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Fall Football Fitness Challenge; Holiday Survivor Challenge; 50K in 80 Days

These innovative programming ideas motivate members to exercise using all the offered programs and products.

Fall Football Fitness Challenge

Calvin Court, Buckhead, Ga.
May 2007

Residents at Calvin Court, a community wellness center for older adults, took part in the Fall Football Fitness Challenge.

Most older adults in retirement communities want an opportunity to get involved. And there's no shortage of those opportunities at Calvin Court, one of three Atlanta communities for older adults operated by Presbyterian Homes of Georgia, which provides free exercise programs for its residents. One of the most recent opportunities for involvement was the Fall Football Fitness Challenge held September 18 through December 17. According to Wellness Director Barry Nave, the No. 1 goal was to "Have fun while you improve your health!" To participate, residents signed up for one of 16 teams, and recorded their points earned for cardio exercise, group exercise classes, weight training and water intake. Every minute of cardio counted as one point; group exercise classes counted as 30 points for a half-hour class or 60 points for a full-hour class; two days of weight training for at least 20 minutes counted as 400 points for the week, and drinking at least 32 ounces of water earned participants 60 points each day. Bonus points could be added at the end of the 13-week competition for pounds of fat loss and/or muscle gain, as well as inches lost off the waist. A total of 16 teams participated, most of which had one staff member, and all which were headed by a resident team captain. Residents titled their groups after football teams, and some came up with some creative names, like the "I-Know-I-Cans," the "Go-Getters" and the "Go-Go Challengers." Final team standings put the Angels in first place, earning 18,078 average weekly points.

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Holiday Survivor Challenge

Genesis Health Clubs, Wichita, Kan.
May 2007

The Holiday Survivor Challenge helps to keep members active in their group fitness programs during the busy holiday season.

Almost every fitness facility sees a drop off in member participation during the holidays, so Genesis Health Club created a challenge to encourage its members to stay with their group fitness programs during that time, which they named The Genesis Health Clubs Holiday Survivor Challenge. "It started when we saw the trend of group fitness numbers dropping off during those times because people were too busy to come in," explains Angie Kendall, regional group fitness director. The 13-week challenge started Nov. 20, 2006, and ended Feb. 18, 2007. Members were asked to log 60 group fitness classes during that time, which equaled 4.6 workouts per week. "We kept notebooks in each group fitness studio with log sheets for each member participating," says Kendall. "After they completed a class from start to finish, they would log the day, time and class on their sheet and have the instructor sign it." All group fitness classes were included, and there was even an option for special populations. "We offer a wonderful beginning group fitness class three times a week that caters to our seniors, pre- and post-natal, and those members recovering from injuries," says Kendall. Those members were asked to complete 40 workouts during the same 13 weeks. After every 10 classes members attend, their name went into a drawing for a grand prize - an incentive Kendall hoped would keep them going to classes even after they had completed their 40 or 60 classes. Those completing the challenge received a T-shirt with the challenge logo on it, and the grand prize drawing winner received a Genesis gym bag filled with goodies. "We told them that this was our way of rewarding them - helping them to relieve that holiday stress, and to stay in shape through one of the busiest times of the year," explains Kendall. "Everyone, including members and staff, loves it. We've done it every holiday season since 2003."

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50K in 80 Days

Kinetics, Fitness for Life, Millersburg, Ohio
May 2007

Members were encouraged to expend 50,000 calories in 80 days, which is the equivalent of 625 calories per day.

Exercising off calories can be a great motivation. So, the 50K in 80 Days promotion that Kinetics, Fitness For Life, offered last year from October through December was a hit. For the promotion, members were encouraged to expend 50,000 calories in 80 days, which is the equivalent of 625 calories per day. That's a lofty goal for some, no doubt, but most definitely a goal. Everything counted toward calorie usage. Those who used machines were shown the calories they used on the LED screens. All other calorie ratings were averaged from the most commonly used ratings. A half hour of weight training counted as 300 calories, a full hour of weight training counted as 500 calories and a one-hour fitness class counted as 700 calories. Participants recorded their calories on a sheet at the front desk. "It was an honor system," says Director Mike Hamsher, "but, they had to record the numbers in front of a staff member, so the members felt they needed to be honest." Standings were presented weekly on a PowerPoint TV so participants could see how others were progressing. One hundred members signed up, yet only about 30 were able to finish the challenge. "Not a great percentage of completion, but all who signed up were able to burn at least 15,000 calories," says Hamsher. And, those who finished received a specially designed T-shirt that stated, "I burned 50K at Kinetics." "All who participated enjoyed the accountability and seeing the progress of fellow competitors," Hamsher says. "It helped develop a great atmosphere of camaraderie among members."

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