The Duke Center for Living at Fearrington recently wrapped up a very successful member competition entitled “The Fitness BINGO Challenge.” Members who participated attempted to complete a weekly BINGO playing card. Each box on the card contained a small task related to well-being, and if a member completed five boxes in a row they earned one point for their team. Each week the tasks on the card were different, as each one of our Exercise Physiologists took the time to create a unique playing card. We received reports of members trying out and enjoying new group exercise classes and new pieces of fitness equipment. Some reported choosing healthier eating options and paid more attention to their sleeping patterns. Additionally, they spoke of the joy that comes from smiling at and complimenting their fellow members.


As stated, each Exercise Physiologist at the health and fitness center created a weekly card for the competition. I work with a thoughtful, creative, and passionate team of people, and was impressed with the tasks they formulated for our members to complete. I am extending our challenge to you now. Below is a compilation of my 10 favorite ‘wellness’ tasks from the competition for you to complete in the next month. They are incredibly simple, yet powerful in their own right. Take time to enjoy checking each one off the list, and try not to hurry through them. Savor the good feelings that are cultivated with the completion of each:

1. Take a walk with a friend
2. Look up at the stars for a handful of minutes
3. Give a loved one a big hug
4. Examine a fallen leaf
5. Compliment a cashier or waiter/waitress (or both!)
6. Try one new fruit or vegetable
7. Begin reading a new book
8. Take a quiet and leisurely stroll either at dawn or dusk
9. Sit quietly and listen to your breath for five minutes
10. Turn off the television for one full day

Simple enough, right? Complete the list in one month and you will feel better because of it. If there is a task that is specifically enjoyable, such as the evening stroll or the mindful breathing, incorporate it into a daily routine. To begin your journey on the right foot, contemplate the famous words of Thich Nhat Hanh:

“Smile, breathe, and go slowly.”