Fall, 2023 Employee Fitness Challenge Kicks Off September 1, 2023

Welcome to another exciting fitness challenge! I have planned lots of great activities for us this semester. But let’s start with the big one, the 1,000,000 step challenge!

We are going back to our roots! In 1998 I developed and ran our first Employee Fitness Challenge program and it was very successful. The program ran for several years and the participation was amazing. It was a self-monitored program with a goal of completing 600 km. worth of exercise over a year (equivalent of about 12 km. per week). Prizes were earned at intervals along the way, and one BIG prize was awarded to a lucky employee drawn from all of those that completed the 600 km. For various reasons, the program ended, until a couple of years ago when a health and wellness initiative was made a priority at UFV for our employees.

I was really excited to resurrect the employee fitness challenge again, but knew I needed to make some changes – bring the program up-to-date. I did some brainstorming and a lot of internet research and came up with our current program that has some of the same elements as before, but also some very different ones. Some of you that remembered our original program, have reached out to me asking to return to a style of program that allows all members to earn prizes along the way, rather than only being able to earn prizes if you participate in the individual activities/challenges that we organize. Fair enough – even though a big goal of ours for health and wellness is “connections”, not everyone is comfortable joining groups for activities or participating in the challenges. And for others, the timing just didn’t work in their personal schedules.

So, for the fall 2023 challenge, we are going to try a self-monitored 1,000,000 step challenge that will allow you to earn prizes based on your individual progress along the way. All participants have been sent a pedometer as the start-up gift this year, so no excuse to not count your steps each day and track them on this handy CHART. Once you reach the ½ way point of 500,000 steps, simply send me a copy of your chart and you’ll receive a great prize. If you are super dedicated and manage to step all 1,000,000 steps during the four months, send me another copy of your tracking chart for yet another prize!  And as if that isn’t motivation enough to get you moving, everyone that totally completes the 1,000,000 steps will be entered into a prize draw for a chance to win one of three $500.00 travel credits – imagine, just for working on your own health and wellness, you could be rewarded with an incredible trip to really allow you to rest, relax and enjoy the fruits of your labour!

Now, although the main shell of the fall program is the 4-month step challenge, we will also be organizing many of the great activities as in previous semesters for those of you that enjoyed them – walking club, lunch & learns, hikes, fitness classes and much more (which will all include more gifts/prizes). And of course, a lot of these activities will produce more steps which you can count towards your ultimate goal. I’ll continue to send out my High Five Friday messages which will outline all of our upcoming activities, so be sure to read those!

And for any of you reading this that have not yet registered for the Fitness Challenge, it’s so simple. Just go to our website here https://www.ufv.ca/hr/health-well-being/fitness-challenge/ and fill out the registration form, hit submit and you’re in! I’ll send you a start-up gift and you can begin tracking your steps!

Join me for a walk at 12:00 pm on Friday, September 1 to kick off the challenge and get the first of our 1,000,000 steps under our belts!