Every year the Zen Committee at VAST designs a special 12-week fitness challenge to encourage our team members to get the year started on the right path of health. We develop a new theme each year as a fun way to get people interested and to laugh along with the scenarios we present. For example, we’ve used “The Olympics” and “Mt. Everest” as themes in the past.
The theme we chose this year is “The Oregon Trail” based on the computer game made popular in elementary schools in the 80’s and 90’s. Team members have 12 weeks to move their covered wagon from one side of the poster to the other. There are 12 stops associated with the Oregon Trail game that represent 150 minutes of exercise. Each 150 minutes of exercise a team member completes moves them one spot closer to Oregon’s Willamette Valley, the end of the game. Once they reach the end, they are entered in a drawing to win one of three top prizes: gift cards for $200, $100, or $50.
Another fun part we included in the annual challenge is adding 6 extra week-long mini-challenges, where team members can participate as an additional healthy challenge. Some examples are limiting red meat intake to only two servings for a week, trying out a new physical activity, and limiting eating out to one time for the week. These extra challenges don’t have to be completed for team members to complete the annual challenge; it just adds more fun and health to the challenge.
VAST and the Zen Committee strive to bring being healthy to the forefront of the VAST core values year-round. Our annual challenge is a great kick-off point in the right direction, and finding a way to motivate our team members to be healthy is fun and rewarding in and of itself!