When the impact of COVID19 hit globally, almost all countries went into a lockdown; people were happy to work from home, spend more time with family and some even got to nap whenever they needed. Some of the perks of COVID19, isn’t it!
Well, as the excitement of the “self-imposed” holiday waned, people got bored and it became a trend to initiate fitness challenges on social media and the internet. One of the challenges was a 25-day pushup challenge to keep yourself fit and each day nominate one of your friend(s) for the same. The idea was to create awareness about mental health and also initiate some physical movement to kill boredom in the lockdown period. Eventually, the 25-day challenge ends up nominating 25 new people that in turn passes down to the people they nominate and so on.
On paper, this seems like a very ideal plan or one that cries straight out of a Multi Level Marketing handbook with no money in return. However, I gave this challenge a try; I wasn’t nominated by anyone. I just got up one day and decided to do it. And, here’s what happened-
Day one was horrible and I wanted to quit right then and there. Nearly made it to the fifth and my core muscles started shivering and I couldn’t go on. But I did the complete 25 pushups with sufficient breaks. But on day 25, I was doing an easy 20 and the last 5 reps were a bit of struggle. However, I sailed through.
Was it worth my time doing a measly 25 pushups a day challenge?
To be honest, the answer is evident only after you complete the 25-day challenge. The complete assessment of how much you progressed comes at the end of the cycle and can motivate you to continue further. It does make you feel a bit stronger and if someone says that he/she feels like ‘Superman’, well, I think they are high on what they did.
And I think that is the EXACT point of this challenge. To create mental stability and a perspective of what you could achieve with small steps (pushups in this case) and how these can inspire you to try to achieve bigger fitness goals and unexplored avenues to remain healthy.
Here is a short summary of the benefits such a challenge provides you. You can retain much of the benefits if you are fairly consistent (even with one or two cheat days in a week). But, once the 25-marker becomes easy, you will soon lose the phase of a ‘mental fatigue’ and then it will seem rudimentary to do a 25-pushup challenge every day.
That being said, the crux lies in tricking the mind into doing an exercise that is challenging but the 25-marker spot is still an achievable number. The results are surprisingly accurate and there is solid research to back this up. Here it is
Physically, pushups are a full body workout. It strengthens the muscles, makes you agile by improving the response time of your body by each rep, improves muscle mass, gives you shape and also strengthens the core. You use your arms, forearms, shoulder muscles, back, your core muscles, pectoral muscles in this exercise. This is one of the classic isometric exercises you could find out there.
Mentally, the benefits are much more. Though they start on day one are subtle and highly unnoticeable to general observation.
The first benefit is that your overall mood improves; you will never see a fit person have a drowsy conversation.
Next, the sleep gets better.
Symptoms of anxiety and depression begins to alleviate because of the constant reinforcement and gradual progress that you make every day. And the brain releases “happy” chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins are the immune system chemicals that counteracts the causes of depression and anxiety, increases body temperature and gives you a “warm-fussy” feeling along with calmness.
Is it as good as it sounds?
Yes. With lockdown becoming an evolutionary necessity, the four walls of our home may seem to imprison us. Video games, social media and other virtual engagements may give you ‘dopamine-hits’ but it still doesn’t give you any health benefits.
A 25-day push up challenge for mental health awareness and personal benefit is one we could use now. And it is as simple as it sounds. After all, improved immunity is the need of the hour.
So why not start today! improve your immunity and mental health, and become a better version of yourself by the end of this lockdown period. This challenge surely beats the fad diets and fitness-hype and does serious good.
As always, it is our humble appeal from the Green Earth Family to remain indoors as much as possible and follow social distancing while outdoors. Until next time, stay healthy and safe. Ciao.