Incorporating Biking (and Families!) into your Wellness Programs
Written by Toni Sperlbaum
May 15-19 is National Bike to Work week. Before you shut down the idea because:
“My employees would never bike to work” or “Our employees are too geographically spread out” or “Whatever other excuse you can come up with not get involved,” WAIT!
Even if these are true, use the “Bike Week” opportunity to encourage bike riding for the upcoming warmer months. They don’t have to bike to work, but consider implementing a “biking challenge” when members have to bike 30 miles (for example) during the entirety of the month when biking works best for them. One never-ending challenge of corporate wellness programs is how to get families involved. Biking is the PERFECT activity to incorporate family members. Maybe they have a goal of 30 miles for them and an additional 30 miles for all other members of the family (combined) and they go into a drawing to win some cool gear or a gift card if they hit their 30 mile (or family 60 mile) goal.
Benefits of Biking:
Weight loss: cycling a minimum of 30 minutes has immense benefits (not to mention the cardio)
It’s environmentally friendly
Easy on the joints
Gets people OUTSIDE and encourages them to explore nature
Studies have shown that cyclists have lower stress levels compared to non cyclists. The increased blood flow and sweat produces production of mood enhancing hormones.
Cycling 3-4 times a week strengthens the immune system, therefor, cyclists are much less susceptible to taking sick days.
Something else I’ve learned over the years: your employees may surprise you! Maybe no one bikes to work now because they’ve ever thought about it (until you introduce the idea), there are no bike racks, or their bikes need a tune up. Most bike shops will offer a free tune up, ESPECIALLY during Bike Week, or big time discounts on parts needed to make the bike working like new again. I encourage you to at least put it out to your employees and not just assume they are not interested or will not participate. Even if you can get ONE more employee riding their bike more often, why not take the opportunity?
Promote these free tune ups, look at installing some bike racks, give them a trail map (or a website where they can research themselves) and give your employees a chance. You may be surprised!