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    Get Off Your Good Intentions and Stop Making Excuses

    intentions3Work schedules these days can seem overwhelming. It’s hard enough to get through traffic, deadlines, chores and needed rest in 24 hours, much less to find time for working out. If you have a “desk job,” though, taking time for fitness isn’t an option; it’s a necessity.

    “Building physical activity back into our daily lives is one of the great public health challenges of this century,” exercise physiologist Russell Pate told the American Heart Association. “Our bodies were designed to be physically active, and they don’t do well with long-term exposure to sedentary living. Lack of physical activity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.”

    One of the best solutions is to join a gym, find a workout buddy and stick to a regular routine. But let’s say you just don’t have the money, and no one’s schedule matches yours. You might also feel that there is zero time in your day for fitness. The American Heart Association isn’t falling for that, and offers tips on how to get into an exercise groove.

    1. Consider getting a dog.

    Dog owners tend to walk more, and enjoy the good company of their pet while they do so.

    intentions

    2. Stuck in suburbia? Go for a mall walk.

    Malls are temperature controlled and offer great people watching.

    3. Join a team.

    A lot of singles meet their partners at gyms and while participating in a sports group or team. Check out the many LGBT Bay Area sports-related groups at this site: http://homeo.tripod.com/sportssf.html

    4. Reject your inner couch
    potato.

    Walk, jog in place, or use a treadmill while watching a 30-minute or more show on TV.

    5. Park and walk.

    Forego the temptation to park right at the front door of your destination. Park some blocks away and enjoy the walk.

    6. Take the stairs.

    We all see the fit bikers running up and down the stairs at BART and Muni. Join them! The extra walking each day will pay off.

    7. Dance.

    Even if you have two left feet, let music take you away for at least 30 minutes in the privacy of your home. If your budget allows, consider taking dance classes at one of several LGBT studios, such as Trip the Light Fantastic: http://www.tripthelightfantastic.org/

    8. Take advantage of free
    resources.

    intentins2We’re adding this one to the list, because the American Council on Fitness has a helpful Fitness Library that includes workout plans, videos and much more. http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-main/

    (At another site, there’s a fun page on yoga poses to improve your sex life: http://www.phillymag.com/g-philly/2014/06/24/5-yoga-poses-will-make-better-top/#gallery-1-1)

    9. Get a free pass at Fitness SF.

    We’re adding this tip too, because Fitness SF offers a free 3-day pass that allows you access to all of their gyms throughout the Bay Area. You can meet the trainers featured in this issue and many others. http://fitnesssf.com/free-pass/

    10. Replace dessert with
    exercise.

    This solution offers the additional sweet reward of catching up with friends and family if they joined you for dinner.

    It wasn’t so long ago that our ancestors exerted a lot of physical energy to obtain dinner. Russell said, “Our culture no longer requires us to be hunters and gathers, but our bodies still need the physical activity that is required by that way of life.”