The Fitness Challenge Handbook

Post-Challenge Activities

Fitness challenges are like diets. Real benefits require permanent commitments

Setting up the next challenge (challenge cycles)

Running a fitness challenge in your organization can be compared to going on a diet. In both the challenge and the diet you are trying to change behaviors for the long term. Unfortunately for many, fitness challenges, like diets, will only produce short term gains. You may quickly see participants reverting back into old habits (weight gain, inactivity, etc.) after the challenge is over. The obvious answer to this problem is to run multiple subsequent challenges.
While running successive challenge is the answer, there is a caveat. If all things are left the same, participation and challenge effectiveness will suffer. This handbook introduced multiple methods for conducting a fitness challenge; use them. If your first challenge was a walking challenge where individuals competed for the most steps walked, make the next challenge an activity challenge with teams to record the most time spent moving your body. Follow that challenge up with an individual challenge where every person who loses 5-10 pounds is rewarded. Below are listed some other ideas for changing your challenges:
  • Do not run fitness challenges back-to-back. Allow for a week or two in between to let people rest and generate interest.
  • Throw out some ideas out to your participants and let them help build the challenges.
  • Change the awards from one challenge to the next. Just don’t turn it into an arms race where participants expect greater rewards with each challenge.
  • Vary the lengths of the challenges and try to match the award with the length and the difficulty.
  • Make smaller challenges part of a larger, multi-mode, point challenge spanning several months.
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