The holiday season is upon us. It’s that wonderful, magical time of year when people log a lot more time indulging in treats and a lot less time sweating at the gym. It’s no secret that many people add on a few extra pounds this time of year. They also tend to fall into some bad habits (or abandon good ones) as the holidays make their lives a bit more hectic than usual.
Perhaps this season of behaving badly, combined with the coming of a new year, is what prompts many people to resolve to lose weight or become more active. Either way, it’s a great time to put some measures in place to capitalize on your employees’ desire to get healthy, as well as to help them succeed in achieving their goals.
What’s more, there are many initiatives and incentives you can implement that result in very little or even no cost to you, the employer. Here are a few ideas to help your employees develop healthy habits and lead more active lifestyles.
Activities and Programs
- Charity walks – Choose a local charity walk or run, and encourage employees to participate. The idea of helping those in need could be extra motivation to get them moving.
- Walking buddies – People are more likely to stick with their plan when they have a friend or a group to hold them accountable. Encourage employees to partner up, and consider providing maps of potential routes of varying length that start and end at your workplace.
- Exercise classes – Bring in an instructor to lead a class before or after work begins. Switch up the types periodically, offering both fast and slow-paced activities so everyone has an opportunity to find a workout they enjoy.
- Company softball – Trade your company picnic for a softball game or tournament. Provide a healthy meal. This will help with morale and teamwork in addition to fitness. Better yet, consider starting a team and competing in a local league. The company-sponsored jerseys are great advertising.
- Bike racks – Install bike racks or provide a safe place to store them. This will encourage employees to bike to work or just go for a spin at lunch. Just like the walking routes, map out some good options for where to ride in the area.
- Stretching – If strains or pains are common at your workplace, offer group stretching before the day begins to help improve performance and prevent injury. Find a good resource to show employees how to stretch properly. Or ask us to share some of ours.
- Flexibility – Allow employees to work flexible schedules that allow them to squeeze in some exercise during their work day.
- Waking meetings – If a scheduled meeting happens to fall on a day with beautiful weather conditions, consider having a “walk and talk” meeting rather that a sit-down.
- Showers – Offering a place where employees can shower at work is another great way to encourage them to exercise during the day.
- Pedometers – Step trackers are a great way to help employees set and work towards their goals of becoming more active. There are many inexpensive ones on the market.
- Athletic shoes – Consider offering a coupon or gift certificate to help employees save money on quality footwear to encourage a more active lifestyle while also helping to prevent injuries.
- Sporting goods stores – There are many other pieces of equipment (Think tennis rackets, exercise balls, and the like.) that can help your employees become more fit. Come up with a list of various pieces of merchandise, and offer a rebate when employees provide proof of purchase.
- Exercise DVDs – Bringing in a trainer may be cost prohibitive for some businesses. Not to mention, many employees might prefer to exercise in the privacy of their own home. Purchase some DVDs of varying levels of exercise to give or loan to employees.
- Gym membership – Consider offering free or discounted gym memberships to your employees. Solicit gyms in your area to see if any are willing to tailor a package specifically for your workers.