How to make fitness a seamless part of your lifestyle

Maybe the idea of stepping inside of a fitness center sounds about as intriguing as walking barefoot on hot pavement when it’s 114 degrees outside. Perhaps the notion of working up a sweat in the midst of others who are already buff is too embarrassing to even entertain.

There are plenty of reasons not to exercise, but there are also many options to make fitness a seamless part of your lifestyle.

For members of the ASU community, recreation centers at each campus offer an opportunity to exercise where you’re already spending a substantial portion of your day. Becoming a member at one campus enables you to work out at any of the other complexes.

Starting a workout lifestyle can be as easy as joining a walking program such as the “Walk to Wellness” program offered at the Tempe campus Sun Devil Fitness Complex where participants come to the center and simply walk the building. Membership in the program costs $20.

“They can exercise in air conditioning and in the fall, they move outside and walk the track. It’s a great way to get moving,” said Tamra Garstka, Tempe campus Sun Devil Fitness Complex director.  

Watching others transform once they commit to fitness as simple as walking is inspiring for Garstka, who recalls an ASU employee who wasn’t in great shape but dedicated himself to walking on a regular basis and lost weight.

“He actually became a lot healthier and felt much better about himself,” Garstka said.

Tempe employees who can’t make it to the center can enlist Well Devils on Wheels where Sun Devil Fitness Complex staff head out to departments to conduct exercise programs such as stretch and lunch-time lift.

“We’ll do the first session for free and charge a minimal amount after that,” Garstka said. “This is the first time we’re going out to the ASU community.”

Other options include Devil X Group Fitness that offers more than 80 classes from kickboxing to total body conditioning at varied times at the center. Members pay an additional fee for unlimited classes. Another program is Devil Y that offers 30 mind/body classes such as yoga, Pilates and Taijiquan.

Those who decide to take the plunge into a healthier lifestyle also can take advantage of 110 new pieces of cardio equipment at the Tempe complex.

“It’s a great way to start your day,” Garstka said. “You’ll likely be more productive at work and your stress level will be lower.”

ASU community members who like to work out when it’s quiet are best served in the early morning hours between 6 and 9 a.m. Busiest times are after 4 p.m., when most people work out.

Personal trainers also can provide individual or small group training to help people set goals and keep on track. There are 36 sport clubs to choose from and intramural sports such as flag football and three-on-three basketball.

“We do allow faculty and staff to be on intramural teams,” she said. 

Other services offered through the Tempe complex are a lap pool and adult swim lessons.

Ready to make fitness part of your daily routine? Students, faculty and staff can come in and check out the facility anytime. Faculty and staff members also can take advantage of a free week at the Tempe complex Oct. 13-21.

“We offer free classes during that week. We want them to sample everything that they’re interested in,” she added.

Campus fitness locations and hours:

Downtown Phoenix campus
Lincoln Family YMCA

Regular hours:
Monday-Friday: 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Polytechnic campus
Sun Devil Fitness Complex

Fall hours:
Monday-Thursday: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday: 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sunday: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Tempe campus
Sun Devil Fitness Complex

Fall hours:
Monday-Friday: 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The pool closes 1 hour prior to the building and at 6 p.m. on Sunday

West campus
Sun Devil Fitness Complex

​Fall hours
Monday-Thursday: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sunday: 2 to 6 p.m.