Fitness Challenge Blog

How To Run a Meditation / Mindfulness Challenge Meditation / Mindfulness Challenge

Expand your wellness offerings to include mental well-being.

February 4, 2024 by Joseph

Like nearly everyone else in the world, I grew up hearing about the benefits of meditation and mindfulness. But also, like many, I disregarded these practices as a waste of time at best or some bizarre mysticism at worst. Eventually, I stumbled across an old Zen proverb: “If you don’t have time for 15 minutes of meditation, you should meditate for an hour”. This struck a chord with me and started my journey.

Meditation Benefits

In a recent article in the National Library of Medicine titled "Meditation and Its Mental and Physical Health Benefits in 2023”, the authors detail the many proven benefits of meditation including:

  • improved brain function
  • improved immune system and inflammatory processes
  • appropriate telomere shortening
  • beneficial with diabetes, hypertension, and fibromyalgia
  • helped bring down blood cholesterol levels and increase high-density lipoproteins
  • eases social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression

As shown, the list of meditation benefits is long and impressive, but I think I was most surprised by meditation’s effect on telomere shortening about which the article goes into great detail. As a long-time fitness enthusiast, telomere shortening was always one of the most important aspects of fitness training to me since it literally slows the aging process. Simply put, those who train consistently are biologically younger than those who don’t. News flash – younger folks generally have fewer health concerns.

Meditation and Your Wellness Program

Ok, so meditation is good for you. How can I use this information to help those in my wellness program? A challenge of course! I know well that most fitness challenges have participants competing against one another over some physical activity such as walking or active minutes. While this is important, it is not the only aspect of wellness. According to the CDC, In 2019, 15.8% of the US population took prescription pills for mental health. Four years later, that number exploded to nearly 25% of the US population. Mental health is in a state of emergency.

How can a challenge help? By encouraging challenge participants to try meditation and mindfulness, you can introduce them to a healthy habit that can reap rewards their entire lives. Will everyone who participates in your meditation challenge continue practicing after your meditation challenge is over? Probably not. But will everyone continue to walk 10,000 steps a day after your walking challenge is over? Probably not. The idea is to give your wellness participants the tools they need to lead a happier, healthier life.

How To

As of 2024, ChallengeRunner can pull in meditation minutes from most of the trackers that it automatically syncs with. You can use this to build your meditation and mindfulness challenge:

  1. Log into with your admin ID and password.
  2. Click the Create Challenge button.
  3. Select the Generate a Meditation Challenge option and click Next.
  4. Give your new challenge a name and click Next.
  5. Update the challenge description and click Next (This can also be done after the challenge has been created).
  6. Select the start and end dates and click Finish.

Recommendations for daily meditation vary widely. However, 5 to 10 minutes a day is considered a good starting point. In order to establish meditation as a daily habit, we recommend running this challenge for at least one month.

This challenge is simply designed to introduce participants to meditation and / or mindfulness disciplines. As such, participants receive credit for any meditation between 5 and 15 minutes per day. Participants can obviously meditate more than this, if desired, but they will not receive challenge points for over 15 minutes.

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