There are differing opinions on how long it takes for a good — or bad — habit to stick. Some say it only takes 21 days. Others say it takes much longer, like 60 days.
But most would agree that doing even the smallest action consistently leads to positive results.
That’s what the Yakima Herald-Republic staff saw last year during the first Holiday Streakin’ Fitness Challenge. The challenge was simple: Spend at least 10 minutes a day for 25 days doing any physical activity. Over the course of last year’s challenge, 130 Yakima Valley residents — including 70 who finished the challenge — completed nearly 2,500 hours of activity.
Many participants told us the challenge gave them a brighter outlook when facing the darkness and cold that comes with winter. Many felt less stress during the busy holiday season. And some of the participants — such as Yakima’s Lorrie Smith, who regularly runs, walks and hikes — have continued a consistent level of activity throughout this year.
With so many benefits, there was no question about bringing back the challenge this year.
We want more people to sign up and get a jumpstart on their fitness goals for 2018. And for those who participated in the challenge last year, we’re introducing some new twists to help you take those positive habits to the next level.
The challenge launches on Dec. 1. Read on to prepare yourself for a successful challenge.
10 minutes each day
The challenge is the same as last year: Spend at least 10 minutes a day for at least 25 out of 31 days in December. You can do just about any physical activity — walking, running, stretching and strength training are just a few of the options. You also can get in all 10 minutes at once or string a few short spurts of activity together, such as one-minute walking breaks during your work day. Everyone who completes the challenge will get a prize bag at the end of the challenge.
This year’s Holiday Streakin’ Challenge is offering a number of “level-up” opportunities. Complete them and you’ll get additional prizes.
• Go streakin’ for all 31 days in December.
• Up your time. You have two options: Double your time and aim for 20 minutes of activity for 25 days. Or take the ultimate challenge and aim for least 40 minutes of activity for 25 days.
We’ve changed the competitive component of the Holiday Streakin’ Challenge this year. The goal of the challenge is to adopt healthy fitness habits. To that end, individuals will earn points for completing a variety of activities, which include completing daily exercise, posting fun photos on social media and participating in events, including those organized by the Holiday Streakin’ Fitness Challenge staff. The top three point earners will be recognized. More details can be found in the contest rules box.
Last year, many participants completed the challenge with friends, family and colleagues. We want to strengthen those bonds by introducing a team competition. Teams can include three or four participants. Got a big group? Sign up two or more teams. The individual scores will be added up and averaged. The three teams with the high average score will earn “Holiday Streakin’ Team Spirit” awards.
Head over to www.yakimaherald.com/fitness. There you will be able to access the challenge website. Instructions on signing up — and forming teams — also can be found there. Keep the site bookmarked as we’ll be updating it all month with tips, tricks and other information to make sure you have a successful Holiday Streakin’ Fitness Challenge. Once you sign up, be sure to join the “Holiday Streakin’ Challenge 2017” Facebook group. There, you’ll get daily support from reporter Mai Hoang and other participants. To join the group, go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/holidaystreakinchallenge.
In addition, Hoang will host a Facebook live session at 11 a.m. Tuesday to answer questions and give more information about the challenge. The session will be on the Yakima Herald-Republic’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/yakimaheraldrepublic.