Filed under: Wellness | Tags: Employee Development, employees, Human Resources, wellness
August 2, 2011
Exercise – Making It Fun and Varied
written by: Candace Rorrer & Jim Guttmann, SPHR
Are you thinking about losing weight and getting in better shape but can’t get around to doing it because it seems like it’s not much fun and too boring?
Well, do I have a story for you! In 2007, Landrum Companies started a Walking Works program for its employees providing an opportunity for individuals to walk while logging miles in a friendly competition between departments. Initially, the purpose of the program was to encourage the employees to better health and fitness through walking. Miles were logged on the Blue Cross Blue Shield Walking Works Website. Each calendar quarter, the department with the best results would receive some recognition and a tasty treat. It was fun and the winning department looked forward to a delicious treat as their reward.
This year however, the Company decided to market the program to employees in a new and different way. Participants were assigned to teams rather than the team being solely based on the department where the individual works. Participation remained totally voluntary. But this time newly formed teams were asked to come up with their own names. As a result, teams were formed with fun and wacky names such as Workout Warriors, Sweet Feet, Thighsman Trophy Winners, Happy Soles, The Curvettes and The Trotting Landys. But wait….the fun doesn’t stop there!
Participants were also encouraged to record any form of exercise that fit his or her personal fitness routine. The idea is that “any way that you move and burn a calorie is good”. Any moderate to strenuous exercise that is 15 minutes in duration can represent the equivalent of one mile walked under the Walking Works Program. A survey of planned activities by participants includes things like running, biking, swimming, lifting weights, yoga, dancing, boot camp, wii, playing tennis, mowing the lawn, hedging bushes, cutting limbs and yes, walking.
Although some participants enjoy competition, many others like to keep it fun by doing such things as including the family dog or children in the activity. Also, to keep things interesting, some often do various activities (i.e. not just one). After all, “variety is the spice of life” and putting variety into an exercise program seems to provide the best overall results. In fact, it’s generally understood that it’s more effective when our bodies get a varied workout routine through the use of different muscle groups.
The Wellness Committee didn’t stop there! A run/walk team was put together so co-workers could meet after work and train for local 5K races. It was a wonderful way to get a workout with partners so you have more motivation than if you were to do it alone. The fact is when you have a partner to workout with you will be more motivated, your workouts are more fun, and you will work out harder.
Landrum even has a group of co-workers that meet after work in the classrooms to do a cardio/sculpting workout specifically for the convenience of not having to drive to a gym. You can change clothes and workout without ever having to get in your car. And, you will not have an excuse of “I don’t feel like leaving the house” after you get home from work. You have the motivation of working out with others and convenience and don’t forget… It’s Free!
In addition to those fun activities, Landrum also celebrated National Walk at Lunch Day, April 27, 2011. The entire company wore TEAM LANDRUM shirts and walked a pre-planned route for 30 minutes and then enjoyed a healthy lunch afterwards. The day was so much fun!
So, whether you are looking for fun ways for your company to get healthy and motivate your employees or you personally are thinking about getting in better shape and being more active, consider making it fun and adding variety to your exercise program. Activities that benefit your heart do not have to be a structured workout. You can include your entire family, friends, co-workers, and your family pets. You may stay with it longer because it’s fun and interesting. And guess what? The long-term results will be better too!
Candace Rorrer, Benefits Accounting Specialist, Landrum Human Resource Companies, Inc. Candace serves as the Cobra Coordinator and tracks paid leave policies for over 300 Landrum client companies. She has 12 years experience in the healthcare field and is currently working towards a degree in Exercise Science. Candace oversees Landrum’s internal Wellness Program.
As a Landrum Professional Human Resources Manager, Jim is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and has over 20 years of HR generalist experience for a large government contractor and Fortune 500 Company. He holds a Masters in Business Administration from Florida State University and is an active member of the Greater Pensacola Chapter of the Society for Human Resources Management (GPCSHRM), previously serving as their Vice President of Information Services and Chairman of the Workplace Diversity Committee. Jim is also certified as a County Mediator and in the administration of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).
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