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12 Ways to Do a Fitness Challenge in Your Company Find a fitness or wellness competition that supports your employees in improving their lives.

By Serenity Gibbons

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Competition is a natural by-product of the work environment. Typically, employees are competing for a higher position, more responsibility and, of course, that bonus or raise. One way to put that competitive nature to healthier use is to channel it into company competitions. To combine a team-building exercise with the goal of having a healthy and fit organization, you can run a fitness challenge. There are numerous ways to do this that make it easy to implement.

1. Show me the prize money.

HealthyWage offers wellness challenges with big prize money for the workplace teams that can score the biggest weight loss or achieve certain metrics established by a company's corporate wellness program.

For example, a team challenge can lead to a top prize of $10,000 split amongst that workgroup that scores the greatest weight loss. Some of the competitions involve the company putting up some money for their employees, while others require that employees chip in and wager against each other to meet their goals.

2. App-based challenges.

The Tribe.Fit fitness and health challenge platform offered by your favorite sports, fitness or nutrition influencer is a way to promote a healthier way of life. Every entrepreneur has that competitive streak inside and this app is bound to bring it to the surface. This includes players from professional sports teams like the Los Angeles Chargers and the Denver Broncos, as well as professional trainers and athletes. It's got to be inspiring to go head-to-head against someone you admire, with a chance to interact with your favorite personalities.

Related: Are You Psychologically Strong Enough to Be an Entrepreneur?

Doing new challenges is also a great way to keep things fresh. But it's not just fitness challenges; you can also create contests promoting clean eating and other important healthy habits. A Siri-like personal assistant also helps you quickly log your food and activity levels to help you get on top of your holiday season fitness goals!

3. A Biggest Loser contest.

Just like the TV show, you'll be able to recreate a weight-loss competition in your company. A kit on Pinterest contains all the official show rules and the format to set up this fun, results-oriented fitness challenge at work. It's a good way to do individual or team challenges to drop those pounds.

4. A complete health and fitness challenge.

While some competitions focus on weight, others go for physical challenges. To encourage a complete approach to health and wellness, you can design a fitness challenge that addresses fitness and nutrition. Establish a timeframe like two months or a quarter as well as create specific metrics for individuals or teams to meet in order to win a prize.

5. Miles to charity.

Reward your employees for signing up for Charity Miles where their running, walking, or biking can be turned into money for the charity of their choice. Have your company become a corporate sponsor so you can get involved in a worthy cause and "walk the talk" about the need to do social good in the community. You can also opt to provide another prize or reward from your company for the individual with the most miles (and money raised).

6. 5K and obstacle course challenges.

Create an incentive to encourage employees to sign-up together for a 5K or team obstacle course race. These numerous in most localities, raising money and awareness for national causes, like breast cancer and homelessness.

You can opt to tell your employees to run or walk the 5K while awarding company prizes to top-timed finishers. On the team obstacle course challenges like the Hot and Dirty Mud Run, Color Run, the Spartan Race, and others, you can encourage various departments or groups to form teams, distributing prizes based on top placements.

7. Reward acts of kindness.

Make doing kind things a competition. You may wonder what this has to do with fitness. Well, because part of being healthy is your mental and emotional well-being, doing kind things makes you and the person on the receiving end feel better.

Related: 5 Reasons You Need to Be Giving Back

For example, every time you take a colleague to lunch or enjoy your break with them, take them on a lunch break walk or help them with something outside of work, like a move or chore, you earn points. Those with the most points in a designated period win some type of reward.

8. Healthy meal potluck contest.

Anyone can bring in donuts or order a pizza for lunch, but who can make the tastiest healthy meal options for the office potluck? Turn your next office potluck into a competition. You can make it a blind taste test where employees bring in their recipe with the nutritional information.

Whoever has the tastiest meal with the optimum nutrition wins a prize. Not only does it channel that streak of competitiveness, but it also helps employees understand that healthy eating can be easy and delicious. Be sure to share the recipes in a company email or post them on the file-sharing platform in the office.

9. Stair-climbing challenge.

If you work in an office building where there are the stairs, then you can encourage everyone to skip-out on the elevator. Create different challenges where employees can use an easy app or FitBit to track their stair count. Then deliver prizes to the person who did the most steps overall or the one who did the most stairs in the shortest time of a day or week, or another variation.

10. Bike-to-work challenge.

This contest is designed to encourage fitness, while helping the environment by leaving vehicles at home. Those that ride their bike to work can receive a healthy breakfast. Or, you can make it into a longer contest where the person that bikes to work the most in the span of a month wins some type of prize or cash reward based on the amount of gas they saved by not driving to work.

11. Better yourself challenge.

Everyone has different goals but all should involve the idea that wellness and fitness encompasses the physical, mental and emotional. To some, it is even spiritual.

Related: Improving Company Culture Starts With Wellness

Create a workplace challenge that encourages your employees to enroll in a class or program, join a gym, or participate in a community activity that does something involving self-improvement. It can be about professional skills or personal goals. Those that do may receive a reimbursement, days off or some other incentive.

12. Mile-a-day challenge.

Not everyone is going to want to take on a huge fitness challenge. For example, the Biggest Loser Challenge may instantly discourage some employees. They may feel like they can't do it or achieve it. Therefore, it makes sense to create a scaled-down fitness program. This gets your employees moving regardless of their age, weight or ability.

Try a smaller challenge like the mile-a-day challenge. Every employee that can walk, jog, run, or bike (including a stationary one) a mile a day and document that they did it. Those that can go the whole month win a prize. This also allows for more than one winner, which widens the incentive to meet the challenge. It may even become a habit that evolves into more physical activity.

But, get involved.

Don't just leave these challenges up to your employees. Get involved as company leader. Also, be sure that management teams also participate. Seeing you and the leadership take on your own fitness goals may be incentive enough to join in. Also, it shows just how much you care about their well-being.

Serenity Gibbons

Equal Rights Advocate, Promoting Amazing Companies Across the Globe

Serenity Gibbons is a former assistant editor at the Wall Street Journal and a New York University alumna living in California. She is the local unit lead for NAACP in Northern California with a mission is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination. She enjoys writing and interviewing people who are making a difference in the world. 

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