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Challenge Idea: Team Up

This May, challenge each of your department members to participate in a sport together in honor of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Team sports not only provide exercise – they also build teamwork skills, something that is very important for first responders. Team sports are also a fun way to help relieve stress.

Some friendly competition may provide the motivation that many people need to exercise. Adults 18 and older need 30 minutes of physical activity on five or more days a week to be healthy. Moderate daily physical activity can substantially reduce the risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers, such as colon cancer. Daily physical activity also helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, helps prevent or retard osteoporosis, and helps reduce obesity, symptoms of anxiety and depression, and symptoms of arthritis.

Challenge Rules:

  1. Choose a team sport that will involve as many members of your department as possible. Examples include basketball, softball, touch football, volleyball, kickball, and soccer.
  2. Use the “Team Up” Log to record each activity completed and the number of department members that participated.
  3. Strive for as many different activities throughout the month as possible. Try to get at least 50 percent of the department involved at least four times throughout the month.

To motivate your department members, try sending out weekly emails with motivational messages, quotes, and exercise tips. Try to get as many members of your department involved as possible. Set up times well in advance for departmental team sport events. Install a basketball hoop or provide a map to a softball field near your firehouse. Increase the competition by challenging neighboring departments to friendly sporting events such as softball or football. Put up a bulletin board with tips for exercising in the station. Find more fitness resources and activity ideas on the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program web site.

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