The Right Athletic Activity for Your Meeting Purpose

Whether Celebrate or Decide, we highlight which athletic activity will help forward your meeting goals

Whether we work out to combat stress, stay healthy or push ourselves to new limits, the physical benefits of regular exercise are well known. But the way movement affects our minds, while less visible in nature, might actually exceed any of those bonuses.  

According to a recent Time article, regular exercise (even if it’s just moderate) can lower a person’s risk for Alzheimer’s disease, slow aging of the brain and help improve cognitive function in adults. 

But how do those attributes apply to your specific meeting agenda, whether it be an idea-intensive Decide event or a team-building Network activity? Here, we outline the physical activity most in line with your meeting goals. 

Exercise: Yoga 

Ideal for: Ideate or Decide meetings

Primary benefit: Promotes calm/centeredness 

Avid yogis know the stress-reducing benefits of a post-work downward dog, but according to a recent post from Yoga Journal, the meditative component of yoga can move you from the sympathetic nervous system (the “fight or flight” response you might get from an intense day at the office) to the parasympathetic nervous system, a more beneficial “rest and digest” state. During a break at an idea-intensive Ideate or Decide meeting, consider hiring a yoga instructor to lead attendees in an easy stretch (like tree pose) and put on calming music with candles for extra effect.    

Exercise: Team Sports 

Ideal for: Network or Celebrate meetings

Primary benefit: Increased camaraderie

Whether it was peewee football, T-ball or tennis in pairs, sports are strongly associated with adolescence––and for good reason. The International Platform on Sport and Development says that multi-person athletics can help boost honesty, teamwork and respect for others. 

That same logic can be directly applied to your Network or Celebrate meeting agenda. Whether you organize after-work kickball leagues for opposing organizations or encourage guests to play a quick game of volleyball prior to meeting, team sports can help both boost camaraderie and a competitive spirit among attendees. 

Exercise: Spinning or Running 

Ideal for: Decide or Produce meetings

Primary benefit: Mental sharpness

According to an article from Psychology Today, aerobic exercise (such as cycling, running and jump-roping), in addition to being crucial for our heart health, can also help improve brain function. In a 2015 study, participants who performed aerobic exercise on a treadmill had increased blood flow to the memory and processing centers of their brain, helping to improve attention span and organizing abilities. If your Decide or Produce meetings calls for a high level of collaboration, thinking and execution, consider offering passes for guests to attend local gyms or cycling studios. During a Network event, see if any attendees are avid runners or hikers and part of a club––they could potentially lead an aerobic group workout.  

Exercise: Weightlifting 

Ideal for: Promote meetings

Primary benefit: Confidence 

Aside from the obvious muscular boost, weightlifting can also amp up one’s mental state, in the form of increased self-confidence. As a Huffington Post article described, lifting weights can help foster an enhanced appreciation for the amazing feats your body is capable of. And in terms of your event, that surge of confidence can aid in projecting big, innovative ideas in front of a room in a Promote meeting. Again, offering gym vouchers or having on-site weight sets in a facility’s gym can help aid in this. Or better yet––turn the event into an Educate meeting, where a trainer could come on-site and show your attendees proper lifting form.