CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – Imagine a typical day. Does it involve a lot of sitting – at your desk, in your car, on your couch?
Exercise is extremely important, but according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, we aren’t getting enough.
The 2014 State Indictor Report on Physical Activity found that 26.2 percent of Pennsylvania residents get no physical activity in their free time, about the same as the national average.
Summit Health’s 2012 Community Health Needs Assessment found that Franklin County residents do a little bit better, but about 20 percent of residents still did not participate in physical activity during their free time in a normal week.
According to the CHNA report, common reasons for not exercising included:
- Not having enough time (42.8 percent)
- Being too tired to exercise (39.4 percent)
- Job is physically demanding or hard labor (30.6 percent)
- Don’t like to exercise (22.3 percent)
However, there are ways to fit exercise into your day, according to Nickie Fickel, community health manager for Summit Health.
“It’s important to find what works for you and your routine so that it won’t feel like you’re going out of your way to exercise, it’s just part of your day,” Fickel said.
Here are five tips to sneak in exercise:
- Break up your schedule. If you don’t have a 30 minute block of time, try breaking it up. Do three 10-minute walks throughout the day.
- There’s an app for that. Fitness apps and Internet videos dedicated to quick, but intense workouts save time and let you work out anywhere.
- Do double duty. Set up equipment so you can watch TV and workout at the same time or use commercial breaks to do jumping jacks.
- Stand on the sidelines. It’s easier to sit through children’s practices and games, but standing burns more calories. Add in some jumping and cheering and you’ll burn more while engaging muscles.
- Dance it off. Pick a song and take a dance break every time you hear it on the radio. Do this three times a day for a week, and you’ll get an extra hour of exercise.
According to CDC guidelines, adults should get 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise, like walking briskly, or 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise, like running, per week.
Children should get an hour of physical activity each day with a mix of aerobic, muscle-strengthening, and bone-strengthening activities, according to the CDC.
Summit Health offers a number of exercise and fitness programs at Results Therapy and Fitness, 1600 Orchard Dr., Chambersburg. For more information, call (717) 262-4650 or visit www.SummitHealth.org/Results.
Summit Health is a non-profit network of hospitals and physician practices dedicated to building a healthier community.
As Franklin County's leading healthcare provider, Summit Health offers family care, specialists, lab and imaging services, a fitness center, two walk-in care centers, and two award-winning hospitals.