Getting a group of neighbors, teenagers, friends or coworkers together to hold a fitness challenge may encourage the participants to assess their individual fitness levels. Whether you're planning a one-day fitness challenge, or a series of weekly events, schedule challenging games participants will enjoy while developing their fitness and supporting each other.
Relay Races for Cardio
A relay race is more than just a popular game at kid's parties. It's also part of the summer Olympics' track and field competition. Instead of using a stick or baton as the passing item, use water balloons in the summer or apples in the fall. Divide your groups into teams of four to six people, depending on the number of participants. Draw a starting line with chalk, and mark the turn-around point with small cones. Give the first runner on each team a balloon or an apple. Ask his other teammates to line up behind him. On your go, participants run to the turn-around cone, back to their teammates and pass the object. The first team to complete the race wins. Adjust the distance based on the ages and fitness levels of your participants.
Jump Rope for Coordination
Almost anyone can jump rope, even if they haven't jumped rope for years. This activity burns calories, increases your coordination and builds leg and arm muscles. Divide the challenge into three ability levels. Let beginners skip rope for 60 seconds, recording the number of times the rope hits the ground before they lose their rhythm. Ask the participants in the intermediate jump rope challenge to jump rope while lifting both feet off the ground simultaneously. Use a stopwatch to time each participant for 60 seconds. The person who jumps the most times in 60 seconds wins. The third challenge focuses on endurance. Give each person a jump rope and let them jump as long as possible without stopping.
Throwing Games for Arm Strength
Challenge participants to throw an object accurately and for distance by playing two games. Draw a line with athletic field paint or chalk. Give each person three chances to throw a softball as far as possible. Record each participant's best throw with a small stake marked with her name. Next, set up a bull's eye target 10 feet away from the start line for children, and 20 to 30 feet away for adults. Give each person five tries to hit the target with a ball. To break a tie, move the target back 5 feet and let the tied participants try again. If you have a wide variety of fitness levels in your group, consider adjusting the length of the target for each person or giving stronger participants a heavier ball.
Obstacle Course for Agility
Part of military fitness training includes learning to conquer a challenging obstacle course. Set up your own military-style obstacle course to finish your challenge event. Use five to seven obstacles and time each participant as he negotiates your course. Include such events as asking participants to crawl on their bellies for 10 yards, run zigzag through diagonally placed cones, climb over three sawhorses in a row, sprint for 25 yards, lift 2 to 5 lb. hand weights 10 times, throw a beach ball through a hula hoop or perform a long jump.