Fit City San Antonio – San Antonio Magazine


Whether you’re new to San Antonio’s fitness scene or you’re simply looking for new ways to get moving, options abound. Find ideas plus tips on how to work recovery days into your exercise routine and healthy living inspiration from locals, including Patty Mills and fiancée Alyssa Levesque, who make fitness their lifestyle

By Bonny Osterhage and Kathleen Petty

Photo By JoMando Cruz

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Couple Goals

Spurs guard Patty Mills and fiancée Alyssa Levesque on staying in shape

While weight lifting and on-the-court practice are a given during the season for Spurs guard Patty Mills, one of the most important components to his fitness routine requires no movement at all.

 “I try to get in as much sleep as I can because I know how important sleep is to recovery,” says Mills, adding that he relies on his Apple watch to track sleep and heart rate so that when his sleep routine is off, he can tweak his surroundings, such as light or noise levels. “It’s all about keeping up energy and keeping the body as fresh as it can be throughout the year.”

He and fiancée Alyssa Levesque, who met at St. Mary’s College of California where both played basketball, have strict (though different) workout and nutrition routines but say staying active together has always been part of what makes their relationship work. “She gets in the gym with me and helps rebound and pass or play defense,” Mills says. “That’s something I think is really cool—that dynamic that we have that we can workout together. It’s lucky.”

For her part, Levesque, who founded swimsuit line StraitSwim, has continued to make fitness a priority since graduating in 2012, weight lifting consistently and trying everything from Pilates to cycling. In recent years, she’s turned to boxing, an activity that she says is a great cardio workout but also lots of fun. “You get that good cardio burn,” says Levesque. At Rumble Club downtown, she takes classes four days a week that incorporate cardio (think running, jumping and punching) plus core workouts and boxing technique. Twice weekly she also completes private boxing lessons with boxer and coach James Leija. Sundays are her day off.

Levesque and Mills grew up playing all kinds of sports—she in California and he in Australia, where rugby and Australian football were more popular than basketball—and say staying active has always been a way of life. Along with their personal workout routines, the couple says they regularly take to the River Walk to walk their dog Harvey, a goldendoodle, or to ride bikes.

When traveling, Levesque tweaks her workouts for the hotel gym and both like to get steps in exploring the city. During the offseason, the couple spends the bulk of their time in Hawaii (where they’ll be married this summer) and get outdoors as much as possible. They play beach volleyball and walk or run in the sand, and Mills says he always makes time for fishing. “Anytime I can get in or around the ocean, that’s what I love to do,” he says.

Eat Like an Athlete

Breakfast: Mills has eggs over easy or an omelet with veggies, while Levesque has scrambled eggs.

Lunch & Dinner: Levesque doesn’t eat carbs, sugar, fruit or much dairy so it’s salad for lunch and fish or lean meat and veggies for dinner. Mills fuels up with carb-heavy lunches—risotto or wheat pasta with tomato sauce—and doesn’t eat again until after he plays on game days. What fuels him in between? Coffee. “I like to have a double espresso before I run out on the court,” he says.

Get Fit at Home

You don’t need a gym or fancy equipment to have a good workout. Local trainers share 3 go-to stretches to prevent injury and 3 exercises to improve strength

Stretches

Hip Flexor Stretch

This is a great stretch for people who spend all day sitting, says Claudia Ramirez, personal trainer with MBS Fitness. It helps prevent and alleviate back pain. Start from a kneeling position and step one foot forward as if you’re going to stand.

90/90 Stretch

Preventing lower back and knee pain requires addressing tightness in the hips, says Ramirez. Work the hip rotators by sitting on the floor and placing one leg in front of you at a 90-degree angle and one leg behind you at 90-degrees. Both knees should be flat to the ground.

Open Book Stretch

Ramirez says this stretch works the chest and mid-back, great for those who spend time hunched over computers and phone screens. Lay on your back and bring your knees into your chest. Then, keeping your back flat on the ground, rotate your knees out to one side so the outside knee is on the floor.

Exercises

PushUps

This may seem like a basic move, but Wesley Salazar, of BodyArchitecture Personal Training and Fitness, says it’s ideal for a full upper body and core workout. Start from your knees if a beginner and advance to using weights or completing one-handed pushups.

Squats

Not only will a squat develop your glutes, hamstrings and quads, but it’s also a functional movement that makes it easier to perform daily activities like picking up the kids, says Salazar. Start with your legs just wider than your hips and bend straight down, keeping your back straight and your knees over your toes.

