At Harbor Club, one of our top priorities is providing amenities that help our residents and members be fit, healthy, and happy. The Grove campus is an excellent example of this, especially since it includes our new fitness studio. We offer several fun exercise classes, including barre and toning, co-ed core, and Zumba, among others. Maureen “Mo” Brower teaches these three classes. She is an instructor renown for her high energy and friendly enthusiasm.
We wanted to introduce you to Maureen so we sat down to learn more about the classes she teaches, and get her wise advice on fitness regimens, apps, and more.
You teach three popular fitness classes at Harbor Club. Can you tell us a little about each one?
Sure! I teach barre and toning, which is a modern twist on classical ballet. It’s barre training designed to shape and tone postural muscles and build core strength. The first 30 minutes of the class are done on the barre, and last 30 minutes are dedicated to toning arms and core muscles.
I also teach co-ed core, which is a 45-minute class designed to strengthen and tone core muscle groups–including upper and lower abdominals, obliques, and the back. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to improve their golf, tennis, or pickleball swing.
Lastly, I teach Zumba, which is great fun. It’s like a dance fitness party using a contagious blend of pop, country, Latin, and even a little hip-hop music.
Fantastic! So what makes your classes so fun and exciting?
I make every effort to get to know all the Harbor Club members who take my classes. I learn what songs and routines they enjoy most and strive to incorporate those in my classes. Believe it or not, it’s not unusual for members who are working out in other areas of the fitness center to hear my class singing to the music. I also take great care in knowing each member’s limitations, injuries, surgeries, and more. That way I can make the modifications necessary for them to avoid injuries and to make the classes more enjoyable and fun for all.
You are very knowledgeable when it comes to fitness. What would you say is your fitness philosophy?
Maintaining a fitness routine is a must! It should be part of everyone’s daily routine, just like eating and sleeping. Why would we not make time in our day to do something that will increase our quality of life? Fortunately, Harbor Club members have access to a lot of excellent fitness options, so it’s easy for them to get exercise every day.
There are tons of fitness apps available today. Which ones do you recommend?
The first one that comes to mind is Fitbit. It’s one of my favorite exercise tracking apps. It works on a wristband and it monitors steps, calories burned, distance traveled, and heart rate. It also gives you a wrist vibration to remind you to get up and walk if you’ve been sedentary for an hour.
I like Couch to 5k too. It’s an excellent app that introduces users to the sport of running. I love that it provides baby steps that, over time, establish a real running routine.
Lastly, I like Fitness Buddy. With this app, it’s like having your own personal trainer. It helps you create an effective workout routine and meal plan.
What new fitness trends do you find interesting?
Group fitness is getting very popular again. I think it is due to programs such as Les Mills or Pure Barre which use modern music for classic fitness moves. What’s more, people are finding that working in a group setting helps to keep them motivated and better able to maintain their routine.
Another trend I’m seeing is strength training using resistance bands and tubes. While these tools have been around for a while, their uses have changed. We’re finding better, more effective ways to use these tools, and the benefits have been gratifying to our clients.
What suggestions would you give to Harbor Club residents for creating a weekly fitness routine?
If an exercise class is offered two times a week, I would suggest taking it both times. Once a week is good but to see real results, twice is better. I would also recommend varying the types of classes taken, as one class may hit a muscle group that another doesn’t, or stretch a muscle that the other class doesn’t stretch.
If classes are not for you, I would say walking is the next best thing. A 45-minute walk a day is ideal, but 30 minutes will do. If you’re watching TV, get up and walk around during commercials. Better yet, if you have stairs in your house take a walk up and down them during commercial breaks.
Why do you think it is essential to stay active?
The physical and mental benefits of staying active are endless. As we age it’s easy to lose muscle strength and bone density — even our mental acuity can suffer. It has been proven that exercise increases the quality of life and decreases the risk of dementia. It also improves bone density, heart health, cholesterol, and mental acuity. So you must make time to work out and consider it part of your daily routine. People who maintain a regular fitness routine have experienced shortened recovery periods after surgery. They often require less surgery and have fewer complications too. Best of all, it’s been proven that those who workout are happier and more self-confident overall.
What suggestions do you have for getting and staying motivated to be active?
For me personally, my motivation for staying fit is my family. Being able to enjoy physical activities with my nieces and nephews makes my heart happy. I hope to do the same with my grandchildren one day.
Quality of life should be a motivation for everyone. Staying fit can be as easy as taking one step at a time. I would encourage people to take a group fitness class. If it’s their first or second class, I would recommend they try at least half the routine then add five minutes to each session. Before you know it, the hour is over!
Also, if you want to walk, start by walking 15 minutes a day. After the first week, add five minutes each week to your walk. Pretty soon you’ll be walking your way into a healthy lifestyle.
If you’re interested in meeting Mo and taking advantage of her fun fitness classes, consider a Harbor Club membership. You’ll have access to many quality fitness amenities, including our highly acclaimed golf course, a junior Olympic-sized pool, The Grove facility, multiple tennis and pickleball courts, and more. Learn more about a Harbor Club membership today.