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A Happy and Healthy 2014 – Part 3

This month at Baraud, it’s been all about starting the New Year off right! So far we’ve heard from Gill and Vanessa on nutrition and diet tips but of course, we all know there’s another important factor to a healthy lifestyle—exercise!

When it comes to exercise, we all know we should do it, but how many of us actually do? Furthermore, even if you have the right intentions, how do you get started here in Cayman?

Firstly, let’s look at some of the main excuses that keep people from exercising and I’ll follow-up with my thoughts on how to combat these roadblocks.

Barriers to Exercise:

  1. I really want to but I don’t have time to exercise!
  2. Joining a gym, going to crossfit/yoga etc is so expensive; I can’t afford to work out!
  3. Sure I should do it, but I really don’t enjoy exercising.
  4. I don’t have anyone to go with and I don’t want to exercise alone.
  5. I don’t know how other people do it, I have no motivation!

So, what’s my solution?

TEAM SPORTS!!!

Okay, so maybe you’ve never joined a team sport in your life or haven’t played on a team since high school…but hear me out! There are so many benefits to organized teams sports that you may not have even realized AND they directly combat the 5 barriers to exercise that I’ve listed above.

Benefits of Team Sports

  1. Requires minimal time commitments – Many teams will have games/practices once or twice a week and even those which require three or more are scheduled far in advance, allowing you to plan your week accordingly. Getting into a routine with exercise is known to be extremely beneficial for long term commitment.
  2. Requires minimal fees – Because the cost is shared amongst the team, the cost per person is quite low. For example, an entire season of soccer (6 + months) has a registration fee of just CI $100. And for 6-8 week season playing beach volleyball, the cost is just $14.00 per person! Compare this to a monthly gym membership ($100 +) or a single session of Yoga ($19).
  3. Playing a sport is fun! – It’s amazing; you can get in a 1.5 hour work out playing a game and not even realize how hard you’re working! It’s much easier to run as fast as you can chasing after a ball to beat your opponent, than it is to run a 10.0 on a treadmill. Trust me.
  4. Lasting friendships, new healthy social life – As anyone on island will tell you, it’s easy to get caught up in the Cayman social life with a heavy focus on, well, eating, partying and drinking. Having a group of friends that you see each week/several times a week that doesn’t involve ONLY these indulgent things is a nice, health change. Furthermore, if you’re new to the island, this is an excellent way to meet new and like-minded people!
  5. Being part of a team – Sure, this might sound obvious but as the saying goes, half the battle is just showing up! Simply being part of team is motivation enough; you won’t want to let your team down, so you’ll continue to go each week!

How to Get Involved:

Great, so looks like I’ve convinced you. The next step is finding a team or two (or 3 or 4 in my case) that you want to join. Lucky for you, Cayman has plenty to choose from and many are available at all levels from beginner to advanced—but here’s the tricky part, you’re not likely to find these teams advertised in the compass, or on a website, it’s Cayman after all!!

To find a team, you need to start asking around. Talk to your friends, neighbors and coworkers –eventually someone will have a lead on how to get involved. The great thing is however, the athletics community on island is very much interconnected. With most people playing more than one sport, once you’ve met one person who plays some sort of sport, they’ll likely know someone who plays the sport you are interested in or at the very least, know someone who knows someone who can put you in touch with the right person. And, wait… If you’re reading this, then you already know one person! :-)

So there you have it…get out there, join a team and reap the benefits all year long!