CBS News This Morning co-anchor Mark McEwen gave us this report on gospel aerobics.
This diet and exercise program I've been on has been tough. I'm learning to resist temptation. I haven't had chocolate in at least 30 days, and even when all I want to do is relax, I've forced myself to get to a gym.
Right now, it's raining in L.A., and I'm going to work out. After a five-hour flight, that's called perseverance.
I've learned a lot about exercise in the past three weeks. To keep it up, you've got to mix it up.
So when I was in Los Angeles, I decided to try something unique. Hard to believe, but I enrolled in an aerobics class. Not just any aerobics class. The one and only "Gospel Moves."
Given every Sunday at 10:00 a.m. at L.A.'s Crunch Gym, "Gospel Moves" has been named by Los Angeles Magazine as the city's best aerobics class. It was created by singer and Crunch Gym fitness instructor Ange Buckingham.
"It is pretty different," says Ange. "I think, initially, I was a little bit fed up and done with the old, humdrum R and B, the old house music - everything we do with the aerobic classes. I mean, face it, another heel dig, another leg lift - it's all the same. But if you've got different music, and it's got live singers there helping to drive the rhythm, then you've got a whole, whole different feeling."
Ange says you'll burn at least 500 calories in the hour-long class. I can confirm that it's an intense workout.
"When we start the class out, it's a warm-up," Ange says. "And then the beat just automatically goes up-tempo. We enter what's called the cardio training zone, which is pretty intense. Not high impact, because it's very knee and ankle friendly. But it's high intense, in that every major muscle group that you own is pretty much working."
Muscles I never knew existed were working, and working hard. And even though this was my first, and maybe last, class, it wasn't too difficult to master the moves.
"You don't have to worry that you're on the right foot or the left foot," Ange told me. "You don't have to worry about anything except getting through. And, if you come in with that frame of mind, you come in ready to listen and ready to work. Before the class is over, you'll be singing, Amen, with everybody else in the room."
So I did. Okay, I never claimed to be a great singer. But joining in with the choir gave me a short, and I do mean short, break from the tough-as-nails Ange.
Soon enough, I couldn't believe it: the class was about over, and I was still, well, alive. While it was the hardest hour I've spent in my whole life, I was feeling stronger than ever.
Look out Winter Olympics, and Nagano, Japan!