Mixing Work and Fitness: Get in Shape with your Co-Workers

Mixing Work and Fitness: Get in Shape with your Co-Workers

Have you noticed that the thought of working out by yourself isn’t so appealing? Or, have you found that unless you commit to someone else, the chances of you keeping your word on a fitness regime are pretty slim?

To tie this factor in with the ubiquitous excuse of “I’m too busy to exercise”, a solution that works for many is to build in exercise with the people we interact with most frequently. For many, this would be co-workers. One example of how this might work is the Office Exercise Group. When an office exercise group is formed, participants (who are often co-workers) pursue their fitness goals together, and the best part: they build the exercise into their daily routines.

A few examples of how this might work are:

-taking half hour walks or runs together during the lunch hour.

-organizing a company fitness challenge.

-group-register in a marathon, and training together in the weeks leading to the event (lunch hours, some days right after work).

-scheduling stretch breaks in a meeting room twice a day.

The benefits of getting on board with your co-workers, is that a common goal can really harness the power of group energy. When you commit to others, it keeps you accountable. There is also a built-in support system, where you can discuss each other’s progress. Finally, a little competitive spirit can really fire people up, as long as it doesn’t go overboard. Being part of a company culture that embraces and promotes wellness habits can take the guesswork out of work-life balance. A colleague of mine heads the leadership team at a premier outdoor equipment manufacturer. When the company was first growing, it provided a weekly catered lunch for the team. Eventually the funds were re-assigned to pay for a group personal trainer twice a week, something the majority of the team requested, and are continuing to reap the benefits of. This company also has built an indoor gym and climbing wall on the facilities, and there is a large group of employees who meet two mornings a week in the winter to do ski-touring before work. The collective focus on fitness and movement has implemented a way of life for those employees…a great role for any workplace wanting to replace meeting in the lunchroom over donuts with a physical wake-up call.

Building Fitness into Meetings with Clients and Prospects:

For many, however, a typical workday is not spent in an office. Sometimes this lack of regular routine can be hectic and erratic. If you’re in sales, or you own a business that relies on frequent meetings to maintain and develop relationships with clients and prospects, try the ‘old boys’ golf approach. Arrange your meetings over an activity. Activities that can be short and still conducive to a productive one-hour meeting could be: Hiking, Jogging, a vigorous forest, park or seawall walk, rollerblading, or even  attending a yoga class together and meeting for a refreshment afterwards. The benefit of meeting this way is that both parties are likely to be refreshed, energized and clear-minded. You may not be able to get everyone on board for this type of meeting, but look at it this way: if you have 10 face-to-face meetings scheduled in a week, let’s say, and you manage to convince half of those people to ‘move’ with you instead of sipping coffee or eating lunch together, then you already have 5 exercise sessions built into your week.  And that’s not even counting what you do on your own time!

Ultimately, where there’s a will there’s a way. If you’re finding it impossible to build fitness into your life on your own, perhaps your answer is to recruit co-workers and colleagues. Some people, you might find, will be very keen and thankful that you took the initiative to co-ordinate group fitness activities. And if you are the one doing the organizing, you get to leverage your sense of accountability: as there will be no backing out!

Source: Flickr user marion doss

Vancouver Health Coach