By Fonda Bock, USARECDecember 21, 2011
FORT KNOX, Ky. -- Can you really lose weight and get fit in just 30 minutes a day a few times a week without even going to the gym as a lot of popular workout videos claim? Yes, according to a group of 3rd Medical Recruiting Battalion employees at Fort Knox.
Taking advantage of the Army Civilian Wellness/Fitness Program, the group works out together in the conference room three times a week at the end of the day to a different exercise video each time.
According to exercise scientists at the University of Florida, changing up your routine prevents boredom, keeps you mentally stimulated and prevents the body from reaching a plateau by shocking it into further development.
"It definitely works muscles you didn't even know you had, you see a difference faster," said 3rd MRBn Command Sgt. Maj. Teresa Beauchamp, who sometimes works out with the group. "The new PT test [requires us to do] military pushups where your arms are closer together. I wasn't able to do those pushups, now I can."
"I can really see my abs now, got a six pack going on," said 3rd MRB Advertising and Public Affairs Specialist Kim Soice.
Soice who credits the program with helping her to shed 10 pounds in the past few months said exercising with a group keeps her motivated.
"It's a lot easier to get in the exercise this way than trying to do it when you get home. I have a 45-minute commute, so I get up around 5:30 a.m. and it's 5 p.m. or later when I get home, depending on if I have to go somewhere after work. By that time I'm worn out, and it's just easier to talk yourself out of it."
Application trainer and safety officer Terry Wise, who's worked out to some degree his entire life, has lost 25 pounds. For him, that's just one of many benefits. Working out together has encouraged the group to commit to changes in lifestyle and eating habits, such as bringing healthy food into the office to share instead of donuts.
"Everybody helps keep me in check because I'm a professional eater," said Wise. "So [now] I'm a healthier eater; more importantly my endurance has gotten better. I'm a better racquetball player now because of what we do here. I sleep better and I feel like I have more energy to get through the things I need to do.
"Instead of sitting in a chair all the time, I tend to do things like stand while talking on the phone and I'll take a quick hike up and down the stairs, rather than just being a slug, which is easy when you have a job where you sit in front of a computer and answer the phone all the time."
Chris Millay, the S6 IMS, who doesn't really like to go to the gym, can also cite a laundry list of benefits he's gained from exercising with the group. For one, it helps him stay fit for doing household chores.
"Over the past several weeks I've been moving, lifting boxes, going up and down steps. If I wasn't doing some type of workout, I'd just be exhausted and aching in pain. I think it's enhanced my immune [system] and I watch what I eat, turn away from extra [helpings] and have cut back on my carbs. When you eat more carbs your body shuts down; I call it going into a food coma. Now I bring light leftovers for lunch, no more than two handfuls of meat and some vegetables."
Everyone has seen decreased stress levels and increased esprit de corps.
"I think any time you do anything [as a group] outside of your normal job routine, you increase teamwork," said Beauchamp. "But when someone is struggling [with an exercise] and we're giving them the kudos to keep going, that transforms into what we're doing every day in our jobs. You help each other [push through on] the exercise floor, in the office and all the way around -- we have a great team."
"There's no way that leadership cannot profit from people taking advantage of being physically fit," said Wise. "For one thing, you're healthier, you don't take time off, your attitude and energy levels change, and those are all positive things."