Looking for an easy, fun way to stick to your New Year’s Resolution of improving your health and well-being? Go for a walk!

Time recently called walking “the single most proven way to get smarter and happier,” and that’s why I’m inviting our friends in the admissions/education world to join our walking group!

Because Fire Engine RED is a 100% virtual marketing/technology company, our walking group is also 100% virtual. So it doesn’t matter where you live/work; you can walk with us any place or time you’d like. All you need is a Fitbit device and a can-do attitude.

Our virtual walking group provides encouragement, support, and a sense of community.

How it started

Last May, I started our virtual walking group to encourage our team members to stay active and healthy. Initially, the group consisted of one enthusiastic member (me) and two not-so-enthusiastic team members.

Fast forward seven months

Today, more than 25% of our 65 team members – located throughout the U.S. and Canada – have joined our virtual walking group. From new moms to marathon runners, our group members are setting personal goals and achieving them!

Benefits of walking

Taking a walk is a great way to:

  • Beat the winter blues. Getting outdoors is proven to elevate your mood.
  • Manage stress. On one particularly stressful day, I took over 35,000 steps! Bet you’d love to know what was happening at Fire Engine RED on that day 🙂
  • Feel accomplished. Whatever else happens during the day, if you’ve gotten your walk in and met your goal, you’ll have done something positive for yourself!
  • Do business. Whenever I don’t need to be in front of the computer, I grab my cell phone, head out to the park across the street, and check in with team members as I walk. And you don’t need to run a virtual company to do this: according to his biography, Steve Jobs was known to have important business-related meetings while walking with colleagues.
  • Spur creativity. As The New Yorker noted, because people “don’t have to devote much conscious effort to the act of walking, our attention is free to [come up with] innovative ideas.” It’s true – some of my best ideas come to me while I’m walking.
  • Lose weight. Remember those two not-so-enthusiastic walkers I mentioned? Well, they’ve each lost more than 30 pounds since they started walking – and they’ve become evangelists for our walking group.
  • Save money and avoid the crowds. Gyms offer great rates in January, but those rates don’t stay low forever. And, have you seen how crowded gyms are in January? Walking is free all year long, and it’s entirely up to you if you want company.
  • Make new friends. Last summer, while out for a walk, I met a group of other walkers that I now join several days a week. We also meet once a month for breakfast or lunch at a healthy restaurant. And because the group’s organizer is a retired doctor, she invites other top local doctors to speak to our group about fitness and other health issues! Who would’ve thought – all this started with a walk!
Finding the time

Our team members walk before and after work, and at lunch. But we take creative approaches to walking as well. For example:

  • Grab and go. If we have a meeting and don’t have to be in front of the computer, we take our mobile phones and head out for a walk. I also encourage my team members to walk while they’re listening in on our all-company briefings.
  • Pace in (your) place. Bad weather? No problem. We walk around in the comfort of our home offices; you’d be surprised at how many steps we can get in.
  • Perambulate with your pooch. At Fire Engine RED, every day is “take your pet to work day,” and dogs, of course, need to be walked. Lacking for canine companionship? You can always offer to walk a neighbor’s dog.
Walking the talk

As the CEO, I’m committed to encouraging team members stay active and healthy. But just talking about fitness isn’t enough. I believe a key to leadership is – wait for it – “walking the talk.”

Start today

Here’s how:

  • Get your Fitbit® device
  • Go to fitbit.com and click on Community, then Activity Groups.
  • Search “Fire Engine RED & Friends.”

Or, just email us at info@fire-engine-red.com and we’ll send you an invitation. Our team is looking forward to cheering you on.

Now, I’m off for a walk!