Now that the weather has turned warmer, and your pants probably feel tighter after the long months of winter, why not begin an exercise program at work? There’s no easier way to do this than by organizing walks with your co-workers. I’ve used walking as my main form of exercise at work for almost 25 years, and the benefits have been immense, the most important being the development of new friendships. Listed below are three ways to prompt your co-workers to join you outside for an invigorating walk in the spring sunshine.
1. Walking Clubs
I have had great success with forming walking “clubs.” Basically, all that’s involved is determining who in your organization would like to begin a walking exercise program. In addition, you will need to find out what times they are available throughout the work day to walk. For instance, will break time work for most people, or will a lunch time stroll be a better fit? Or maybe, some would prefer walking after work. With a few emails, texts, or in-person conversations, you can efficiently organize an informal walking club. After you have your members and times for walks recorded, be sure to do some detective work to find the best possible walking route. To do this, you will need to decide if the route is safe and how much time it takes to travel it.
2. Poker Walks
If your place of business has a wellness program, be sure to suggest to your coordinator that you would like to help implement a fun walking activity such as a poker walk. This event, usually held over the lunch hour, involves the receipt of one playing card at pre-determined points along a walking path. Once each participant finishes, the person with the “best poker hand” wins. Of course everyone who participates wins from the exercise gained, yet most people enjoy the card aspect! Finally, if your organization has a budget for wellness, they may offer prizes to the winners and incentives just for participation.
3. Just Walk
If you would rather not formally ask others to walk with you, it is still possible to end up with walking partners at work. All you need to do is get out and walk by yourself at regular times. For example, I worked for two government organizations over the course of 10 years. During that time I walked miles and miles by myself; however, I also walked miles and miles with co-workers who also loved to walk. Basically, we usually “bumped” into each other outside and finished our walks together. By doing this, I made friends in departments other than my own, which benefited my outlook of my overall organization immensely.
Walking remains one of the easiest exercises to do – and to stick with. It’s free and fun. It may also lead to new friendships and connections at work. So, don’t be afraid to get out there and walk!
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