Curtsy Lunge

These strengthen your glutes and legs just like a basic lunge, but they also engage the inner thighs, core and gluteus medius (the butt muscle that helps keep your hips stabilized). Start with both feet together and think of a ballet curtsy, moving one foot behind you and slightly to the side so that your thighs are crossed. Bend both of your knees.

Our Spin On It

Making resolutions  that stick

This is the time of year when gyms are packed with people committed to making 2019 the year they achieve their health and fitness goals. But studies show that nearly 75 percent of those people won’t keep their resolutions. How can you keep from becoming another statistic? Here’s our spin on making resolutions that stick.

Bonny Osterhage: One of the biggest reasons people don’t succeed is that they set unrealistic expectations—I’m going to lose 20 pounds in a month, become a vegetarian or go to the gym five times per week. While I’m all about aiming high, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Start with attainable goals and celebrate those successes. For example, it is realistic (and healthier) to strive to lose one to two pounds per week or to hit the gym two to three times.

Wesley Salazar: Keeping your resolution alive requires finding workouts that speak to you. We all enjoy different things so take the time to find exercise programs that you find challenging and inspiring. Luckily for us, San Antonio has a variety of fitness studios, gyms and trainers.

Bonny Osterhage and Wesley Salazar are cycle instructors and co-founders of BodyArchitecture Personal Training and Fitness. In blog posts and videos on body   architecturesa.com, they regularly share their “spin” on health and fitness topics.

Fit Mama

San Antonio mom chronicles her journey from pregnancy  to Boston Marathon

The first time Kristin Johnson attempted to qualify for the Boston Marathon, she missed the required time by only 175 seconds.

It was 2016 and she was running the Louisiana Marathon at 10 weeks pregnant with her first child. Around 22 miles, she hit a wall. “I knew I couldn’t push it because I was pregnant,” she says.

 A senior advertising account manager at H-E-B, Johnson started running just six years ago and has since completed four full marathons. In 2017—17 months after giving birth to her daughter—Johnson ran the San Antonio Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in 3 hours and 29 minutes, qualifying her for the 2019 Boston Marathon. “I knew if I almost made it at 10 weeks pregnant that I could do it,” she says.

But qualifying wasn’t Johnson’s only unfinished business. She and her husband wanted their daughter to have a sibling who was close in age so the mom who fellow runners call “the cheetah” wanted to get pregnant a second time shortly after her qualifying run. “I knew that if I was going to run the (Boston) race and run it well, I was going to have to have a second baby immediately,” she says, adding that she was lucky the timing worked out for her. On Oct. 13, 2018, she gave birth to a son, leaving six months postpartum to resume training.

Although she quit running at 23 weeks with her first child, Johnson continued her training (with her doctor’s blessing) through week 38 with her second. She gave her body six weeks to recover after birth, giving her 20 weeks to train for Boston. Throughout that training during and following her pregnancy, she’s documented the experience on an Instagram account, @strengthnews.netBaby2Boston, where she keeps it real, talking about juggling training with work, breastfeeding and two kids.

While the Instagram feed has served to document her own journey, Johnson says it’s also yielded an unexpected support group of other marathon-running moms. “These women have shown me that anything is possible,” she says.

It’s a message she hopes to share with her own daughter, who along with her husband and son will be waiting for her at the Boston Marathon finish line on April 15. “I cannot wait to tell my kids that I ran while I was pregnant with them and to show my daughter that you can achieve your own personal goals,” she says.

The Fit Mom Life

Ways to stay active for…

Moms with strollers

Meet up with other moms at Fit4Mom cardio and strength training classes, including several (like Stoller Barre and Stroller Strides) that incorporate babies in strollers. Classes meet throughout the city including at Pearl, Hardberger Park and the Barshop Jewish Community Center. The first class is free. fit4mom.com

Moms-to-be

Reduce stress, relieve lower back pain and keep moving with prenatal yoga classes, offered at Southtown Yoga Loft’s downtown and Helotes studios and at Alamo City Yoga. Moms-to-be are encouraged to take each stretch at their own pace. Slow Flow classes are also recommended for pregnant women. southtownyogaloft.comalamocityyoga.com

Moms who dance

At inBalance San Antonio, moms and expectant mothers are welcome for yoga, barre and a variety of dance cardio classes. Babysitting is offered during several classes for an added fee and older kids are welcome to play in the kids’ room even when babysitters aren’t scheduled. inbalancesanantonio.com

