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January 03, 2019

6 free 30-day health challenges to help you reach your 2019 goals

From fitness to nutrition, these challenges will help you tackle some of your goals

Adult Health Wellness
health challenge Pineapple Supply Co./Pexels


A new year is a promising time to kick old, unwanted habits for better, more positive ones. A major area people aim to improve during this "fresh start"-filled time of year is health. 

Whether you're trying to improve your physical fitness or want to up your healthy eating game, a 30-day challenge is a great way to kickstart your 2019 health efforts. Plus, 30-day challenges can be utilized year-round — making a fresh start possible at any point in the year or during any given month. These challenges are a great way to tackle your health goals, even if you happen to lose focus throughout the year. 

Below, we've rounded up six free-to-join 30-day health challenges, focused on nutrition, fitness, or both, to help kickstart 2019 in a healthy way. 

RELATED READ: Dry January is the perfect way to kick off 2019 on a healthy note

For mind, body, and mental health: New York Times Well Challenge 

The details: “Move, nourish, refresh, and connect” is the mantra, of sorts, behind the 30-Day Well Challenge, aiming to help individuals build healthy habits for the body, mind and spirit — via daily challenge at a time. The best part? Each challenge takes just minutes to complete.

To be as clear and helpful as possible, the Times has created new six-minute move workout videos to prove that most everyone does have time to exercise — if you have a plan. Refresh challenges challenge participants to rest their mind, while delicious nourish challenges will fuel your body with more food (not less!) and connect challenges to help you get closer to those you love, the Times explains.

How to get started: First, you’ll need to log in or sign up for a New York Times account here. From there, your daily challenges will show up and, after completing them, you’ll click “I did it!” All throughout the 30-day challenge you will be able to see all that you’ve achieved while being able to look back and reflect on behaviors and note patterns, accomplishments and challenges.

For a unique approach to achieving change: Refinery29 Clean Slate 

The details: In an effort to avoid the common waning excitement when it comes to resolutions, Refinery29 wants to help you exercise for joy, eat in ways that nourish your mind and body and go beyond meditation to de-stress.

Informative and inspiring articles are published daily, if not multiple times per day, on a myriad of subjects ranging from "14 Products & Practices To Kick Your Best Life Into Gear For 2019" to "Joyful Movement: A Week Of Exercises To Ease You Into Your Fitness Resolution" and "How Creating Art Can Help Reduce Stress."

How to get started: 
You can carve out your own path in this "challenge" to help you be the best version of yourself by hand selecting the information, challenges and inspiration you consume. Peruse the information here

For a challenge that will change your ways: Live Strong's Get Strong in 2019 Challenge 

The details: In this challenge, Live Strong aims to provide everything you need to jump-start your goals for the new year — whether it's to build muscle, eat better or lose weight. Every day participants will receive an email containing a follow-along workout, a creative and healthy recipe to try, motivational memes and playlists to keep you going and plenty of tips on everything from dealing with muscle soreness to eating healthy at restaurants, and more.

Helpful print outs list each day's fitness and nutrition goals and you can find camaraderie by joining the challenge's Facebook group.

How to get started: First, check out the full list of daily challenges here so you know what you're in for. Then, sign up for the daily emails, print out the calendars and get to it!

For a yoga challenge to start or enrich your practice: Yoga with Adriene, Dedicate Yoga Journey

The details: Yoga with Adriene is one of the top (free!) at-home yoga Youtube channels fit for novice and expert yogis, alike. Over the past few years, Adriene has launched a free 30-day challenge every January as a way to inspire an at-home practice for yogis, new and old.

This year's theme, Dedicate, invites you to play "an active role in your personal wellbeing, your body, and in your unique storyline." Dedicate also provides the tools for you to expand awareness and guide your energy distribution. The best part is that you can follow along at your own pace.

How to get started: All you have to do is sign up to receive a daily email from Adriene. The first email, you will receive a welcome video with some tips for sticking to your practice and staying committed to the full 30 Days. Then, subscribe to the Yoga with Adriene Youtube channel — videos will upload at 12 a.m., Central Standard Time.

For a tech-y fitness challenge: Google Fit's 30-day challenge  

The details: First and foremost, it's necessary to know that this challenge is only open to Android users — the Google Fit app is not available for iPhone users. That said, starting January 1 (or whenever you start), the challenge "nets you Heart Points from activities that you log or actively track with Google Fit." Additionally, the app offers encouragement over the course of the month.

For some context, the Google Fit app tracks your fitness efforts with "Heart Points," Google’s metric used to assess how much exercising you get done. For example, biking for 30 minutes net you 30 Heart Points. Any physical activity results in Heart Points, but more rigorous activities will net you more Heart Points

To get started: You can sign up for the challenge in the app — which you can download here. Once you see the card for the challenge, tap "Learn more" and then "Sign me up" to get a reminder for when the challenge begins.

For a diet that can kickstart your healthy eating: The Whole30 Program

The details: Whole30 is often thought of as a short-term nutrition reset. It is designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system. The program identifies certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) that could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it and cuts them out for 30 days.

The program claims that more than 95 percent of participants lose weight and improve their body composition, without counting or restricting calories. Additionally, participants report effectively changing long-standing, unhealthy habits related to food, developing a healthier body image, and a dramatic reduction or elimination of cravings, particularly for sugar and carbohydrates.

How to get started: First, you'll need to choose your start date, as there is some preparation involved. Next, prepare for the Whole30 by cleaning out your pantry, grocery shopping, and doing some basic planning for the month. Find all guidelines restrictions and helpful information here.

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