Get Off Your Ass, America

Posted on February 18, 2011

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Even with the growing mountain of evidence against a sedentary lifestyle, Americans still struggle when it comes to the issue of getting enough activity.

This Wednesday, the CDC released a new report with new activity estimates for all U.S. counties.   The conclusion?  “Americans who live in parts of Appalachia and the South are the least likely to be physically active in their leisure time.”  Of course, I’m an American myself, so I know we love graphic representations:

2008 percentage of inactive adults

Source: CDC (data from 2008)

Take a look.  If you’ve read my earlier posts, you’ll notice this overlies the counties leading the nation in obesity, diabetes, and the topic of a previous post of mine, food deserts.  The burden of chronic disease is tremendous, and I believe anyone who’s complained about the state of health care or the economy in the past 20 years should look inward and ask themselves if they’ve done enough to ensure they’re not contributing to the problem – in other words, take responsibility for your health! If you don’t do it for yourself or your family, do it for your country.

Physical activity is not only key for prevention, but also helps manage many chronic diseases, from diabetes & heart disease to (perhaps) unsuspected conditions such as dementia.  Dr. Ann Albright, director of the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation, encourages Americans to aim for something sustainable.  “Moderate intensity activities such as dancing or brisk walking, for just 150 minutes a week, can significantly improve the health of people with diabetes or at high risk for the disease,” she said.

You only get one body.

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Posted in: Fitness, Health, Medicine