One of the most difficult periods of becoming physically active is the time between going from the couch (or a sedentary lifestyle) to the habit (having a consistent routine). You're taking the biggest step right now by seeking out information and being willing to start. The 4-Week Challenge is a commitment to yourself. You're committing to being physically active with the goal of taking control of your mental health and well-being. You can use our resources on our website to find support from a local gym, you can join the specialty communities on the forum, or you can find free training programs that involve movements and skills that you are already interested in, or have always been intrigued to try. If you download the 4-Week Challenge Bond you will notice that there is a spot at the top to list your initial motivation for starting. Whatever brought you here, to this point, write that down. You will be able to look back on the difficult days and remind yourself of the reason for taking this step. At the bottom of the bond, you will see an area for an accountability partner. This can be a spouse, teammate, friend, coach, or family member who is willing and able to hold you accountable to complete your challenge. Some of the greatest success stories we have seen are from people who used the coach at the gym, their spouses, or teammates within the military environment. Find someone who is willing to give it to you straight, understands your struggles, and truly wants to see you succeed in getting healthy. Accountability can be done in a number of ways. We have heard participants teaming up with their accountability partner as workout buddies, share workout logs with their accountability partners, or facetime during workouts. The goal is to find what works for you and make it happen. Make sure to print out the bond and keep it somewhere you can read it for daily motivation. The greatest thing about using physical activity as an intervention is that it can be performed anywhere, at any time, and with anyone. You can supplement other therapies with physical activity, such as cognitive-based therapies, or group therapies, and see an added bonus for your efforts. We believe in the mission and the challenges because we have seen the impact os physical activity on our own lives as well as on countless others. We have seen our brothers- and sisters-in-arms fight through the darkness through a commitment of physical activity and we have seen others gain control and turn away from substance abuse. You can do it too. If you have any questions feel free to reach out anytime. We are here to support you and truly care about you. We want to see you succeed far beyond your own expectations. Resources: 4-Week Challenge Page 4-Week Challenge Bond (.pdf) What do I do after completing the 4-Week Challenge? You can step up to the next level and take the 10-Week Challenge which also culminates with physical activity or race. It gives you a sense of accomplishment as you work towards developing the strong habits of a healthy and physically active lifestyle. When you take research into consideration, it takes approximately 6-8 weeks to develop a habit which is the point that you internalize the activity or behavior and you truly own it as part of you. The 4-Week Challenge can help you be physically active long enough and often enough to see a positive impact on your mental health, particularly post-traumatic stress, depression, and anxiety, but you need to keep up your effort to develop a habit that becomes ingrained into who you are.