Exercise hacks to get exercise without making it seem like work

Exercise Hacks: Group workouts a great way to stay in shape
Exercise Hacks: Group workouts a great way to stay in shape

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Nearly half of U.S. adults are considered obese and the problem has to do with how little we move as much as it is with how much we eat.

An estimated 60% of American adults do not engage in the recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week and 25% are not active at all. Moving together could turn those numbers around.

Twice a week certified personal trainer Molly Laster coaches a group of men and women on the basketball court and her team always wins.

“Your body is your No. 1 tool. If you have a body that you can move and if you have a will to move it that’s really all you need,” Laster said.

This group finds they also need each other.

“I like group fitness classes. That’s all I do because I need someone to tell me what to do for an hour,” said Anndee Beckerman, who works out alongside her mom, Anndee.

Mother and daughter are a lot alike.

“We do a lot of the same things. She did cheer. I do cheer. I did interior design. She did interior design. She’s kind of my mini-me,” Anndee Beckerman said.

When Brylee’s home from college, working out is their routine and they believe there is something to this group exercise.

“It’s hard to be motivated to exercise on your own, so when you know that other people are going to be looking for you they’re going to miss you if you’re not there and they’re going to see your improvements and progressions and they’re going to cheer you on it makes all the difference,” Laster said.

The American College of Sports Medicine found that group fitness is one of the top three fitness industry trends and there are many reasons why. People influence our attitudes and emotional response to exercise. If you know people who exercise you perceive it as positive, desirable and doable and you’re more likely to follow through.

Also, don’t be intimidated if your workout partner is in better shape. Researchers found intensity increases by as much as 200% when your partner is more fit.

And you can still benefit if your partner is virtual.

“I love having my Apple Watch, so if I get to where it’s like 6 o’clock and my rings aren’t closed, I’m like, I have to go to the gym. I have to close the rings,” Beckerman said. “Last night I was on the treadmill at like 9:30 and I compete with my friends on it.”

Brylee closes her rings by exercising -- just moving in general -- and also by standing. It’s the competition for her and, maybe, a little genetics.

“I love it,” she said. “I see my dad, who is 78 ... can climb a mountain, so it’s all about moving,” Beckerman said. “My goal is to never stop.”

While it’s recommended adults get 150 minutes of exercise a week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says you can break that up any way you want. A 10-minute walk in the parking lot, a five-minute trek up the office stairs, walking down the street and back all count towards your goal.

It’s suggested that you keep an exercise log and add up the minutes. The CDC says the benefits are cumulative, so take the pressure off of yourself and just move.


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