Few West Virginians are unaware that sedentary lifestyles can contribute to all kinds of health problems — heart disease, diabetes, obesity and joint pain, to name some. But being informed and doing something about it are two different things. In fact, a recent look at the percentage of adults who have reported doing no physical activity or exercise other than their regular jobs in the past 30 days places West Virginia tied with Kentucky for fourth worst in the nation.
America’s Health Rankings Public Health Impact report shows 30.5 percent percent of Mountain State residents report no exercise or physical activity over 30 days. (Ohio is 10th, with 26.5 percent).
Colorado, on the other hand, is head of the class, with only 16.7 percent of residents not getting exercise or physical activity outside their daily jobs.
What do they have that we don’t have? Sure, the mountains are a little taller, but so what. We’re not talking about hiking to the top of Pikes Peak every day, here. There are exercise classes at senior centers and churches. We’ve got plenty of outdoor options.
In our region, we have walking trails along the Ohio River. We have trails at Oglebay Park, and exercise options at Wheeling Park. There’s a paved walking trail in St. Clairsville. There are numerous gyms and wellness centers.
Our communities offer other activities, such as the annual Ogden Newspapers Wellness Weekend sponsored by WVU Medicine, which includes the Ogden Half Marathon Classic and the Tough as Nails Urban Challenge presented by The Health Plan, that can give a person fitness goals and a reason to get started. But making those opportunities available does not mean residents will take advantage of them.
No, folks, that part is up to you. All it takes is a choice.
Once you make it, there are wild and wonderful workout opportunities everywhere. Get moving!
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