How To Live A Healthy Lifestyle After The Sweat Challenge
The Sweat Challenge is designed to help you create healthy habits, achieve your goals and build a solid fitness foundation with the support of women around the world — but what do you do once it’s over?
As the end of the Sweat Challenge approaches, you might be feeling excited, but a little apprehensive about the next stage of your health and fitness journey.
Whether you reached the goals you set for the challenge or faced a few setbacks along the way, you’re probably wondering “now what”? The truth is, being healthy is all about making positive lifestyle changes — and coming to the end of the six-week Sweat Challenge is only the beginning!
While not having the structure of a challenge to keep you on track might be a scary thought (especially if you’re someone who loses motivation easily), it doesn’t mean your journey should end when the challenge does.
Here are our go-to healthy lifestyle tips to help you can maintain and strengthen your healthy habits long after the Sweat Challenge ends.
What to do after the Sweat Challenge
The end of the Sweat Challenge isn’t an excuse to stop what you’ve been doing — it’s an opportunity to continue building on your progress! If you’re wondering what to do next, we’ve pulled together a list of our best tips to help you stay on track.
Create new goals (or reset existing ones)
If you achieved the goals you set at the beginning of the Sweat Challenge, that’s amazing — now it’s time to set new ones! Setting meaningful goals can help keep you accountable and inspire you to keep going.
We recently announced that the four new Sweat Challenge programs will be staying in the app permanently (woo!) from 28 August, along with six extra weeks of workouts per program, giving you the perfect stepping stone to your next goal.
If you haven’t achieved your original goals, don’t feel discouraged. Life delivers all sorts of unexpected curveballs to each of us, and putting your fitness first just isn’t always possible.
Sweat Community member Ale - who we’ve been following throughout the challenge - knows what it’s like to experience a setback after coming down with pneumonia a week before the challenge began and needed to reset her goals.
"Now that I am recovering from pneumonia, my goals are totally different," she says. Her original goals for Brit’s Strength & Barre challenge were to use heavier weights and increase the number of reps. After falling ill and starting the challenge in week three, she reset her goals to focus on rest, recovery and listening to her body.
This is a great time to revisit your goals and ask yourself what didn’t go to plan, what’s holding you back, or what is achievable for you moving forward. If you want to hit redo and start your Sweat Challenge program from the start or wherever you left off, you can!
Perhaps your goals weren't realistic within the 6-week timeframe? Or did an unexpected setback get in your way? Maybe the program you selected wasn’t best suited to you?
Once you've identified the causes, you can use the SMART framework to help reset your goals with a more informed approach — and we’re betting you’ll be more motivated than ever to hit them!
Keep doing workouts you love
One of the most common exercise excuses is a lack of motivation — and one way to keep your fitness inspiration high is by moving your body in a way you actually enjoy.
During the Sweat Challenge, you might have fallen in love with your program and be ready to take on the next six-week block of workouts. You might have found yourself looking forward to some workouts, and others not so much, or changing your program altogether.
As you come to the end of the six weeks, ask yourself what it was that you enjoyed about each session. Were there certain pieces of equipment you liked using? Or was it the feeling of getting your heart rate up? Do you prefer to work out at home or in the gym?
If you loved your Sweat Challenge program and want to continue with it, amazing! You can start it again from week 1 or begin week 7 as soon as the challenge ends. For all of you who have been asking for weeks 7-12 of OG Kayla, we know this is music to your ears.
If you enjoyed your program but are now feeling ready for a change, you could choose to progress with a program that follows a similar training style. If you found you were starting to plateau, challenge yourself by adding more resistance to exercises, or give some harder variations a go. Alternatively, it might be time to step outside of your comfort zone and try a different training style altogether.
The great thing about continuing to follow one of the Sweat Programs after the Sweat Challenge is that you will still have structure with daily and weekly goals to help keep you accountable — and doing workouts you enjoy means you’ll be more motivated to meet those goals!
Get into a routine that’s realistic for you
Let’s be honest, the motivation you have during a fitness challenge is often unmatched outside of it, which means you might have pushed yourself more than usual over the last few weeks.
When it comes to creating a consistent routine after the Sweat Challenge, it’s important to be realistic and understand that a healthy lifestyle is a sustainable one, and if you gave the Sweat Challenge everything you had, you might need to adjust your routine a little bit going forward. You might have other priorities at different times, or days when you just don’t feel like working out, and that’s okay. This whole fitness thing? We want you to be in it for life, so find a rhythm and a level of commitment you can stick to long term.
Find support in the Sweat Community
There’s no doubt one of the best parts of the Sweat Challenge is having the support of thousands of other women from around the world! While the Sweat Challenge must come to an end for now, the incredible Sweat Community isn’t going anywhere.
It’s normal to lose motivation when you don’t have accountability (or the sense of FOMO during the challenge), so make it your mission to stay connected with your support network, workout buddies and other women via the Sweat Forum or on Instagram.
Avoid making excuses
None of us, even the trainers, are immune to excuses when it comes to healthy living. The key is knowing what yours usually are and having a plan ready of how to approach them when they creep up.
If you’re someone who has trouble sticking to a workout plan on your own, this could be your opportunity to find a workout buddy to hold each other accountable.
If you lead a busy lifestyle or tend to just wing it, better organisation could be exactly what you need, such as placing your activewear on your chair the night before your morning workout, scheduling your workouts using the Sweat Planner, meal prepping, or previewing your workout in advance.
If you always bail on a gym session, is it because you don’t feel confident going alone? Recruit a gym buddy, or create an epic new workout playlist to help you get in your zone, or consider creating a workout space at home if you’d get more joy out of that!
Don’t stop because of a setback
Fitness is all about the journey, and like anything else in life, how you approach it might change from week to week. Take what you’ve learnt from the Sweat Challenge (perhaps you’ve realised Pilates is your favourite training style or that evening workouts are your jam) and focus on establishing a routine you’ll be able to stick to. Keep reminding yourself what it is you’re working towards and why (this is where your goals come in!), so that whenever you face a setback you know why this is still important to you.
No one gets it right 100% of the time, and trying to follow every healthy habit all day, every day isn't realistic or suitable for most people. Remember, missing a couple of workouts or eating meals that fall outside of your healthy eating plan is not the end of the world. Your fitness routine should add to your life, not limit it, and we need to practice healthy habits regularly for them to become part of our routine.
Where to next?
The Sweat Challenge is an opportunity to create habits you can maintain for life or see what you’re capable of when you set your mind to something — we definitely don’t want this to be the end of your fitness journey.
Take a moment to appreciate how far you’ve come since starting the Sweat Challenge and how proud you feel about your achievements! Remember this feeling, it’s fantastic motivation to help you maintain the healthy lifestyle changes you have made.
Now that you’re well-equipped with the tools you need to start this new chapter of your fitness journey, where will you take it next?
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.