30 Day App Challenges: do they really work?
Many of us want to lose a little bit of weight and tone up a little bit, but that can be really difficult when real life starts to get in the way. Even before you have left your bed there are a million and one things that you need to do – whether you are a parent who is caring for children, you have a job that requires a huge amount of effort, or you are trying to do both! Add into that the daily cleaning concerns, trying to keep bills under control, managing your finances, and ensuring that your car, your boiler, and all of your insurances are up to date . . . it really is a wonder that we get anything done at all!
That is why more and more people are starting to think about using technology to help them keep in shape and motivate themselves. One of the most popular bits of technology that is doing the rounds at the moment is what is generally called a 30 Day App Challenge. These apps are usually free – although they do sometimes involve advertising – and have specific tasks that you need to do every day for thirty days. The idea is that with an app, you cannot escape it as it is always in your phone, and you can gain a real sense of achievement by ticking those days off. Scientists also believe that it takes our minds and bodies around twenty one days of doing something over and over again for it to become routine, which means that these sorts of apps cover that as well.
I wanted to see for myself just how useful – if at all! – these sorts of apps could be to someone who has to care for a home and work. The app I chose was a 30 Day Ab challenge, because let’s be honest, we have all wished that we were a little bit more toned around our stomachs! Here are some of my thoughts and notes through the thirty days:
The app downloads ridiculously quickly, and then it’s off to work! The first day is incredibly mild: I though that I would be started off on something really difficult, but actually the app has only asked me to do fifteen sit ups, five crunches, five leg raises, and a twenty five second plank. Of course, once I had done all of those I didn’t think it was so mild! I don’t usually do any exercise really, and it was amazing just how sore my abs felt after this really short workout. Hopefully in the next coming days, it will get a lot easier!
Without wanting to exaggerate . . . this hurts! Today my app told me that I needed to do twenty five sit ups, ten crunches, ten leg raises, and a fifteen seconds plank. I like that each exercise does not just increase over time; while most of them have, the plank timing has decreased, perhaps to allow for that. I am sure over time, all four will build up again. I found it difficult to motivate myself to open up the app today, but ticking off the day really felt good.
I completely forgot to do my app exercises today! One of the major problems with the app that I have is that there is no reminder setting on the app, so if I do not bother to open up the app, there is no way for it to force me to do the exercises! Totally my mistake though, and I will just have to pick up tomorrow where I left off. At least my stomach doesn’t hurt any more.
One of the great things about this app is that there are actually scheduled rest days. Scientists have pointed out that in order for our bodies to actually gain the muscle, our bodies need time to recuperate, and to build up the muscles. It also means that I can tick off an entire day without doing anything!
Day Twenty One
It feels really great to be past the half way point, and I am really noticing a difference in the way that my abs look and feel. However, the number of each exercise that I do has really increased each day: I am now up to ninety sit ups, one hundred and thirty crunches, fifty two leg raises, and an eighty second plank. The planking is the worst – I always leave it until last in the hope that it will hurt less, but I guess I should start with it.
Day Twenty Five
I am now doing more exercise than I ever thought was necessary! It is taking me a good twenty minutes or more to get through all of these because I need rest breaks, but afterwards I feel really good. Although my abs hurt when I am doing the exercises themselves, they do not hurt once I finish, and I am really starting to feel so much better about my abs. This is actually working!
This is the last day! And it is certainly not easy: but I made it. I have noticed a real tangible difference, not only in my abs but in my body confidence and in my energy levels throughout the day. I would definitely recommend the 30 Day Ab Challenge app . . . and best of all, it’s free!