Likely, one of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to get in shape. Likely, one of the best New Year’s resolutions is to get in shape – considering the plan is to get fit and to do it in a healthy way. No crash diets. No starvation diets. No fad diets. Getting fit requires exercise. One of the best exercises is walking. Sometimes, however, things like weather and work schedules get in the way of doing this. Brunswick County, NC offers a variety of solutions to this problem with fitness centers, private trainers, yoga instruction and more. Choose what works best for you and get fit. You will thank yourself, feel better, live longer and be happier. Here are some places where you can get help with your plan – or make one:


(Photo courtesy Cape Fear Fitness & Crossfit, Southport)

Curves for Women, Southport, NC

Oak Island Parks and Recreation Department

Cape Fear Fitness & CrossFit Southport

Boiling Spring Lakes Community Center Fitness RoomBoiling Spring Lakes Community Center Fitness Room

Brunswick County Parks and Recreation

Crossfit Safe Haven, Southport, NC

Dinah E. Gore Fitness & Aquatics Center, Bolivia, NC

Body Edge Fitness Solutions, Ocean Isle Beach, NC

CrossFit Ocean Isle Beach

Curves for Women, Calabash, NC

Dosher’s Fitness, Supply, NC

Movement Works, Calabash, NC


Many people view keeping fit as a lot of work, but if you enjoy being out of doors, keeping fit can be fun – especially here where we are blessed with beautiful weather. A fitness routine can include such enjoyable exercise as a walk on the beach; a swim; a bicycle ride; a game of tennis; a day at the skate park; a round of golf; a game of volleyball; a kayak adventure; an excursion on a paddleboard; a day of surfing; organized games of softball and more. It is important to be active throughout your life in any way you can to keep yourself healthy and happy as well. Brunswick County, NC offers opportunities for doing this from organized games for kids to a variety of fitness classes at its senior centers. You will also find fitness centers that offer weight lifting, treadmills, zumba classes, crossfit training, pilates. tai chi, aerobics classes – any kind of exercise that fits your lifestyle. Here are a few of the fitness centers in Brunswick County, NC where you can find the type of exercise that fits you best:

Cape Fear Fitness & Crossfit, Southport (

Oak island Parks and Recreation Department (

Body Dimensions, Shallotte (


There are many words that describe thankfulness, many ways to show thankfulness, and many things to be thankful for – especially in the NC Brunswick Islands. Water is everywhere here. From the Atlantic Ocean to the Cape Fear River to the Intracoastal Waterway to the many lakes – it surrounds us. It contributes to the saline scent of the maritime environment – something we miss when we travel. It provides venues for entertainment including; sailing, surfing, swimming, paddle boarding, boating, canoeing and fishing. It’s a virtual playground. It’s also exceedingly beautiful to contemplate. The towns are bird sanctuaries. We can hear the birds singing as well as the breezes singing through the trees – even with our windows closed – instead of the sound of traffic roaring past. The climate allows us to spend an inordinate amount of time outdoors walking, biking, hiking, running, on the water, by the water, on the beach, in a hammock. Even when the temperature dips, there is always the wonderful sunshine. What’s more, our towns, the county, the state have had the foresight to set aside large amounts of natural spaces for our enjoyment. Parks abound in Brunswick County, NC. Whether they are small, with a few trees and a bench or two, or hundreds of acres, they are here for our enjoyment. Here are a few for you to explore – and while you are at it, remember to be thankful for the air you breathe; for the fact that you woke up this morning; for your legs that allow you to walk; for your eyes that allow you to take in the beauty around you; for your lungs that allow you to breathe; for smiles and hugs and even for setbacks that eventually lead you to better things.

Brunswick Nature Park (

Waccamaw Park (

Ev-Henwood Nature Preserve (


Fall can be one of the most spectacular times of the year for walking and hiking. When you think of hiking in North Carolina, your mind likely goes to the Blue Ridge Mountains where the views are nothing short of breathtaking. For some of us, the flatter trails are more favorable, more accessible, and their scenery can be just as intriguing in a different way. There are some absolutely lovely places to hike right here in Brunswick County, NC. Here are a few to consider.

Brunswick Nature Park in Town Creek, NC offers walking and hiking trails, horse riding trails and kayaking trails: (

At the Ev-Henwood Nature Preserve in Leland, NC you will find 10 miles of hiking trails:


Don’t rule out the coast. In the Town of Oak Island, NC you will find the Environmental Overlook Trails with all the beauty of coastal nature:  (

The December Beach


(Photo credit goes to Val Nieman)

Too many times we deny ourselves that which we need the most. Today it is 65 degrees and sunny and I was working in the house trying to make some order out of years of chaos. I have given myself a deadline for this task and though I will not get 21 plus years of stashing things for later done by that time, I do have a set amount that I expect to accomplish. Then I heard the weather report for tomorrow. 53 degrees and rain. It occurred to me that I cannot count on many more days of walking barefoot on the beach before the cold weather sets in for good. So, I walked away from my tasks and took myself down to the sea.

The tide was low, the sun was shining through a mist that came close to obliterating the horizon line, and a light southwest breeze stirred the sea oats. The water was mostly smooth with a breaker sliding in every so often. Pelicans soared close to the surface of the sea and seagulls congregated at the edge of the tide. There were a number of beached jellyfish and a fisherman sitting in a chair, surf fishing with three rods, music on his radio and his dog by his side. I could count on one hand the number of people I saw – all with their dogs. It was enchanting, exhilarating, lovely, peaceful, fulfilling….. The work was still here at home when I returned refreshed and ready to dig in again.