Fitness trainer offers online mini-workouts throughout day

Dec. 12—Ashland fitness trainer Tess Ball has launched an online club to help people who work from home get out of their chairs and do three short workouts a day.

"One of the things that was really surprising coming out of the pandemic was the number of requests we got for short sessions. I never considered that before. But people want something more bite-sized, manageable and frequent. They want to squeeze in a little bit of movement throughout the day," said Ball, owner and head coach of Ashland Strength Studio in downtown Ashland.

Ashland Strength Studio debuted its Shift: Movement Accountability Club this month.

Ball said people know it's not healthy to sit all day, and they also know it feels good to get up and move around. But many don't take movement breaks.

"We're all managing so many things. We don't have the willpower to tackle things that would be nice or would feel good," Ball said.

Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excessive body fat around the waist, unhealthy cholesterol levels and an increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Those who sit for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity have a similar risk of dying as smokers, according to the Mayo Clinic.

People who join the online Shift: Movement Accountability Club can follow along as a fitness trainer goes through a 15-minute workout with yoga moves, stretching and light weight training. The workouts are at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. No special equipment or clothing is needed.

The morning workout gives people a good start to the day, 1 p.m. movement gives a post-lunch boost and the 3 p.m. session gets people past the afternoon slump when they're most likely to reach for coffee and a sugary snack, Ball said.

The varied times also acknowledge workers might be busy and not able to do all the sessions.

"Come whenever you can, and there's no pressure if you can't. I had a person who didn't come at all one day and then did all three workouts the next day," Ball said.

The club also offers four monthly at-home workouts to use at any time.

For people who want to compete with themselves or others, the club has a weekly leaderboard that tracks how often people do the workouts. Some might compete for the top positions while others might try to reach their own personal goal or aim do more workouts than they did the week before, Ball said.

The club has optional accountability circles that allow people to have small group chats.

"So often we hear that a workout or accountability buddy is good, but for those who work from home, how do we find an accountability or workout buddy? People can chat with two to four other people based on their interests, identities and goals," Ball said.

Ashland Strength Studio is offering a 14-day free trial through the end of January. The cost is $55 a month for those who want to continue on.

But why would anyone pay for online workouts with so many free exercise videos on the internet?

Ball said the informal approach of searching for videos and working out alone works for some people, but many have a hard time sticking with it.

"They start with so many good intentions. Having accountability increases the likelihood of achieving a goal," she said.

For more information or to join the Shift: Movement Accountability Club, see

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.