I’m a foodie. I love chocolate. I enjoy cocktails. I believe that, when it comes to food, you should try everything once. In fact, one of the reasons that I initially got into fitness was to support my food habit. I was actually a dancer in college- modern and ballet, which was where I learned that, as long as I worked out- a lot- I could eat whatever I wanted. Well, to be clear, I can eat whatever I want, but not all of whatever I want. Soon fitness became a habit too, and then a lifestyle. So much so that I decided to make it official and I passed the test to be a certified Personal Trainer as well as a Certified Weight Loss Expert.
But more than being driven to workout in order to support my food habit, what really propelled me to create a fitness-driven healthy lifestyle was the social component. I loved having a network of likeminded friends who I could have fun sweating with. And apparently I’m not alone. Studies prove it.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recently recommended 60 minutes of cardio activity 3-5 days a week, 8-10 strength exercises 2 days a week, and flexibility exercises once a week in order to live a healthy lifestyle. Les Mills group fitness and team training programs, with its 14,000 clubs across 80 countries is a serious force in the fitness community. They decided to takee ACSM’s study to another level with their “Get Fit Together” research done in conjunction with Penn State. In the study, they took 25 sedentary people and subjected them to a fitness class combination of BODYATTACK™, BODYBALANCE™/BODYFLOW™, BODYCOMBAT™, BODYPUMP™, BODYSTEP™ and RPM™ classes, following the ACSM healthy lifestyle standards. Their diets didn’t change. Over the 30 week study, 20 out of 25 participants never missed a workout, with a total compliance of 98.9 percent! And their health reflected their dedication, experiencing reduced bad cholesterol (LDL), increased good cholesterol (HDL), decreased body fat, and increased muscle mass.
I always like to figure out the point, the takeaway, the lesson… The lessons from this study are:
-It’s the group element that hooks you and keeps you coming back for me.
-Have different exercise options, the ability to constantly change up your program, and doing the kinds of workouts that you like to do are key to maintaining interest and weight loss.
-A well rounded fitness program really can support your food habit.