Carole Wirszyla, Y Member
After giving birth to twins, I knew I was going to have to work hard to get back in shape. And, with four children in tow, I also knew it was going to be a challenge. The older two were in school so as soon as I’d mastered the twins’ feeding and sleeping schedule, I started running with the twins in a jogging stroller.
It was good to get outside, but it was tough to get motivated so I joined a fitness program for moms and babies. It wasn’t long before I discovered I really looked forward to my workouts and the biggest reason was the camaraderie among the moms. I had joined a community and was enjoying the fellowship of other like-minded individuals. We shared common attitudes, interests, and goals. Had it not been for that community, I may have quit working out and just stayed home doing laundry!
Domesticity has never been my greatest attribute so when the twins outgrew the stroller, I had to find other ways to work out. Fortunately, as a YMCA member, I had access to the child watch program so I could leave the twins with the awesome child care staff while I took exercise classes or worked out. Once again, I found I was more motivated by group exercise than I was working out alone.
Sometimes, my eldest daughter would join me and we would do partner workouts. I still had weight I wanted to lose and we both wanted to get stronger. We challenged each other to push through the tough workouts. I also joined a program that combined nutritional guidance with cardio, strength and core exercises in a high intensity interval format like Queenax training. There were just six of us in the eight-week program and we rallied for each other through every class. I can say with all honesty, we shed blood, sweat and tears during those two months but the results were amazing. We all lost pounds and inches and gained strength in mind, body and spirit. According to Lori Campbell, Healthy Living Engagement Coordinator, “People lose weight better as a team.”
I therefore wasn’t surprised to find a research study about the effect of team work on weight loss which showed that people who shed at least 5% of their body weight during a weight loss competition were on the same team. Team members were seen to motivate one another to stay the course. Over 3,000 people were involved in the Rhode Island study and teams had between five and 11 people. Individuals who reported a high level of social influence increased their odds of significant weight loss by 20%. Essentially, people did better in a group because of peer pressure.
Teamwork definitely worked for me and it could work for you too. If you are struggling to keep up with your New Year’s resolution to lose weight or have been putting off exercising, you’re in luck. The YMCA is about to launch its first “Biggest Loser” style weight loss challenge. During this 10-week program you'll meet and work out with your team and personal trainer every week, attend weekly wellness seminars, and enjoy team motivation. You will have weekly weigh-ins (that are done privately) and the team with the biggest percentage weight loss wins a prize.
But, time is running out to sign up and there are only a few spots left. Pick a team that matches your schedule and your team mates and trainer will be there for you. Don’t delay, sign up today!