Families

The city’s Fitness in the Parks program offers free Family Interval Training classes each Tuesday evening at O.P. Schnabel Park. With high- and low-intensity exercises, the classes are meant to be approachable for both parents and their kids. sanantonio.gov/parksandrec

Get Outside

While winter means indoor workouts in many parts of the country, in Texas it can be the ideal time to get moving outdoors

Join a Group

Camp Gladiator, a group fitness program that was founded in Texas and meets in local parks, church and school parking lots and other outdoor spaces, hosts dozens of “camps” at 15-plus locations each week. Join them for a full-body workout that changes frequently but always incorporates strength and cardio. The city’s free Fitness in the Parks program hosts Boot Camps almost daily at parks throughout the city. The high-intensity workouts include cardio intervals plus strength training, and beginners are welcome. campgladiator.com/region/san-antonio, sanantonio.gov/parksandrec

Insider tip: Watch schedules at the Tobin Center Will Naylor Smith River Walk Plaza, Confluence Park and San Antonio Missions National Historic Park for free outdoor workouts throughout the year.

Play a Sport

Whether you’re nostalgic for youth sports or you’re looking for a way to exercise that doesn’t involve a treadmill, adult sports leagues deliver. San Antonio Sports and Social Club and Elite Sporting & Entertainment offer flag football, soccer, softball, volleyball, dodgeball, kickball and other leagues. The San Antonio Soccer Association has adult teams for men and women while Diablos hosts LGBTQ teams in volleyball, football, dodgeball and kickball. sanantoniossc.com, elitesportingentertainment.com, sanantoniosoccer.com, diablosoutsports.com

Insider tip: Not ready to commit to a full season? Several organizations also host one-day kickball, corn hole, dodgeball, volleyball and other tournaments.

Go at Your Own Pace

More than 35 of the city’s parks—including McAllister, Olmos Basin, Pearsall, Stone Oak, Miller’s Pond and Tom Slick—have HealthBeat Outdoor Fitness equipment that allows locals to focus on muscle toning as part of their walk or run. Stations include things like a rowing machine, seated leg press, overhead press, lower body cycling machine and more. QR codes on each machine allow you to watch instructional videos on your phone when you’re not sure how to use a piece of equipment. sanantonio.gov/parksandrec

Insider tip: Want to take it up a notch? Power Park Fitness in Spring Branch has an outdoor challenge course with obstacles akin to those seen on American Ninja Warrior.

Hit the Trail

With over 140 miles of trails in San Antonio, there’s ample opportunities to walk, run or bike. For cycling, the greenways—Salado Creek, Leon Creek, Medina River and Helotes—offer options for short and long rides on developed trails. Hikers will find nature views and varying levels of trails at Friedrich Wilderness Park, Comanche Lookout Park, Eisenhower Park and Government Canyon State Natural Area, just to name a few. Runners can complete short jogs or long training runs along the River Walk by starting at Pearl and heading downtown or beginning at Blue Star and running past the historic Missions.

Insider tip: Not sure where to start? Join a meetup group.

4 Running Meetups

Downtown Run Group meets at Pearl for Saturday morning and Tuesday evening runs (Tuesday runs meet at the zoo in summer), downtownrungroup.org

San Antonio Running Co. holds weekly Thursday social runs and Sunday morning long runs, sarunningco.com

iRun Texas holds distance, speed and form classes plus Wednesday night social runs from its Stone Oak and Dominion stores, iruntexas.net

San Antonio RoadRunners​ hosts a fun run most first Saturdays at McAllister Park Pavilion No. 1, runsignup.com/club/sanantonio​roadrunners

3 Cycling Organizations

SATX Social Ride meets most Tuesdays at Burleson Yard Beer Garden, facebook.com/groups/satnbc/

San Antonio Cycling Club rides each Tuesday and Thursday morning from Leon Creek Trailhead, sanantoniocyclingclub.org

Mountain Bike Meetup hosts monthly rides for all levels meetup.com/the-mountain-bike-meetup/

2 Ways to Hike

San Antonio Hill Country Hikers meet most Saturdays, meetup.com/sanantoniohillcountryhikers

Make reservations at Headwaters at Incarnate Word for a Jan. 18 morning birding walk or for a family birding session Jan. 20, headwaters-iw.org/calendar

Iron Lady

How businesswoman and mom April Ancira Thompson found time to become an Ironman

It’s not unusual for April Ancira to take a call while training on a stationary bike, pause between laps in the pool to respond to an email or to stop at the gym for a run on her way to a gala downtown. “It’s all about being flexible and having the ability to deviate,” says Ancira, vice president of Ancira Automotive Group.

