How to Organize a Fitness Challenge
Fitness isn't always an inspirational journey. When you're working out on your own, it can be hard to keep your spirits and your motivation high. Arranging for a fitness challenge has two specific benefits. Not only will you help people in your community become more fit and healthy, but you'll stay motivated to stay on track with daily exercise too. Putting a challenge together for your office, church, family or group of friends means you get the support that you need while ensuring that others reap the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle.
Measure the participants' level of fitness by deciding a baseline and a unit of measurement for the challenge. If you're focusing on fitness and not weight loss, you might choose to measure fitness via endurance or a set amount of exercise per day. If you want weight to be incorporated, you can measure via weight loss percentages or BMI.
Arrange for a fitness test as the first event in your challenge. Whatever the type of progress measurement you use, this ensures that everyone is on the same playing field by establish a baseline for progress. A fitness test can be as simple as seeing how many times a participant can run around a track, or how many crunches, pushups or jumping jacks he can do. Record the baseline measurements so each participant each has a value to improve upon.
Outline the rules for your fitness challenge. These will be totally specific to your group and your preferences, but in general, the rules will rely on regular check-ins for progress and a general timeline until the challenge is over. This is also an excellent time to introduce goals and prizes for reaching those goals.
For instance, you might decide that you'll have daily group workouts, and those who attend can reap extra points for their participation. Points are added to a running tally, which can also include bonuses for weekly fitness tests, proper eating and any other facet of fitness that you choose.
Encourage daily exercise as part of the fitness challenge. Issue points to those who exercise for at least 30 minutes each day. Group events can count toward this requirement.
Organize regular check-ins and events to increase the motivation for those participating. Check-ins can include weigh-ins or fitness tests to measure progress based on the initial test. These are opportunities to get together with your group and support each other and talk about motivation and strategy. You can also plan activities that help fulfill challenge requirements, like a hike or attending a seminar by a fitness professional. These regular events serve to keep everyone on track and empowered to continue the challenge.
Offer smaller prizes to those who meet their goals, and one larger prize for the participant who sees the biggest improvement on his initial baseline report or earns the most points based on the activities you've outlined. Ensure that the prizes are not food-based; fitness gear, luxury services and even movie passes are better choices.
Publicize your event via Facebook or word-of-mouth. The more participants you have, the higher the motivation factor.
Change the requirements, events and outline as necessary for your needs.
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.