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Everyone thinks of January or springtime when it comes to fitness challenges, but really anytime is a great time to take up a fitness challenge. Fall is especially good though – there’s something about the crisp air, the dip in temperature, and the beautifully colored foliage that just makes working out a little more wonderful. 

It’s important to keep employees motivated and healthy, and fitness challenges are a great way to do that. You can even incentivize these challenges so that if completed, something can be won like vouchers, cash prizes, or gifts. 

Even if you don’t, they’ll have fun and get moving while they do these challenges alongside their coworkers, and it changes up their daily schedule. 

Here are some creative fitness challenges for employees to try out in September – or really any time!

1. Run (or walk) a fall 5K

This is the most obvious and well-known option, but for good reason. All it takes is planning a route and picking a time, and then employees can be on their way. 

The best part about this 5K is that there’s no pressure to run for the entire 5 kilometers. Participants are welcome to walk and run or just walk the whole way. This makes it great for people of all abilities and ages. 

2. Rake it up

Another fun activity that is also a surprisingly good workout is raking up leaves. Fall is beautiful, but it’s also a pain in the neck to clean up after the trees. This challenge is an excellent upper body workout while being season-specific and provides a great opportunity for bonding as employees can chat as they go. 

The best place to rake up fallen leaves would be the lawns of elderly neighbors or others who might find it difficult to do this activity for themselves. 

3. Choose your own adventure

With this challenge, employees pick from a bowl that contains little pieces of paper with different options for exercise on them. The options are favorite exercise choices given by the employees themselves. 

The office gets sorted into teams, and then each week, a representative from a team will pick a paper from the bowl. And then for that week every team will have to do that exercise, whether it’s taught by someone in the office, a professional, or even a YouTuber. 

4. Treasure hunt

Whoever said treasure hunts are just for kids was wrong. This is like a 5K but more fun. You can hide clues along the route that lead the hunters to their next stop. The treasure at the end can be anything.

The great thing about this challenge is that the clues can be created to foster teamwork, for example solving them can be made to depend on certain team members’ knowledge. Additionally, it can be exciting for employees to explore their locale on foot and potentially discover places that are new to them. 

5. Team tournaments

Team tournaments are excellent ways to achieve multiple goals with one activity. They’re team building activities, a fitness challenge, and a workout all in one. Some ideas for specific contest are tug of war, relay races, and even some of the other fitness challenges included in this list. 

The bonding that employees enjoy during these tournaments is a joy to experience and watch. There are definitely going to be memories made that will last. 

6. Nutrition challenge

Fitness challenges don’t always have to be physical. Nutrition challenges are just as difficult. These can be as simple as a water-drinking challenge to make sure people drink the recommended amount every day. 

Another idea is to set a nutrition challenge where employees have to cut out something that’s not so nutritious and replace it with something that is. 

For example, alcoholic beverages with water, pizza with a veggie stir-fry, or candies with nuts. They could also try to hit the recommended amount of macronutrients for a certain number of days, or try to eat a diet that’s rich in something they’re lacking. 

This not only helps them to participate in a challenge, but will encourage them to make healthier life choices in the long term. 

7. The lower the better

Similarly, the challenge could be to lower a certain metric such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, or even stress. Fitness should be holistic, so this can be a month-long or even season-long challenge. It could be set alongside other challenges too. 

These would be very difficult challenges so they will take a lot more effort, tracking, and documenting, but the results are worth it. While more personal, employees can share their progress and celebrate successes or share tips with each other.

It’s important not to make it about weight or appearances however, as that would be crossing over into rude and invasive territory. 

8. Adding (pumpkin) spice to fitness

Whether you’re looking for a daily, weekly, or monthly fitness challenge, there’s something for you on this list. These options are adaptable, but all of them will maximize employee participation, bonding, and health. 

There’s no better time to start getting healthier than the present.