Finding a group activity that’s fun and promotes a healthy lifestyle can be challenging, especially if you want to think outside the box of a group spin class or yoga session. Fun fitness exercise options are out there, though, and engaging in group activities that get everyone moving can be advantageous for several reasons.
Exercise has a variety of benefits and oftentimes those of us who sit in front of a computer for hours at a time don’t hit the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity per day. Physical activity can lower the risk of high blood pressure, reduce arthritis symptoms and improve mental health and cognitive function – all great benefits for friends, families, colleagues and everyone in between! Make the most of your time and fitness goals by planning a unique group outing that gets everyone pumped mentally and physically:
- Paintball – Teamwork, strategy and cardio! Teams will get to participate in traditional bonding activities such as communication, competition and celebration while also running, hiding and dodging incoming “enemy” paintballs. If you and your friends are looking for something new to try or your company culture needs a refresh, this might be the perfect starting point. Your crew can blow off some steam while having the opportunity to reconnect with a little harmless competition.
- Go-Karting – You might not think of go-karting as a physical activity, after all participants are sitting during the race. However, did you know that go-karting can burn up to 358 calories every half hour? That’s 40 percent more than jogging! As you and your friends get your heart rate pumping and skidding through curves while working your arms, legs and core at every turn, you’ll also be bonding as a team through socialization, cheering each other on and creating high-speed connections.
- Frisbee Golf – A team sport that will have everyone laughing is always a good time. If you’ve never played frisbee golf, you can use some simplified rules and head to your local park instead of getting space on a specialized field. The idea is to get the lowest score which indicates the fewest number of throws of the frisbee to make it into the goal. Or, you can just count each goal as one point, whatever is easiest to track. Use some (clean) trash bins for mobile goals and set up your game to get some good exercise almost anywhere!
- Scavenger Hunt – Smaller team sizes and a high level of socialization make this one of the ultimate group bonding experiences. Perhaps one of your friends loves throwing detailed parties, playing games or is the dungeon master of weekend D&D quests. Let them flex their creativity and create a scavenger hunt. Running around your local shopping area or favorite hangout spot trying to be the first to solve all the clues will get everyone moving and working together while having a blast.
- Photo Hike – These days you don’t need a lot of equipment to take incredible photos – our phones have everything we need! Find a few easy hikes in your area and send teams out to find the perfect nature photo. Each person can take as many photos as they want but may only submit one at the end of the hike. The group can then vote on their favorite and print the winning image from each hike to hang in their homes as part of a collage. Or, create a special group screensaver that filters through each photo submitted to help remind the team of their fun adventure.
- Volunteer – Want to do something with your coworkers to increase employee loyalty, job satisfaction, morale and employee engagement? Look no further than your company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) program. Get your employees involved and ignite their passions by participating in a team building activity that also gives back to the community. Consider a beach or park clean up, helping build houses for the homeless or stock shelves and process donations at your local food bank. Whatever you choose, make sure there is an active component that gets your team up and moving for a good cause!
- Pokémon Go – Pika, pika! You don’t have to be a Pokémon fan to take advantage of this augmented reality (AR) game for mobile devices. Players can search and discover Pokémon while walking around in any setting. This is an easy and interactive activity that motivates people to get moving in an effort to capture Pokémon. This game also doesn't have to be played at a set time that accommodates everyone’s schedules, kids,etc. Each person can choose to go on their Pokémon discovery mission at any point, just encourage it to be played in pairs or small groups when possible to get the sense of teamwork.The connection of collecting, trading and fighting Pokémon could create a common interest for the whole group, allowing them to bond over the game and its cute characters.
Whether it be with your coworkers, your local Facebook group, your college friends or some of your neighbors, finding fun activities that get you up and moving provides a variety of benefits—not the least of which is some good old fashioned movement and exercise. While the options are endless when you get creative, the activities above can be a great start when looking for ways to change up a monotonous exercise routine and be part of a team. While many bonding activities take place in front of the TV, at restaurants or in a conference room, these more active options will allow your group to get more out of their time together and take their fitness goals to the next level.