My 30 Day Fitness Challenge For Mental Wellbeing

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So, quarantine life hit me hard, I found myself comfort eating like no tomorrow, and sitting around feeling VERY sorry for myself. I didn’t want to roll out of lockdown like an absolute seal, so I decided to start a 30 day fitness challenge.

The goal was to do one piece of exercise, every day, for thirty days straight. What counted as a workout? Either 30 minutes cycling / running / following a workout video etc, or 10,000 steps total over the course of the day.

The purpose of the challenge was to stop my weight from rocketing, but also for better mental wellbeing. Exercise makes you FEEL GOOD, it puts you in a better state of mind and literally sets you up for the day.

So, how did I get on? Well, I broke it down day by day, tracking it as I went along. Here’s what I got up to…

30 Day Fitness Challenge:

DAY 1:

So I eased into the challenge gently today, with a nice afternoon family bike ride. The sun was shining, the roads were empty and I think we were all especially appreciative, even just to be out! As it was just a steady cycle, we didn’t focus on time. But, we all felt pretty great once we got back!

30 Day Fitness Challenge
30 Day Fitness Challenge

DAY 2:

Day 2 was actually nice and easy. By focusing on being active, I fully made the most of my time – walking around the garden when doing calls and doing my mobile work standing up. I also did a walk with my Mum as our daily exercise and by the end of the day I found I’d done over 12,500 steps.

30 Day Fitness Challenge

On the evening I then did a 30 minute yoga session… just for fun! Yoga isn’t actually my thing, but I figured now is the best time to try the things you’ve never really tried before! I really enjoyed it.

This video is particularly good for beginners because it runs through different moves and routines fast enough to keep your attention, but slow enough for you to grasp them all. The ending is also brilliant – very relaxing! And the teacher is absolutely lovely. Highly recommend!

DAY 3:

Day 3 was kicked off with a morning cycle. This time I headed out with just my Mum. We did the same route from the weekend but in the opposite direction and an extended version. As you can see, we were still out for 50 minutes, but went half a mile further. Consequently, our average speed was also faster.

30 Day Fitness Challenge

We cycled past fields of lambs (there must have been at least 50 of them… so adorable!) and a couple of ponies. It was beautiful!

DAY 4:

So guys, I think you’re actually going to be super proud of me, because today I went on my first run in what has been YEARS! I’m not a natural runner so it certainly wasn’t the fastest or the longest, but it was a pretty great start!

30 Day Fitness Challenge
30 Day Fitness Challenge

0.02 off 3 miles, and in just over 30 minutes. The thing I’m most excited for? Watching myself improve over the next 30 days… this could get pretty addictive you know!

DAY 5:

So today I woke up with my legs ACHING. Must have been yesterday’s run! Regardless, my Mum and I went on a morning bike ride, and today we decided to go down a road we’d never been down before…

30 Day Fitness Challenge

The countryside was beautiful as always, but this route was a bit of a killer because some of the hills were horrendous!

30 Day Fitness Challenge

Regardless, we got through it, and I feel super proud. Day five and still going strong.

DAY 6:

So today I tried one of Les Mill’s free workout sessions (reminding me of bodypump days – oh how I can’t wait to get back to that again!) I did this 55 minute Body Combat Workout and BOY did it work me hard! There’s actually a whole range of home workouts. You can take a look at them here if you’re interested.

DAY 7:

Today’s exercise predominantly came from a family walk, reaching 10,000 steps.

30 Day Fitness Challenge

The best bit? Stumbling into the cutest of animals along the way… We had this little puppy come and say hello. Plus a couple of horses… one with multi-coloured eyes. Adorable!

30 Day Fitness Challenge
30 Day Fitness Challenge

DAY 8:

Day 8, which means I made it through my first week (woohoo!) I decided to do quite an easy one today, with just a 30 Minute Full Body Toning Workout. I’d also – admittedly – had a few sweet treats over the weekend. BUT I’m not going to feel bad about them, because I want these changes to stick long term and you can’t deprive yourself of everything straight away… right?!

DAY 9:

Okay, I’m going to be completely honest here… I missed a day. I didn’t do any exercise today. I did about 5K steps, but work was so busy, I was just so tired and there’s no excuses but I didn’t fit anything in. However, I PROMISE to catch up for it, doing two workouts in one day, over the next couple of days. Just you wait and see… This will not be the end of the challenge!