The mom of two hasn’t always made fitness such a priority. She played tennis competitively in high school but stuck mostly to run-of-the-mill elliptical workouts at the gym before having kids. She gained 40 pounds during her 2010 pregnancy with her son, and after he was born decided she wanted to try something new. “I was so used to being in shape,” she says.

Ancira committed to two-a-day workouts, completing some type of physical activity each morning and evening. In three months, the 40 pounds was gone.

The only bike she’d ever ridden was the one she owned as a kid but Ancira purchased a cycling bike and also began running regularly. The only problem with her new workouts was that the bike required her to clip in and she didn’t yet have the balance to grab her water bottle while still attached to the bike. She consulted a coach, who quickly solved the water bottle problem and then moved on to convincing Ancira to try a sprint triathlon.

She agreed, thinking she’d hit that goal and then be done. “I got second place in my division,” she says. “It was really hard, so after that I didn’t feel like I needed to do it again.”

But, just as her coach warned her it would, the itch to race soon crept in. She signed up for San Antonio’s Rock ‘n’ Roll half-marathon and completed it in just over two hours. She’s since completed multiple half-marathons, full marathons and five Ironmans—a goal her dad suggested—and is aiming to finish 12 Iron Mans so she can submit a bid for a spot in the renowned Kona Ironman.

Making training work means she has to plug workouts into her schedule wherever there is an opening—whether early in the morning, between meetings, late at night or on the weekend when family can help with the kids. Along with keeping her fit, Ancira says the big goals have had another unexpected impact. “Since middle school, I’ve battled eating disorders,” Ancira says. “Now, for the first time, I’m finding I’m not using exercise to lose weight, I’m using it to get stronger. Now food is a key component to my performance.”

Fueling Up

Tips for eating well—because staying in shape is as much about what you eat as it is exercise

Almost everyone knows the basics  of what healthy eating requires, says Mikala Guillaume, a registered dietitian with H-E-B. It’s in the planning and execution of those healthy habits they’ve read about that people lose their way. That’s where Guillaume and the Nutrition Services team at H-E-B come in. Along with typical health screenings, the store also offers consultations with registered dietitians, telehealth nutrition sessions and grocery store tours so you can take what you’ve learned and actually apply it when shopping. Here, Guillaume offers some basics to get you started. “We want to see you successful in five-plus years, not just in six months,” she says.

1. Eat More Veggies

Though this seems basic, Guillaume says data shows that the majority of Texans are only eating one vegetable per day. Increase that number by swapping chips (or other junk food) for vegetables when snacking—think sugar snap peas, raw zucchini, broccoli and carrots. If you can’t stomach the idea of just raw veggies, pair them with Greek yogurt dips or hummus.

2. Take Baby Steps

Eating zero processed food sounds like a great goal, but with busy schedules it’s often unrealistic. Guillaume says to set personal goals for your diet and to always read labels. For example, a goal of no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day is generally healthy. That means you can still have a frozen meal for dinner sometimes, but instead of high-sodium options, look for brands like Grainful, whose chili meal has just 290 milligrams of salt. If you’d prefer something fresh but don’t have time to cook, consider a chopped salad kit or “Meal Simple” dinners, which are prepared fresh in-store.

3. Don’t Deny Yourself (Every Time)

If your eating habits aren’t sustainable, you won’t succeed. Instead of cutting out everything you love, Guillaume suggests using your label reading skills to decide when and how to fit in items that seem indulgent. If your sodium or sugar total is high because of a snack, make your meals healthier that day. When you do want to swap out treats, Harvest Snaps are a tasty alternative to chips while apple slices and Chocolate PB Fit or chocolate hummus and strawberries are  healthier desserts.

4. Plan Post-Workout Snacks

Around half of all American adults have at least one preventable chronic disease that is related, in part, to poor eating habits, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So while working out is crucial, it only works when paired with healthy eating. Instead of grabbing a bag of chips after a workout, plan for something nutritious. Guillaume recommends chocolate milk (she loves Chocolate Mootopia), Greek yogurt with no-grain-ola or tart cherries and  lean beef jerky.

3 Healthy Meal-Prep Options

Fresh & Fit Nutrition

Co-owners Colleen “Red” Carey and Rick Lara both spend plenty of time working out and they’ve trained athletes for speed and strength. Through their meal-prep business, they aim to make athletes and fitness enthusiasts more successful by offering pre-prepared breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for pickup in multiple sizes. The menu changes every two weeks and includes things like spaghetti squash and turkey meatballs, overnight oats and more.

