Why The 30 Day Squat Challenge Does More Harm Than Good

Why the 30 day squat challenge does more harm than good.  Everyone is talking about health and fitness this time of year.  So much pressure to burn off those extra pounds you gained over the Christmas period.

I see it in my own household too, the teenage children are feeling the pressure most of all.  My 16 year old daughter came to me today and showed me a gruelling 30 day chart with countless repetitive leg and butt exercises on it.  She explained to me that after so many days of the exercises you should rest for one day.  However my 16 year old also informed me she wouldn’t take the rest day because she wants better results! She told me that if she skips a day she will lose momentum and fail.  I know she wont complete the task, she will no doubt be the target of ridicule on social media and her confidence will take a battering.  The prospect of mopping up her tears does not appeal to me, I will continue to try reassure her she does not need to to this to herself and she is beautiful as she is.

 

I had the talk with my daughter about failure.  You do not fail because you cannot complete an unrealistic gruelling exercise regime. 

I am not saying that 30 days of squats is not possible to do, but for the majority of normal folk it is not really attainable.  If you are not used to this level of exercise you will find it very difficult.  That said, I guess if you try and you complete some of the squats and some of the days you have done very well indeed.

But think of this another way.  If you had an activity that you have never done before in your life and you tried it for the very first time, do you think you will get it right from the outset?  Do you think you should beat yourself up over it? Maybe you shouldn’t feel too disappointed and you could always try again if you desired.

TRAINING IS ESSENTIAL

When you learn how to drive, you have to practice.  When you are going to speak Spanish for the very first time, you have to learn it too.  If you want to bake a cake or cook something new invariably the first efforts you have wont be the best even if you do follow the recipe.

So back to the 30 day squat challenge. Exercise that we undertake should be approached gently.  Your leg muscles and your bones are not used to bouncing and down numerous times suddenly after all these years of never performing this action. Injuries are common when we do things we aren’t equipped to do, you really need to think carefully before undertaking such a rigorous course of exercise.  If you are able to do this amount of squats without any issues or effort then you probably don’t need this challenge anyway, but for the rest of us; proceed with caution.

Don’t feel bad if you do not complete this challenge, do NOT feel bad if you barely get past day one or day two.  There is nothing written in the rule-book of life that says you must inflict this cruel and punishing exercise regime upon yourself.

Be kind to yourself. 

Find an exercise that you enjoy, take up walking or cycling.  If you want to join a gym then do so and use the expertise of the fitness instructors to get you started.  Do some dancing to some music you enjoy, do it when no one is looking.  Bounce around the kitchen whilst waiting for the kettle to boil, stretch your arms and legs when you are sitting on the loo; just move at every opportunity you can.

Remember fitness and health is for life and not just because everyone joins in with the once a year idea that you can fix everything that is wrong with a bunch of squats.  Whole body exercise is more beneficial than just targeting your legs and butt anyway. 

Meanwhile, back in our house the squat challenge continues onto day two. 

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