Thursday, February 1, 2007

Make fitness a group sport

I was talking to my friend Mikel, who's a teacher in Maryland, last night. She's in the process of trying to organize a workout group at the end of the day.

I think this is a great idea: Teachers stay after school three times a week and exercise. Since everyone has those exercise videos they bought and used for a week before shelving them, the group has plenty of workouts to choose from. Mikel said she was thinking about a cardio video twice a week and a yoga or belly dancing video once a week.

Another friend of mine, who also works in a school, organized a Weight Watchers group to meet each week at the school. Teachers and staff were able to cheer each other on and work towards healthy eating together. She lost 30 pounds.

What intrigues me about both of these is ease and accountability.

It's easy to stay for an hour at the end of the work day. Let's face it, most of us already do. It's a lot harder to drive to the gym after that long day or get up an hour early in the morning. That's especially true here in Boston, where it's freezing and dark -- both early in the morning and not-so-late at night.

Then, you're accountable to the rest of your group -- they'll notice if you're not there. They'll notice if the group is on a diet and you run out for a extra large steak and cheese sub on your lunch break. Sometimes knowing others are watching you work toward your health and fitness goals keeps you in line. It's the premise this blog is founded on.

That said, I've done abysmally on the next step of my weight loss plan: Getting moving. I have taken exactly one walk this week. But I did find a great article about some easy ways to just get moving. It's got some great ideas, like getting a book on tape and listening to it only when you walk. Audio books are easy to get and free at your local library. I plan to try this next week.

The article also included a great idea for couch potatoes:

Exercise while watching television. For those who can't get off the couch because they are glued to the television, there is the Entertrainer. The device acts as a universal television remote with a heart rate monitor that straps around the chest, forcing the person wearing it to keep moving to maintain the volume on the TV. Stop moving altogether and the TV shuts off.

One last thing before I go: The Milford Daily News has a quick and informative weight loss quiz to debunk some of the common myths about dieting.

1 comment:

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