Starting a Walking Program at Work, Part II
Now that you have the first steps to starting a walking program mastered, it’s time to move onto phase to: putting the program into action.
Set aside a time each day for people to walk. Most people opt to walk during the last half hour of lunch (it’s good for digestion!), but maybe before or after your shift would work better. Either way, setting aside a time keeps participants accountable and makes your program much more organized and regimented. Not sure of what time will work best? Survey people who are interested in participating.
Keep Supplies On Hand
It’s a good idea to always have these supplies on hand, just in case: extra pedometers, water bottles, sweat towels, and a stop watch. Pedometers and water bottles are the most essential to the program and usually, some of the most “forgotten” items.
Have coworkers that are losing weight? Making great strides in distances? Then award progress! By giving out little prizes, you encourage others to strive for their full potential in the program. Contact some local businesses and see if they’d be willing to donate a gift card or a small prize.
Have a Backup Plan
Rainy, snowy, or just plain icky days happen, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still get moving. Arrange for an alternative activity on days where you can’t go outside. Do yoga in the lobby, carpool to a nearby gym for a game of basketball, have everyone stretch at their desks, etc.
Keep a Roster
Tracking progress is easy with pedometers, so set up a chart where participants can record their steps daily. Or have everyone keep a fitness diary. Check in weekly or monthly to see who is making progress and then reward successes. Or, make it a fun competition by posting the walking roster in the break room.
Tout the Benefits of Walking
Did you know that regular walking for 30 minutes a day can lower both bad cholesterol and high blood pressure levels? It’s true. Walking has numerous health benefits including weight loss, reduced risk of stroke, improved cardiovascular health, and a general feeling of well being. Consider bringing in a guest speaker who can talk about the benefits of the walking program. Some good candidates would be someone from your insurance company, a doctor, a cardiologist, a personal trainer, or a representative from the American Heart Association.
Let’s Hear from You!
Have you put a walking program in place in your office? How did you keep everyone motivated? Do you have any tips to share? Leave a comment!