Heavy Breathers Club gets fit during the work day

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A group of advertising employees stays fit by taking breaks during the day to get on their feet. (KTRK)

At one local advertising agency, there's a unique employee group -- the Heavy Breathers Club.

"We're the Heavy Breathers because we're out of breath when we come up the stairs the second time," said Gerald Freed, president and founder of Freed Advertising. "We're walking 124 flights a week, if you do it every time."

Inspired by a couple of employees who took walking breaks and motivated by a physical with his general practitioner, Freed got an idea. Four times a day, he and his team get up to get their steps in.

"I've lost 1,000 pounds," Freed quipped when asked about results from the daily habit.

All jokes aside, Freed's employees are reaping the benefits.

"I've noticed my legs have gotten tighter, which is great. I wish I could say it's gotten easier, but I think my recovery is quicker, so that's good," said Nancy Self.

Next Level Urgent Care physician Dr. Karen Akers was impressed when she stopped by to observe the team's habits.

"The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week, and you can break that into multiple sessions per day -- that's exactly what they're doing here," said Rakers.

What started as just exercise then led to other work benefits.

"The productivity and creativity seems to have gone up a notch," explained Freed.

"I can't notice a different in my focus because I'm always very focused! I do tend to be very sedentary because I'm always on my computer, and I really needed this," added Mandy DeLeon.

And now, the pulse of Freed Advertising is the camaraderie formed because of their daily walks.

"It's been really cool meeting up with everybody going up and down the stairs, laughing and talking," said Paul Hester.

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