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Making fitness fun by making it a group activity

Published by: LifeWorks,

Staying fit and staying motivated can be hard, especially through the long, cold nights of winter. We’ve got some tips on how to keep the momentum going through the run up to year-end.

Make fitness fun
Best way to turn exercise into a part of your routine? Make it something you enjoy. How?

Buddy up.
Work out with someone you enjoy spending time with—a friend, housemate, family member, partner, or spouse. If no one you know is available at the same time you are, ask your network of friends if they know someone or try and set up a fitness club at work. With people spending most of their time at their workplace, getting some colleagues involved in a fitness initiative can help you work out more efficiently, such as before or after work or at lunch. You don’t have to go anywhere, it could be something as simple as going on a walk nearby.

Make it a team effort.
Take classes at a gym or participate in team sports to add a sense of accountability— especially if you have teammates depending on you. Seeing others making similar efforts and accomplishing goals can also provide motivation.

Mix it up.
Try different workouts – both cardio and strength – and cross train. This assortment of activities can help you work different muscles, and it keeps exercise, well, fun!

Turn up the volume.
Upbeat, feel-good music makes workouts more enjoyable. Music boosts performance and tricks your mind into feeling less tired during a workout while encouraging positive thoughts.

Take it outside.
Fresh-air activities like running, walking and team sports stave off boredom by adding variety. Plus, being outside can also improve brain function, mood, and mental health.

Be creative.
If you’re unable to go to the gym or outside, don’t worry. You can get a full workout in any space—home, office, hotel, or park. All you need is an exercise mat, a couple of small weights, and a few routines – TV, online or app.

Join a group.
Check your community for fitness or health groups—gyms, organisations, and online. See if your employer offers any fitness groups at work like:

  • Walking groups
  • Community races
  • Company sports teams
  • Incentives for biking to work
  • On- or off-site fitness classes and personal training
  • Healthy cooking and nutrition classes
  • Discounts at gyms and other fitness facilities
  • Local bike clubs
  • If they don’t maybe set one up!

Once you’ve found a group, the following tips will help you get going:

  • Sign up. If you sign up, you’ll be more motivated to follow through and meet the challenge.
  • Encourage colleagues or friends to sign up with you. Participating with people you know can give you a big mental boost towards following through and achieving your fitness goals.
  • Log your activity. Keep a record of your progress throughout the challenge so you can see how far you’ve come. There are lots of apps to help you do this.
  • Stay positive. If you fail to meet a particular fitness goal or if you progress more slowly than you’d hoped, don’t give up. Use it as additional motivation to keep going.

Bonus tip: Remember, putting in the effort and making slow progress is much more important.

How the numbers can help you

Regardless of your type of exercise, some people are motivated by seeing scores, measurements, and statistics. These include:
Some friendly competition. If you have a competitive streak, take advantage of it by getting involved in a competitive sport or activity against yourself or others. Running, rowing or basketball are just a few possibilities.
Track and measure it. Sometimes tracking measurable factors like weight, body fat index, cholesterol, or endurance provide motivation. Body parts can also be measured—arms, hips, waist. Seeing these numbers move in a healthy direction gives you a positive feeling that helps you keep going.
Set a goal. Whether it’s a 5K race, a mini triathlon, or just fitting into a specific pair of jeans, setting a realistic goal can help you persist.
Set a regular time. When exercise is part of your routine, it becomes a fact of life rather than a chore or something you can put off or ignore. Keep track of the number of active days each week to stay motivated.

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