Lion Fit Foods

The team here knows San Antonio flavor and finds ways to incorporate it into healthy pre-prepared meals—there was recently a Diablo hash with sweet potatoes, turkey chorizo and cage-free eggs. Juice cleanses and delivery are available and clients can sometimes get a deal on their first training session at Rumble Club.

Zedric’s

After attending the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, chef Zach Lutton was looking to get healthy. He took up CrossFit and a paleo diet and says he saw results quickly. He now has three locations where locals can pick up (or have delivered) meals that comply with everything from paleo and Whole30 to gluten- or soy-free and vegetarian diets.

Accidental Fitness Enthusiast

How Mixtli’s Diego Galicia found CrossFit

If Diego Galicia is being honest, the first time he attended a CrossFit workout it had nothing to do with getting fit.

The chef from Mixtli saw a sign at a local gym advertising a challenge in which the winner would receive $500. He wasn’t committed to working out at the time, but sized up his competition—mostly women who also looked new to the workout—and decided to give it a try. “I got $500 out of it, but then I ended up committing,” he says.

A Mexico native who grew up playing soccer, Galicia says he’s long been active but with his busy schedule in the kitchen, making time to workout hasn’t always been a priority. He found CrossFit helped to give him more energy, but says he’s kept at it largely because of his girlfriend, a former gymnast. “She’s an elite athlete and I want to be able to keep up,” he says.

Still, finding the time requires commitment when he spends 12 hours a day at Mixtli. On a normal weekday, Galicia says he and his girlfriend try to knock out their CrossFit workout during an 8 or 9 a.m. session so that he can be at the restaurant by 11 a.m. He works in the kitchen—with the rush beginning during the dinner service—until 11 p.m. and tries to be back up the next morning to work out again. “As a chef, you’re walking and moving and lifting and pulling all day long so I count that as working out too,” says Galicia, who in 2017 was recognized by Food & Wine magazine, along with Mixtli chef Rico Torres, as a “Best New Chef.”  

The Road to Recovery

4 ways for fitness fanatics to work active recovery days into their training schedule

Get Physical

If you’re already a high intensity runner or cycler, balancing those workouts with low intensity versions can help alleviate sore muscles while still allowing you to maintain strength. Schedule in a walk on San Antonio’s Mission Reach, along the Leon Creek or Salado Creek Greenways or on one of the city’s many other trails. For zero-impact, consider swimming. The indoor San Antonio Natatorium is open for senior and adult lap swimming each weekday. For a good stretch that will improve flexibility, consider yoga. Black Swan Yoga and Mobile Om offer donation-based classes weekly.

Freeze and Squeeze

Cryotherapy has long been a secret of athletes at all levels. The hyper-cooling process lowers the skin temperature to approximately 30 degrees for up to 3 minutes, causing the body to flush toxins from the peripheral tissues and enriching the blood with oxygen, enzymes and nutrients. “It’s a fast, effective way to reduce pain and inflammation,” says Monique Davila, who along with Jessica Ojeda owns Alamo City CryoTherapy. “We’ve seen folks who feel an increase in energy, improvement in mood and even a reduction in anxiety and depression.” Davila also recommends compression therapy, which is a recovery tool that uses compressed air to massage the limbs, mimicking the lymphatic system, and stimulating circulation. Each 30-60 minute session is designed to enhance blood flow and reduce pain and swelling.

Sweat It Out

Unlike traditional saunas where the air in the room is heated, infrared saunas rely on infrared light characteristics to heat the body directly. “You don’t have to heat the room in order to heat the body,” explains Jeremy Jacob, co-owner of FLOAT San Antonio. “It’s what makes these saunas unique.” An infrared sauna can heat up to 150 degrees, allowing the body to sweat out a higher level of toxins than is possible during a traditional sweat. The effect is a deep relaxation of the muscles and a slight increase in circulation. “When you stress the body with either heat or cold the reaction is positive,” says Jacob. “You create a reaction where it goes into healing mode.”

