Their chosen way of promoting these things is to hold these ten week "challenges". They pick a different focus for every one. The first focus was just exercise: set a goal for how many minutes of exercise you're going to do per week, then keep track and try to achieve your goal. The second one was just diet -- and they defined "eating well" as "eating more fruits and vegetables". No requirement to eat less of anything, just to eat more fruits and vegetables. You set your goal for how many half-cup servings you'd eat per day and then track actual consumption. The next one was "Get Strong", but they measured the goals just the same way as the first one on exercise.
The latest one is "Stress Down".
I've been looking forward to "Stress Down" solely because reducing stress is the dumbest thing I can imagine competing over. "Oh yeah, gotta make sure I keep track of how much I relax today! I sure hope I can make my goals on how much stress I get rid of. I wouldn't want to be beat out by my less-stressed co-workers!" I mean, really -- isn't keeping track of how much you're de-stressing going to be ... well .. stressful?
This one starts in October. The list of activities that count for de-stressing has at least 20 items on it, and includes an "other" category. The Take Charge Challenges have never been particularly rigorous in their methodology -- you're the one who sets your goals and your success or failure is purely self-reported. Still, this kinda hits a new low for them. Which is probably appropriate for a challenge to de-stress.
Eating fruits and veggies is one of the items on the list. "Relax, here, have this carrot." I think that's gotta be the biggest stretch of the list (well, apart from "other") but it does go back to their diet-and-exercise theme.
Excuse me, my train of thought has just been completely derailed by listening to Roger Whittaker sing "Kilgary Mountain". Which is a version of a traditional song I had previously only heard performed by Metallica, as "Whiskey in the Jar". My mind is still busy trying to wrap my mind around the idea of Metallica and Roger Whittaker* performing the same song. O_o
I think I like Metallica's performance better, but Whittaker's version makes more sense.
Okay, where was I? Oh yeah, the de-stress list.
Most prominent on the list is exercise. Every minute of exercise counts for one point. by contrast, reading an entire book counts for five, and eating a banana counts for one. So, pretty much, the amount of exercise I do will overwhelm all other possible activities and it'll boil down to whether or not I keep up my current level of activity. I lowballed my exercise goal at 45 minutes per day, 6 days a week, and scraped together 20 additional points per day out of other things.
I have to admit, exercise is something of a stress-relieving activity. The first time I got a table massage, the massage therapist told me "Massage is a kind of exercise". The converse is also true: exercise is a kind of massage. After I finish working out, I'm a lot less tense. Unfortunately, the benefits last about as long for me as they do with a massage -- maybe ten or fifteen minutes after it's over. :/ On the bright side, exercising is a lot cheaper and I can afford to do it much more often.
One of the items on the list is "journaling". I had no idea that keeping a journal could be considered a stress-relieving activity. But I may be doing more entries to my LJ when the challenge kicks off in October. Or not, as the case may be.
Regardless, I'm not gonna stress over it.
* Yes, I like music by both Roger Whittaker and Metallica. Stop looking at me like that.