We’ve all got Olympic fever. Cheering for our country, rooting for our favorite athletes, marveling at the dedication and talent of the Olympians – what’s better? Nothing. But alongside the patriotism they inspire, the Olympics also offer valuable lessons about wellness that we can all apply to workplace wellness:
Competition is infectious: Healthy competition can be a powerful motivator! Rivalries force us to take stock of our capabilities and push ourselves farther than ever before. Consider the Lochte-Phelps intra-team rivalry, or the side-by-side training of competing sprinters Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake.
Champions Inspire: Exceptional individuals can inspire large groups of people to perform better and work harder. Not everyone has to be a top athlete or the most consistent exerciser, but those that do excel set a powerful example for others to follow. Just look how gymnast Gabby Douglas inspired her teammates to win the gold – your employees can do the same for each other.
Everyone can succeed: Regardless of results and medals, all Olympic athletes are impressive and extraordinary. By the same token, wellness will be helpful for all employees, regardless of where they fall on the health and fitness spectrum. No one can argue that Oscar Pistorious’ semi-final race was just as impressive as any gold medal sprint, and for the same reason, one employee’s new walking routine can be just as life-changing as another’s marathon.
Support Is A Strong Statement: Heads of state always visit the Olympics to cheer on their athletes. And for good reason: by supporting those doing difficult, even seemingly impossible physical tasks, leaders are validating the effort, dedication, and training of their country’s athletes. You can do the same for your own employees: cheer on those that are making difficult life changes to show that their hard work is noticed.
A Little Motivation Goes A Long Way: Okay…so Olympians don’t have merely “a little” motivation. More like boatloads of it. And that’s the special ingredient: It’s dedication, not genetics, that buoys some competitors to the top while others never triumph. With applied dedication and social support, even your most athletically inexperienced employees can make huge strides, improving their health and their lives.
posted cited By Elise Meyer