Defy Gravity

When ice baths or fascia manipulation doesn’t sound appealing, Jacob says to consider a sensory deprivation tank. “A lot of times an athlete’s physical recovery isn’t very relaxing,” Jacob says. “In a flotation tank, the zero gravity environment allows the spine and joints to decompress, while increasing blood circulation.” Each tank is filled with up to 1,200 pounds of Epsom salt to keep the body afloat while in the tank. The water is heated to nearly 94 degrees—ideally the same temperature as the skin. Jacob says their tanks are in dark, soundproof rooms so the sessions also give athletes the chance to work on visualization or even meditation. “I always felt that meditation was inaccessible to me,” he says. “But when I started floating, it proved to be very beneficial in calming my mind.”

A Fit Brain

Like recovery after a workout, practicing mindfulness techniques can help keep you healthy

Dr. Lindsay Bira knows the idea of making time to sit quietly with your thoughts can seem laughable amid the bustle of work, carpool lines and grocery trips.

But, says the clinical health psychologist who is also an adjunct assistant professor of psychology at UT Health San Antonio, it’s crucial. “If we’re not taking care of these really tricky emotions, it’s worse than eating a piece of pizza every day for lunch,” Bira says.

At her mindfulness meetups (which she hosts monthly at Pearl) and as part of her personal clinical practice, Bira works with clients to help integrate mindfulness into their daily lives. On top of helping relieve stress, Bira says research has shown that a regular habit of mindfulness can actually change the makeup of your brain so that you are better equipped to regulate emotions. And in a world where heart disease remains the No. 1 killer of adults, Bira says training your body to better deal with stress is key in warding off disease and the daily habits (like relieving stress with junk food or Netflix binges) that can lead to it.

For those who’ve never formally practiced mindfulness, Bira suggests starting small. “In simple terms, it’s paying attention to exactly what’s going on—on purpose,” Bira says.

That can mean taking a moment to be mindful while in your parked car, after you wake up or following a stressful call at work. After consciously paying attention to your thoughts and surroundings in those moments—what Bira describes as having a “gentle curiosity”—the next step is to take everything in without judgment. “We’re not trying to get rid of the negative emotions completely, but we want to use them as a cue to build awareness so we don’t get stuck in it,” she says. “Mindfulness is about truly sitting with that reality, accepting it and not wishing it was different.”

For those who wish to take that informal mindfulness into a formal practice, Bira suggests sitting with your eyes closed and observing your senses. Notice your breathing, letting your breath out smoothly and slowly rather than automatically. “We know that stress and our ability to deal with stress underlies everything that we choose to do,” Bira says.

Fitness on the Job

These 4 San Antonio companies make staying in shape easier by offering on-campus options—before, during and after the workday

Rackspace

The cloud hosting management company’s Windcrest headquarters is equipped with a 10,000-square-foot workout facility known as the REC (Rackspace Exercise Center), which is accessible at all hours of the day (and night). It boasts two full fitness studios, free weights, over 25 cardio machines and a locker room with showers, says Mikala Ferguson, public relations manager. Recovery is also possible without leaving the office as the REC has treatment rooms for massage therapy, personal training consultations and appointments with Airrosti, a sports medicine company.

Valero

Employees, their spouses and Valero retirees are welcome at its on-site gym. Stocked with plenty of free weights, cardio and weight machines, members can work out at their own pace or take advantage of customized programs and personal training. Group fitness options include yoga, cycling, Zumba and more. There are also tennis and basketball courts and indoor and outdoor walking paths. Monthly programs and quarterly challenges allow employees to compete for prizes.

USAA

USAA’s SA headquarters boasts three workout facilities and employees who work at different locations receive discounts to third-party fitness facilities. “Fitness is extremely important to the USAA culture and employees are encouraged to make it part of their daily routine,” says Laura Propp, lead communications director. The company schedules dozens of fitness classes each week at various times, plus intramural sports.  Logging activity can lead to rewards or benefits, like rebates on health insurance.

H-E-B

Along with the ability to walk or run along the River Walk next to its H-E-B Arsenal campus headquarters, corporate employees of the Texas grocery giant also have access to an on-site gym plus opportunities for yoga, boot camp and other group fitness classes. Outside the office, employees receive discounts at multiple gyms and fitness studios, as well as discounted entry fees to runs and fitness events where H-E-B is a corporate sponsor.

Don’t have a gym at work?

Incorporate these 5 options into your day

Park farther away from the building and, if your office has more than one floor, take the stairs whenever possible.

Trade your desk chair for a stability ball to keep your core engaged throughout the day.

Use a mini-band to do seated abductor exercises while sitting in your chair.

Split your lunch break up so you can take a few short walking breaks throughout the day.

  Take short breaks and use the side or front of your desk for standing push-ups or tricep dips.