The one thing this pandemic has absolutely ruined for most of us is our fitness routine. Going for walks is a pain with a mask on, gyms are potential COVID-19 hot-spots and following YouTube workouts do absolutely nothing. Personally, I was dwindling down a spiral of laziness and binge eating. It began affecting my work, mentality and even my body image. So I decided to do something about it. I signed up for an online fitness challenge, and it was incredible.

I signed up for the infamous SOHFIT 21 Day Intensive Challenge after much contemplation, and I am so glad I did. It was 3 weeks of grueling workouts, clean eating and much-needed discipline. They added me to a Whatsapp group where they sent us daily workouts and we would share our routines. It was a remarkable experience and here is exactly what I took away from it.

1. I Felt Obligated To Follow It

Maybe it was because I paid for it or because I had to summarise my day over the Whatsapp group, I felt obligated to follow it. Which was a great thing, because it motivated me to stick to the rules and be thorough with it.

2. I Felt Healthier From Day 1 Itself

After treating my body like a BMC Garbage Dump for several months, one day of not eating junk was magical. It was almost like a detox from all the trash in my system. I ate healthy and worked out well on the first day and it felt great. It also set the tone for the rest of the 3 weeks and I loved the feeling.

3. I Was Not Eating Less

I always had this illusion that being on a healthy diet meant eating a bowl of leaves and somewhat starving yourself. But this challenge changed that. I was stuffing myself with food, really. Good, nutritious, non-processed food. I realised how balanced our dal-roti-sabzi-dahi combination is and it made me appreciate my greens and veggies even more (including previously shunned veggies like padwal, tindora and chauli).

4. I Genuinely Enjoyed Working Out

I hate home workouts with a vengeance. I felt demotivated and quite honestly, felt bored while doing them. This challenge changed that. I got new workouts every day and they were fun! It ranged from weighted workouts to HIIT to long outdoor runs, and I loved it! When I enjoy a workout, I give it my all and willingly do it with a kick in my step, and that is exactly what happened over these 3 weeks.

5. My Stamina Got A Boost

I could barely run 4 kilometers before, but by the end of the challenge, I was able to run 7 kilometers easily. Need I say more?

6. I Was Sore 24/7

This is a con for some and a pro for others. Personally, I was not for it. My body was not used to it and despite all the foam rolling and stretching, I was sore. Different parts of my body hurt on different days. For someone who has a bladder the size of a golf ball, peeing in pain was NOT fun. The soreness was bad in the first half, but became better towards the end of the challenge. Physically it hurt, but psychologically I felt like a winner.

8. My Bank Account Cried A Little

This was the only con of the challenge (and for any online challenge). It was expensive. These do not come cheap and one should be willing to spend anywhere between Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 10,000 at least. Many people told me to avoid this and do a free Chloe Ting or Lilly Sabri challenge, but I personally found them pointless. There was no accountability, no nutritional guidelines and frankly, no sense of purpose. Hence, I opted for a paid challenge.

Doing an online fitness challenge helped me kick-start my fitness regime. It made me realise that if I could be good to my body for 3 weeks, I could do it in the long run, and trust me that was a HUGE confidence boost. It helped me, and it may help you too.

Have you ever done an online fitness challenge? Share it with us in the comments below!

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