DAY 10:

So it was back to the cycling today. Mum and I decided to do our favourite route again. We were feeling fairly tired compared to usual, so kind of taking it steady… or so we thought. Because when we looked at the stats after, we actually hit a few records, including time. So, maybe my fitness is coming on faster than I think! Either way, a satisfying ride on what was another, very beautiful day.

30 day fitness challenge

DAY 11:

I’m back to feeling like me again guys! After some guilty midnight snacking on chocolate last night, I gave myself a good talking to today, and did the TWO workouts I promised after missing it on Monday.

First up I did a cycle, this time on my own, and hit record speed. To be honest, it nearly killed me… I definitely couldn’t go faster than this! But, I felt proud. This was the cycle route I used to do every few weeks when I stayed here, but since starting this 30 day fitness challenge, I definitely find it far easier to do now.

30 day fitness challenge
30 day fitness challenge
Average speed 11.6 and max speed 27.5 – scroll up to compare it to what it usually is!

My second workout then, was a run… around the field. Yes, I did feel a little like a hamster in a wheel. And yes, it was a lot harder running on grass than tarmac (for the majority of the time.) I also felt like I couldn’t BREATH when I finished! But, I felt so damn proud at the same time too.

30 day fitness challenge

DAY 12:

Today I didn’t do any purposeful exercise. I thought it would be wise to take it a little steadier after the double-whamming yesterday. Instead, I got all my steps whilst phoning my friends for catch ups… handy right? Just short of 10K but I’m counting that one!

DAY 13:

Today there was a conscious effort for exercise, with lots of walking throughout the day and an impressive step-count of 17,900.

30 day fitness challenge

DAY 14:

Easter Sunday so yet more walks… in fact, I barely stopped all day! The end result? 21,200 steps, which is 13.7km. It was great to spend more quality time with my family though, so thoroughly enjoyed!

30 day fitness challenge
Like Father, Like Daughter. Easter Family Walks
30 day fitness challenge
30 day fitness challenge

DAY 15:

HALF WAY THROUGH THE CHALLENGE! This morning my Mum and I picked up the cycling again, but went our furthest route yet… 9.71 miles. It was two of our previous routes combined, but linked up into one nice loop. Very scenic and we saw lots of lambs again (they’re growing so fast!) I’m not sure we’d do it again in a hurry, but it’s a good one to add in there when you want a bit more of a challenge.

I then did this Abs and Booty Workout in the afternoon – it says it’s 30 minutes, but take out the warm-up and cool-down and it’s only actually 20. I probably wouldn’t do it again but it still got a sweat on…

DAY 16:

Back to walking again today, with 12,000+ steps.

30 Day Fitness Challenge

DAY 17:

And another day of steps. I didn’t actually go on a walk today, but instead got the steps by pacing around the house and garden whilst I was doing work on my phone. It’s amazing how quickly they can start to pile up!

30 Day Fitness Challenge

DAY 18:

It’s Zumba time! I started my day with a quick 30 minute Zumba workout. It was a fun one, with no direction, so you just kind of copy the moves. Don’t worry if you don’t look exactly like the video (I know I certainly didn’t for the majority of the time!) It’s good fun and gets you sweating though…

I also then did a healthy amount of steps throughout the day. 12,379 to be exact! Definitely pleased with today’s efforts – although I think I was making up for the sweet treats I had in bed the night before… I have GOT to get out of these bad habits!

Daily Steps

DAY 19:

Today I was determined to set a new record with my cycling, and I’m pleased to say, I smashed it (even with the wind battling against me!) Over 10 miles – the furthest I’ve ever gone. And with my fastest average speed. Check this out…

Cycling Challenge
Cycling Challenge

DAY 20:

Another cheat day after a few too many drinks the night before (eek!) I know, I’m sorry guys. I’ll have to make up for it with double on another day again.

DAY 21:

Today we decided to go on a gentle family morning walk, through undiscovered countryside. It was like a little adventure! We even managed to not get lost… much!

