Wellbeing

5 Ways You Can Use Your Competitive Spirit To Boost Your Health

We’re often taught that being competitive isn’t always the best trait but when it comes to health and fitness, a competitive spirit can be the difference between lounging on the couch for the third day in a row or heading out into the sunshine. So, how can you use that competitive streak for good? Learn how to channel your competitiveness to not only motivate yourself and your mates but to boost your health as well.

#1 Get a little creative

If there is one thing that a competitive spirit brings out in a person, it’s a sudden ability to be far more creative than usual. Up against a colleague for a promotion? Time to do things differently and show that you’re capable of thinking outside the box. In a deep debate with your partner about what you should watch on Netflix? Time to bring out the big guns and list the positive qualities of the show you want to watch.

The same goes for using your competitive streak to get fitter or embrace a more healthy way of life; get creative. Don’t do the same old exercise that you hate, and if you’re trying to add more veggies to your diet, don’t make a boring salad. Try a new exercise class, seek out fun recipes, and don’t fall into the same old routines.

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#2 Team up with your mates

Chances are, you probably have a few pals who are open to a little bit of healthy competition. So, why not channel that energy into a weekly or monthly competition? Take that hunger for winning and give your mates a run for their money. Try setting a step target –it could be 10,000 per day – and see who has the most at the end of the week. Think about adding little incentives to the competition: for example, whoever wins at the end of each month gets a massage, or whoever comes last on the ladder has to buy everyone a coffee.

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#3 Hit those goals

Rather than just trying to run faster than the dude next to you on the treadmill at the gym, use that competitive spirit to set some personal goals for yourself. Being competitive doesn’t mean you always have to win against another person; it could just mean that you’re beating your own goals. For some people, a goal might just be leaving the house to do some exercise, and for others, it might be some serious training for a marathon. Write your aims down as a guideline, and make sure you are realistic about them – don’t try to go straight from zero to hero!

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#4 Push your boundaries

If you’re capable of getting a little too competitive, why not use that trait to hop on the first train heading just outside of your comfort zone? Competitive people are often more open to pushing the boundaries than those who are content to stick with the same routine. Don’t exhaust yourself or tackle fitness regimes that aren’t made for your body, but do try to think outside of the boundaries you usually create for yourself. Never tried a pilates class? Go on, give it a go. Been hesitating when it comes to signing up for that half-marathon later in the year? Put pen to paper and scare yourself a bit. Been thinking about changing your diet but are stuck on the same old recipes? Embrace new cuisines, and get invested in some new styles of cooking.

#5 Get a permanent fitness buddy

Research shows that hooking up with a mate to work out with on a regular basis will not only motivate you to actually leave the house more, it will also spark that competitive streak and ensure that you push yourself just that little bit harder. Make sure it’s someone that enjoys the same types of exercise as you, and who will both hold you to account and go easy on you when you just aren’t feeling it. Find someone who will be equal parts supportive and motivating, and set some goals together to track your progress.

So, don’t shut down that competitive spirit; embrace it with open arms and use it to push forward on your wellness journey.

A photo by Igor Ovsyannykov. unsplash.com/photos/pO7syp21tnA

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