It’s the time of year where a huge number of people is making the most popular (and most broken) resolution of “get in shape.” Chances are, you know a few of these people. In fact, they are probably your members, colleagues, and possibly staff members.

2013 could be the time for your organization to start a Wellness plan for your staff and members.

January health image resized 600 

So what is a wellness plan? Really it could be anything to promote a healthy, fit or nutritious lifestyle for your members and associates.

Some types of fitness plans:

1)   Fitness competitions awarding points or credits for physical activities and naming a winner

2)   Ask if a nutritionist or fitness expert can come meet with organization to talk about diet and exercise

3)   Start a lunchtime walking group

4)   Arrange a healthy recipe swap



1)   Improved morale blooms from reaching goals. Also if your program includes physical activity, exercise is shown to increase endorphins and improve sleep, which makes for a happier, well-rested group of people.

2)   A good-natured competition can result in camaraderie and team building among members. Just take care that the competition doesn’t get too far out of hand and create the opposite effect.


Challenges you can expect:

1)   Getting the whole organization on board could be tough, depending on the number of people you want to engage.

2)   Concerns about expense usually pop up. Just the phrase “Healthy Living” brings up thoughts of expensive gym membership, pricey diet supplements, and expensive food. Encourage members to do simple, free things to improve their health like park further away and walk and limit portions of food already in their pantry.


A few ideas to get you started

1)   Create a document in Google drive or an area in your AMS that everyone can access and keep track of their activity. Send out weekly reminders to keep members thinking of their goals.

2)   Some sort of prize or incentive can be a good idea, as long as it doesn’t have anything to do with weigh-ins. Forget “The Biggest Loser”. Nothing will cause people to shy away faster than reporting their weight to someone other than a doctor.

3)   Stay flexible.  Everyone has different levels of personal health and goals in mind. Design a plan that will work for everyone on all levels. 

You’re on your way to a fit, healthy association in 2013!