Walking Challenge

DAY 22:

Another day, another cycle. Surprisingly I hit a new max speed… 36.1mi/h. This is pretty quick for me considering I don’t like to push it. I must be getting braver! I didn’t even notice the difference either. Definitely getting into the flow of cycling now.

Cycling Challenge

DAY 23:

So today I made up for my missed day, with a cycle ride and over 10,000 steps throughout the day. I used my Mum’s phone to track our cycle so that false steps didn’t get picked up from that, and made up the rest over the rest of the day… PHEW! Pretty much back on track now.

Day 24
Day 23

DAY 24:

Today I focused just on the steps, fitted in whilst working on my phone – handy!

Day 24

DAY 25:

And again, just steps again this day. Busy, busy, busy!

day 25

DAY 26:

I can’t believe we are so close to the end now! It started off tough-going and then since day 8-10 onwards, it has just absolutely FLOWN. The power of habits hey!

This morning I decided to start my day with a 30 minute feel good dance cardio workout, and it has genuinely been my favourite one yet! You have a warm-up, four dance routines, an arm exercise (which is a killer!), then a cool down. But it literally does what it says on the tin… makes you FEEL GOOD! Here it is if you’d like to try…

On top of that I also did a healthy 17,241 steps…

step count

DAY 27:

Another beautiful day, so I made the most of it with lots of walking. It doesn’t quite beat my record this month of 21,000+ steps earlier in the challenge – but sitting at double the daily recommendation, it’s not so bad!

Saturday steps

DAY 28:

So today we made the most of the last of the nice weather, with a nice big walk! My brother’s partner is the absolute BOSS at mapping out new routes, so she created a new loop for us, which was super fun to explore.

30 Day Fitness Challenge

It was definitely along paths less trodden on – very rustic! We also walked it slower, with 30 minutes total stopping time, partly to figure out where to go! We were also slowed down by the muddy tracks and lots of gates to get through. But it felt like a real adventure! There were lots of rolling hills and stunning landscapes… I definitely need to bring my camera next time because it was just impossible to capture the scale of it all.

30 Day Fitness Challenge

We also ran into some little hidden gems too – like this alpaca farm… so cute!

30 Day Fitness Challenge

DAY 29:

After telling my Mum how much I loved my last workout video, my Mum decided to join me so we did it again today, together. Here’s the link if you want a reminder…

DAY 30:

The final day and I thought I’d squeeze in another run for you all! This time I did the riverside loop. It wasn’t as far as I anticipated: 2.7 miles which is 4.35km. But, it was pleasant enough and a great way to start the day!

Morning Run

Challenge Complete!

So I made it! I completed my first 30 day fitness challenge and I must admit, I am super happy with myself. I managed to do 9 bike rides, 7 workout videos, 3 runs and a whole lot of walking. It has definitely helped me mentally and I’ve surprised myself with my level of commitment and the ability to keep it up so consistently – something I’ve never really done before.

Have I lost weight? Well, not so much. In fact, I feel possibly even bigger than when I started. Why? Because there’s still been the comfort eating and a hefty amount of alcohol consumed. So although I’m happy with my results, I know I can do so much better!

For this reason, I will also be doing a 30 Day Fitness Challenge for Weight Loss, so I can see how much I can push myself physically. This one will be focused on transformation… so you’ll also see a before and after shot on the next one – providing it all goes ‘to plan!’

Subscribe below for updates and inspiration. I really hope this inspires you to take on a challenge of your own, because I can’t vouch for them enough!


30 Day Fitness Challenge

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Ella Stearn
Ell is a Breakup, Dating & Relationship Specialist & Coach, with over 3 million annual readers, globally. As the Creator of Forgetting Fairytales, her mission is to help you learn to love yourself, find the right person to give your love to, then make it a love that truly lasts.

3 thoughts on “My 30 Day Fitness Challenge For Mental Wellbeing”

  1. Hey ! Awesome….This has inspired me to do some exercises as well.Not to lose weight but because stay at home orders has been extended where I live and like you said, it’s good for my mental health. Btw..Why not invite persons to complete the challenge with you ,I’m sure people would love that !

  2. Great work! Exercise doesn’t just make us look and feel better, it is also good for our immune system. And we all need a boost of our immunity right now. Thanks for the inspiration.


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