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Do you get enough?

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Do you get enough?

I am clearly an avid athlete. I run almost daily, and I work out in some form every single day. BUT I also understand that most people don't have this option due to work constraints and life in general.  A really scary study just came out from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) looking at the exercise that the average American gets, and we all know that there are so many benefits of exercise: better mood and feel better, cardiovascular strength (heart and veins/arteries), pulmonary strength (lungs), boosts immune system, and helps your body work more efficiently so you can lose weight and stay healthy!

What did the CDC find?
Less than 2 in 10 Americans get the recommended amount of daily exercise (meaning 20-30 minutes a day of activity for a total of 150 minutes a week) and around 25% of all Americans get NO physical activity at all.

Where is the lowest amount of physical activity found?
The Southern region of the US and Appalachia where around 30% of residents reported no physical activity at all, even light activity like gardening or golfing.  In Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oklahoma in certain counties up to 70% of residents report no activity.  These are shocking statistics!! These areas also have very high rates of obesity and type II diabetes.

Where are the most active areas?
The Northeast, West Coast, Colorado, and Minnesota are the ares with the most active residents, so kudos!!

Why are certain areas more active?
The theory is that it is all related to cultural norms.  If you see people being active and walking/running/exercising then you will be more active yourself and more apt to join in.  When everyone else you know exercises, you are more than likely to join in, in some form, too!

Why is this so bad?
Well, the CDC estimates that 34% of Americans are clinically obese and 34% are overweight, which isn't good as a baseline, but add to that the fact that, on average, people who are obese spend 40% more on healthcare every year when compared to those of normal weight, this inactivity hits your wallet too!!

The CDC is going to start recommending that employers have mandated exercise time, to encourage healthiness and well being, and get people up and moving.  Especially in a time where we are all tightening the amount of money we spend, going for a walk is totally free, and even going for a run (we don't need all the bells and whistles that many of us use) is free, and it will save you money on healthcare bills and help you feel better and look better.  So, lead by example and get out there as the weather warms up, encourage others to get out there too and get (at a minimum) that 150 minutes of exercise, in any form that you choose....I promise you will feel better AND look better!!

Yours in Good Health
B

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