Written by Ben Cox – We are well into the first month of the year, and how is that New Years resolution going for you?

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With echoes of “This year, I’m gonna hit the gym” ringing in the minds of many Brown County residents, it is easy to get discouraged when trying to get in shape, or back in shape, especially when you don’t know what is available to you.

If hitting the gym is your thing, there are many options to choose from in Brownwood alone. From the gut busting intensity of Cross Fit, to the class-friendly atmosphere of Brownwood Fitness or the work at your own pace of Anytime Fitness, there is a gym sure to suit your needs.

Many of these business offer specials, such as the $1 sign up fee at Anytime Fitness this month, or the $5 per-class price for non members at Brownwood Fitness.

The trained instructors who work at local gyms can also offer insight into diet and nutrition, as a way to enhance or supplement your attempts to regain your youthful vitality. 

For those who eschew the gym in favor of nature, there are Brownwood’s multiple city parks. Over the 19 parks you will find hiking and biking trails, 8 basketball courts, tennis courts, a disc golf course, as well as fishing and boat ramps for the kayakers among us.

The track at Brownwood High School is available for use, and four times around makes a mile. The softer surface is good for those whose feet and knees can’t take the punishment of the harder asphalt roads.

If getting in the water is more your speed, kayaking up and down the Pecan Bayou is a favorite pastime of many in the area. 

It is a four mile loop from the put in at Fabis Primitive Park down to the dam and back. For the more experienced paddlers, the bayou travels from Fabis down to Riverside park if you ford the dam. 

Beginning your trek at Fabis doesn’t mean you have no way back to get your car, if you kayak with a partner. Leave one vehicle at Riverside before the seven minute drive to Fabis, and return to collect the vehicle once you’re done.

The long and short of it is, there are many opportunities in Brownwood for exercise that feels like fun, and fun that will also get you exercise. That is, if you know where to look for it.