Form Strong Bonds While Sweatworking

A little exercise does wonders for the body, helping us fight the battle of the bulge and ward off dreaded diseases. It also activates those wonderful brain chemicals that promote happiness and relaxation.

As it turns out, physical activity is great for team building, too. In fact, a U.S. News & World Report article counts fitness and sports activities among the top five best bonding outings for coworkers.

Certain active events also are perfect for getting to know potential clients—or for saying thank you to existing ones. Few clients would turn down an event that gives them a chance to perfect their golf swing, for example.

Before booking an event that involves physical activity, however, you’ll want to consider the abilities of the potential participants. A 20-mile whitewater rafting trip, for example, might not be the best choice for everyone!

Fortunately, there’s an activity-minded event option to fit almost any group, from the exercise challenged to the super-athletic. We’ve shared some of our favorites here.

Easy does it

Many events involving low-impact sports—with some tasty food and drink thrown in—are a perfect choice for groups with a wide range of physical abilities. And participants are sure to have fun, whether they are veterans of the sports or first-time participants.

Treat your employees to a bowling party, complete with the requisite ugly shoes, at Tavern + Bowl in Costa Mesa, Calif. This boutique restaurant and bowling alley combo boasts a contemporary scratch kitchen, a humungous assortment of brews and state-of-the-art lanes.

Or put on your game face and challenge clients to a friendly game of ping pong at SPiN Standard in Los Angeles. Owned and fearlessly led by Susan Sarandon, this professional-grade ping pong club boasts a fun food truck-style menu and creative cocktails.

For more adventurous-minded employees or clients, book an archery outing at Next Step Archery near Seattle. No need to fear: Before they take aim at the target, guests will get professional hands-on instruction at this 28-lane indoor facility. They will then enjoy a fun and friendly competition that includes archery games like 21, Battleship, Tic-Tac-Bow and Balloons. 

Take it up a notch

Some events require a little more physical exertion or skill. But they are still great team-building or entertainment options for a wide range of groups.

Relive your crazy three-wheeling childhood moments by engaging in a team-building race on adult-sized Big Wheel trikes in Atlanta! Adult Big Wheel Club will provide the trikes and set up a full race course—including a PA system with an MC and music—at the location of your choosing. Guests will be divided into teams and show off their pedal power in fun relay games.

Or have a party while you pedal in Miami on a super-unique 15-person bike from Cycle Party. As they team up to power the bike, participants will explore Miami’s colorful Wynwood neighborhood. At various stops along the tour, they will enjoy delicious food, refreshing adult beverages and a scavenger hunt and other team-building activities.

For special clients, fuel a little friendly rivalry with a golf event at Topgolf in the Chicago suburbs (and many other locations) that trumps the traditional work week excursion. Topgolf’s hybrid golf games are suitable for all skill levels, and its state-of-the-art bays are covered and climate controlled. The event comes complete with a delicious stationed buffet and drink orders from an open bar.

Test those muscles

There’s no shortage of events for the athletically inclined, either. These events not only provide a great workout, but also give participants a sense of accomplishment to go with their sore muscles.

Treat your energetic (and sure-footed) employees to go a rock climbing adventure at Brooklyn Boulders in New York. The venue’s hybrid rock climbing facilities stimulate innovation and creativity. Participants will learn to boulder from, and get belayed by, CWI-certified instructors.

Or learn to row, row, row the boat under the guidance of Olympic rowers in Philadelphia. At Team Concepts Inc., former Olympian Dan Lyons and his fellow Olympian staff will guide participants through an ultra-interactive rowing experience along the famous Boathouse Row. Working in teams, participants will end the experience by going head to head in an adrenaline-fueled race.

For super-athletic groups, consider booking a Spartan team obstacle course race at Fenway Park in Boston (and other locations). Voted Best Obstacle Race by Outside Magazine, the Spartan Race event will challenge your guests to complete the race course as a team. The feat—which involves stumbling blocks like a rope climb, burpees, monkey bars, stair running and pushups—typically takes between 1.5 and 2 hours. In addition to bragging rights, finishers get a shirt, a beer and a medal.


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