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Ask The Entrepreneurs: 15 Ways to Incorporate Fitness Into Your Company Culture

Ask The Entrepreneurs: 15 Ways to Incorporate Fitness Into Your Company Culture


    Ask The Entrepreneurs is a regular series where members of those involved in the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in a area of management, communication, business or life in general.

    Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

    What is one cool way you’re motivating employees to get fit and stay healthy?

    1. Work In Weekly Activities

      Every two Fridays, our whole team goes on a health and fitness activity, which have included everything from a kung fu class to attending a Mets game. We delegate responsibility for organizing them on a rotating basis. It’s definitely become an awesome cornerstone of our team culture.
      Derek Flanzraich, Greatist

      2. Tell Stories of Healthy Living

        Stories are one of the most powerful tools in marketing and sales. Whenever possible, I try to weave personal running stories into our marketing material to both attract our ideal customers — other health-conscious businesses — and motivate our employees.
        Phil Frost, Main Street ROI

         

        3. No Junk Food!

          We encourage a vegan, low-sugar lifestyle by ensuring that these are the only foods we keep stocked in our kitchen. Junk food is kept to an absolute minimum, and we don’t allow any soda in the office. We’ve realized that employees then get used to this healthier lifestyle and start to make better choices at home and on the road.
          Warren Jolly, Affiliate Marketing

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          4. Communal Food and Corporate Gym Memberships

            Encouraging employees to chip in for communal food allows a health-conscious person take the lead and purchase fun and healthy snacks (like fruit, popsicles and nuts) to keep the team satisfied and energized throughout the day. Providing a corporate membership with a local gym also motivates employees to join for a discounted rate and work out together around office hours.
            Erika London, iAdventure.com

            5. Inspired by Infomercials

              We keep our work TV on a fit lifestyle channel. Our employees constantly get healthful recipe ideas, beauty tips, and work out routines. Just the other day, I saw two employees following a short workout routine and talking about going to the gym after work. We keep trashy shows off of our TV and keep the “living well” shows on. The employees are inspired by the people on TV to stay fit.
              Nancy T. Nguyen, Sweet T

              6. Put on Fitness Competitions

                We run a monthly fitness competition that assigns points to various activities, with prizes awarded to various categories! Easy way to keep everyone involved and add some competition.
                Jesse Pujji, Ampush|social

                 

                7. Try Tough Mudder!

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                  Each year, I do two or three Tough Mudder races — 10-mile runs with military-style obstacles along the way. The events are great opportunities to bond with employees over physically challenging activities. Tough Mudder takes about 2-3 months to prepare for, so training before or after work is a good time to bond and get fit together.
                  Justin Beck, PerBlue

                   

                  8. Sweaty Team Building

                    Every other Thursday, the whole team works out together. Each workout, a different person decides what we’re doing and leads us. The workouts are fun, build camaraderie, and spark conversations about what else people are doing and using to pursue wellness.
                    Kevon Saber, Stealth

                     

                    9. Walking Meetings

                      We’re stocking healthier snacks in the office and have started walking meetings. Both are small, but effective, ways to make health a priority at work.
                      Brent Beshore, AdVentures

                       

                      10. Offer Incentives

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                        We’ve tried to offer incentives to team members to quit smoking, like days off and gift cards. It works with some, and it just shows that we care about them now and in the future.
                        Jordan Guernsey, Molding Box

                         

                        11. Lead by Example

                          I set the tone. I use my lunch hour to exercise daily, which leads to others joining in, and as more go, more end up coming. Likewise, we keep healthy food in the office, which prompts others to follow suit. Setting an example can be a very powerful, non-intrusive approach.
                          – Nicolas Gremion, Foboko.com

                           

                          12. A 5K Every Month

                            Every month, we try to signup for some type of race for a good cause. While the race itself is always a blast, we find a lot of value in the weeks in between with team trainings and runs after work. A team that trains together, sticks together.
                            Logan Lenz, Endagon

                             

                            13. Teams That Think on Their Feet

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                              We provide height adjustable desks so each person can choose whether to sit or stand while working. This not only keeps them healthy, but increases productivity. We’ve been thrilled with the result! Check out Ergo Depot or Workrite — I highly recommend it!
                              Robert Sofia, Platinum Advisor Marketing Strategies, LLC

                               

                              14. Manage Well, Reduce Stress

                                One of my goals is to delegate early and to pace people well so that they’re not stressed or having to lose sleep to make deadlines. An overall sense of peace and calm created by clear, proactive management has enormous positive health benefits.
                                Elizabeth Saunders, Real Life E®

                                 

                                15. Provide the Time

                                  I have an open workflow, which allows my employees to work out in the morning prior to work. The best motivation is to give your employees the time to work out.
                                  John Hall, Digital Talent Agents

                                  (Featured photo credit: Open Briefcase with Running Shoes via Shutterstock)

                                  More by this author

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                                  Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                                  How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                                  How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                                  We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                                  We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                                  So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                                  Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                                  What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                                  Boundaries are limits

                                  —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                                  Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                                  Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                                  Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                                  Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                                  How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                                  Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                                  1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                                  Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                                  You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                                  To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                                  You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                                  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                                  • When do you feel disrespected?
                                  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                                  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                                  • When do you want to be alone?
                                  • How much space do you need?

                                  You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                                  2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                                  Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                                  Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                                  3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                                  Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                                  That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                                  Sample language:

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                                  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                                  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                                  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                                  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                                  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                                  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                                  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                                  Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                                  4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                                  Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                                  Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                                  Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                                  We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                                  It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                                  It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                                  Final Thoughts

                                  Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                                  Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                                  Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                                  The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                                  Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                                  Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                                  They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                                  Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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