 5X50 charities in 2015
In 2015, the 5x50 Challenge, which is a Scottish charity, will raise funds for five charity partners. These are Macmillan Cancer Support, SAMH, Guide Dogs, Chest, Heart and Stroke (Scotland) and Children 1st
The inaugural challenge in September 2012 attracted 5,000 participants from 43 countries and raised more than £75,000 for various charities.
Year on year, 5×50 has attracted new challengers and to date more than 15,000 people have taken part and charities have benefited by an excess of £210,000.
Challengers do not need to raise funds for charity but doing so can provide a greater motivator for reaching your goals.
How to sign up to the 5X50
Also see www.facebook.com/5x50challenge
If you have a walking holiday or cycling tour booked for this summer, the 5X450 could be a great way to boost your fitness so that you enjoy your trip all the more.