How To Start A Lunch-Time Fitness Group

Fed up of spending your lunch-breaks staring at a screen? Getting involved or starting an office fitness group is a great way to tone up, enhance your productivity and grow your professional network.

Workplace fitness groups come in all shapes and sizes; some exercise daily, others meet weekly, some do Pilates and others kickboxing. No matter what the activity, the one thing all fitness groups have in common is the ability to bring people together in a healthy and proactive way.

If your place of employment currently has no form of regular exercise meetup, try to establish one yourself using the following guidelines:

  • Do your Research: Find out how many of your colleagues are interested in working out at lunch and what form of training they are most eager to participate in. This can be done by asking around, creating a suggestion box or circulating a survey through email. Consider what the existing resources within your office are, if there is a safe space for working out and whether or not there is a gym, park or running track in the local area. All of this will influence the type of workout group you form.

  • Seek Support: Before you can implement a work-centred fitness regime, you must first get permission from the relevant authorities. Because workplace wellness is now on the agenda of many employers, it’s likely your boss will be happy to back your proposal.

  • Be Encouraging: Don’t push anyone into attending, but do make an effort to assist those who are nervous about getting involved. Not everyone will be at the same level of physical health to begin with so it’s important to let your co-workers know that your group is open to anyone, no matter what stage of their fitness journey they may currently be at.

  • Get Planning: Try to avoid scheduling your meets on the busiest day of the work week. Once your group is well established, this may not be an issue. But to begin with, try pick a day and time which suits the majority of schedules.

  • Promote: No matter what the sport, there is one major requirement for group training to be a success and that’s people! Get others involved by circulating a company email both in the run-up to the inaugural session and as a reminder for those which follow. Talk to anyone who has expressed interest in enhancing the health status of your workplace and ask them to invite their professional teammates along.

  • Start Small: It doesn’t matter if only one other person arrives at your first meet. Stick with your training, persist with your promotion and eventually others will follow suit.

  • Set a Target: Establishing a running group in the lead up to a local charity race is a great way to get people motivated and involved. Having a target in mind will encourage commitment and bonding in addition to providing a reason to celebrate at the end of the challenge.

  • Diversify: If your group’s primary focus is walking, consider inviting a yoga instructor or conditioning coach in for a session once a month. Not only will this keep your current members interested, it might also attract colleagues with different fitness interests towards your group.

  • Share: As with any collection of people, it’s likely your club will attract individuals from a host of different backgrounds. Make use of their varying interests and enhance interaction by asking a different member of the group to share a recipe, tip or health related insight each week.

  • Grow: Once a significant period of time has passed and your club has found its flow, analyse the group’s success and decide the best way to build upon it. If your boss was initially resistant to the idea of cultivating an activity group, this would be a great opportunity to approach them with the support of your colleagues to explain how those involved have benefited from more versatile lunchbreak's.