New workouts and inspiration from Body by Jake

Moving your body is good for your physical and mental health. Even as Arizona reopens, many people are choosing to stay close to home. So we’re bringing you a new way to stay fit if you prefer to skip the gym. “Get Fit. Don’t Quit!” now offers a 15-minute workout playlist of workout videos for a quick energy boost at home!

The “Get Fit. Don’t Quit!” health and wellness program was created by Blue Cross® Blue Shield® of Arizona (BCBSAZ) and fitness icon Jake Steinfeld of Body by Jake®. We spoke with Jake about how to stay active and positive through difficult times.

Why should we exercise at home right now?

Moving your body is so important for your well-being. It gets your endorphins rocking, revs up your metabolism, and makes you smile. Plus, people need to feel a sense of accomplishment, especially now. If you get up in the morning and do an exercise routine, it creates an upward spiral of success that’s good for your body and mind. Two push-ups today can lead to 11 push-ups tomorrow, and so on. This kind of momentum builds confidence and self-esteem. And it doesn’t have to take a lot of your energy or time.

How can BCBSAZ members stay motivated to move during these hard times?

Let’s face it, exercise can be boring. But the right tools and motivation make it fun! That’s where I come in. I want to inspire you to be the best you—so you can have health, hope, and a bounce in your step!

Check out the terrific video playlist of 14 one-minute exercises at getfitdontquit.com for workouts anyone can do. You can work your whole body at home, in your backyard, or any outdoor area—solo or with your partner or family. All you need are household items (your new workout tools) and a big smile.

What is the relationship between exercise and physical resilience?

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a great deal of stress, tension, and anxiety. When you’re exercising, you’re doing something tangible to counteract these challenges. You’re on the path to being healthy and strong. It’s not just physical resilience that you build every time you do a 15-minute workout. You’re also growing mental resilience. As you become more focused and less fidgety, you perform better. All from a little bit of exercise!

How can working out help both body and mind?

Anxiety and stress often stem from not feeling in control. When you consider every workout a combination of physical and mental well-being activities, you can get a sense of being in control of your day and your life. Here’s something you can try. While you do your reps, visualize your day. Look at every push-up as more than a push-up, for example. Make it represent success to you. See yourself accomplishing something specific or resolving some challenge with each repetition. This helps you believe that you can do everything you set your mind to. Instead of counting reps, you see yourself moving forward. By the end of your workout, you’ve already blueprinted a successful day in your mind.

How do you stay optimistic?

Decades ago, I was gifted a poem whose final lines read, “Stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit. It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.” This poem changed my life. “Don’t Quit!” became my motto, and this is how I live. Any time I get stuck, I recite the poem to keep me going. I’ve had a lot of success and a lot of failure. I know tomorrow is another day, and I keep going. I trust that when it’s cloudy, the sun is going to come out eventually. This is how I control my own destiny, and how you can control yours.

Are there safe and simple outdoor activities we can do to boost our activity levels?

Walking or riding your bike can be great exercise if you’re comfortable wearing a mask. Plus, the workouts at getfitdontquit.com can be done in your backyard or any outdoor area—as long as you feel safe. Make sure to always follow the laws in your area when doing any outdoor exercise.

Have there been any silver linings for you in staying home?

I love spending time with my family, and we’ve had much more time together while staying home. We focus on being in this together, and we’re all pitching in to help each other.

When you feel connected to others, there’s relief from stress, strain, and anxiety. Tending our relationships can remind us how fortunate we are, no matter what’s going on in the world. Even the smallest kindness right now can make a big difference. DON’T QUIT!