Spark Online Fitness

A 417-land fitness instructor hosts a website filled with workouts that can be done anywhere at any time, and we gave it a test drive.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.

Spark Online Fitness

I’ve been known as the “Get Fit Girl” at 417 Magazine for several years now. Every month I try out a new local workout class, and every month I join fellow staffers in laughing at hilarious photo outtakes where I’m dripping with sweat and showcasing my typically graceless demeanor. Dancing, jogging and yoga-ing my way to embarrassment at southwest Missouri gyms has become the norm for me, and I take it in stride. But this month was different. I was trying an online video service, and I was doing it in our office. That meant that I got to invite the staff that regularly laughs at my sweat-dripped snapshots to join me. Unfortunately, only two were brave enough to take the challenge, Editorial and Art Assistant Vivian Wheeler and Marketing and Events Assistant Tana Aguas. Our group was small but mighty, and we enjoyed a great, convenient workout in the middle of a workday. Read on to learn about it, and how you can take advantage of Spark Online Fitness yourself.


The Service

When it comes to working out, time is often the enemy. Squeezing a decent workout into your already-busy daily routine can be a struggle, and when you throw in an unexpected late night at work or a sick kid, it’s nearly impossible. Local fitness instructor Darla Neal Morello knew this first-hand from spending 20 years in the business, and she wanted a way to help. That’s how she came up with the concept for her newest business, Spark Online Fitness. 

Spark Online Fitness is a video service that includes more than 70 workout videos, all led by Neal Morello. The workouts include barre, toning, yoga and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercises, and they range from 10 to 40 minutes and can be done anywhere, as long as you have a computer and the internet. “It was meant for me to supplement my clients,” says Neal Morello, who has owned fitness studios in the past and who still offers personal training and private classes. “For a lot of people, it comes down to a convenience factor. This gives people an option of getting in some fitness for the day when they maybe can’t make it to the gym. I give them a little bit of guidance, and something to follow so they don’t have to do it on their own.” 

Savannah Waszczuk’s monthly Get Fit workout took place in the 417 Magazine offices this month, using a handy online exercise video.

The Experience

We pulled up the workout video website on our conference room TV and selected the Spark 22 (HIIT -14) workout, and soon Springfield’s very own cheerful Darla Neal Morello was staring back at us from the comfort of her own home (pre-recorded, of course). Technology is so crazy! We then worked our way through a five-minute warm up filled with stretches and a few yoga moves, then immediately got to business. 

Our first HIIT move was 30 seconds of high-knees kicks, and then we worked into yoga and stretching poses for the first low-intensity segment. This particular class included seven rounds, each containing 30 seconds of high-intensity exercise followed by 90 seconds of low-intensity exercise. As we continued, we were challenged with more high-intensity moves, including some super-tough jumping kicks, planks and everything in between. 

The variation between high and low intensity was nice and well-timed, because we never really had a chance to fully rest. I feel like we were all huffing most of the workout, and we were for sure sweating towards the end. But it was doable, and it felt good. And the coolest part was that we were in the office, it only took 22 minutes and we didn’t have to go to the gym after work.


The Effects

This particular class had a variety of benefits, including the benefits of HIIT training. “High-intensity interval training is something you’re hearing a lot about lately,” Neal Morello says. “It’s efficient, and it’s a great use of time. You get a lot of benefits quickly.” And as we scrolled through the other classes, we noticed that you can target a variety of areas (there are classes that focus on your arms and your legs), which is definitely a nice feature of the online service. And perhaps our favorite thing about it is the convenience. Vivian has tried several of the workout classes at home, and we are planning on trying to include a workout in our workdays at least once a week. Before too long, I expect more staffers to join in, and the infamous Get Fit girl will have a few trusty sidekicks.

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