Variety is the Spice of Life!

The most successful wellness programs consist of a combination of diet, exercise and habit control. Sometimes programs even include health fairs and preventive medicine clinics consisting of risk measurements, vaccines, or flu shots to bolster overall employee wellness.

Employees are often too busy or distracted by activities to engage in a healthy level of exercise. As a result, Americans (on average) are heavier than ever before. One of the great challenges for wellness professionals is keeping an employee population interested in getting the exercise they need to make the wellness program successful.

There are a myriad of exercise regimens available to people.A balance of cardiovascular, resistance training and appropriate rest is necessary to achieve the best possible results.

Traditional Gyms

Traditional gyms will aid people in exercising by providing machines that allow people to safely perform cardiovascular and resistance training in a controlled environment. The downside of this is the fact that these machines can become mind-numbingly BORING, even when video screens are attached. Even though there are numerous gyms in a metropolitan area, like southern New England, and the cost for membership in the average gym can be as low as $10 per month, people still do not go to the gym as much as they probably should.

What are the alternatives?

Outdoor Recreational Sports

Running, biking, swimming, hiking, or walking are great exercises that almost anyone can perform, weather permitting. Fresh air and sunlight are additional bonuses to this type of exercise, but for some reason, Americans in general are reluctant to take full advantage of exercising in the great outdoors.

Competitive Sports

Time passes quickly whether you are engaged in a pick-up game of basketball, softball, soccer, tennis or any similar sport. The more competitive someone gets, the harder they will exert themselves to win the game…and have some fun at the same time.

Exercise Classes

Many people find success exercising in a group setting by attending exercise classes that are run by trainers. This allows people to become motivated to exercise more than they might if their only option was to work out by themselves in a gym. Classes vary from spinning, to Zumba, to cardio kickboxing, to aerobics, yoga, or my personal favorite, kettlebell training.

Self-Defense

Cardio kickboxing, Krav Maga, karate, Judo, or even fencing are great disciplines to learn and know. Often, self-defense courses involve varying levels of coordination, stamina, concentration and sweat. Not only are people exercising with a purpose, but they are also usually improving their strength and flexibility and gaining a self-confidence that is beneficial to overall health and wellness.

Obstacle Course

A newer style of exercising that has become popular in recent years is the advent of the obstacle course facility.  Clients can engage in exercises where they climb up and over objects, lift heavy items and overcome challenges along the way. Unleashed is a facility in Warwick that is dedicated to training clients for events similar to the Warrior Dash or Spartan Race. Owners, Janine Calise and Kevin Roy, say of their facility:

“Unleashed focuses on a functional approach to fitness, incorporating a variety of exercises within each class that challenge participants’ cardiovascular system, muscle endurance, strength and agility. Each class is unique to promote not only muscle confusion, but the time passes quickly and participants leave feeling accomplished and excited to come back to see what else they can conquer!”

There is no credible excuse for those who feel that exercising as part of a wellness program is boring. There are a great number of options available that are both fun and beneficial to the participants. It is up to the participant to find out what exercise regimen appeals to their sense of adventure and fun. Once that is determined, they need to tenaciously dedicate themselves to the activity, until they find some other exercise that they enjoy.

 

Timothy Sullivan began writing wellness articles in 2009. A lifelong enthusiast for wellness, he saw the need to publicize recent and current medical study results translated into terms that ordinary people could understand and apply in their everyday lives. Among his accomplishments, he has developed a unique, low-tech method for gauging overall aggregate wellness in the workplace, and is the founder of Life Panel Inc., a Wellness Brokerage firm (www.Life-Panel.com).

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