Sunday, December 1, 2013

Exercise - why bother?

It seems that the HR department up at USRA would like us to take more exercise. At least, that's what they keep telling us. They even have events to encourage people to exercise, such as walking competitions and the 'New York minute'. However, I haven't felt inspired to take part in any of these.
Leaving aside the somewhat dubious science behind some of the 'healthy living' advice in the 'New York minute', and the off-putting name (can anything associated with New York be good for you?), there was the chance to win an iPad mini - surely motivation enough? Alas, no. You had to reach a certain number of 'points' to go into the draw. Like the earlier walking competition, this meant that if you weren't already exercising a lot and following their (pseudo-scientific) idea of a healthy lifestyle, there wasn't much chance of winning anything. Rather than encouraging exercise, the competitions reward the already-fit and discourage those who are ostensibly being targetted.
Yet last week I took part in the Observatory's Thanksgiving 'Turkeython'. This event had no significant prizes - not an iPad in sight - but it was fun and social. This was exercise and team-building done right. I had a good time even though, like last time I entered, I ended up limping.
Maybe fun is a better motivator than iPads and competition! 
(Photo by Tony Acevedo)

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