Data from the federal government shows less than one in five Americans are getting the exercise they need to stay healthy. The Centers for Disease Control reports only about 20 percent of Americans get at least one hour of physical activity each day.
It can have a wide range of effects, from increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke to making you less able to simply get out and enjoy life. And the numbers show that the younger generation isn’t much better than adults at staying healthy. While 20 percent of adults get a hour of activity in each day, that number only goes up to 30 percent for high school and college students.
“I probably come to work out nearly every day, you know, just depends on my schedule,” says Langston Bush, a senior at Pittsburg State University.
And Langston says part of coming to the gym is the impact it has on his health.
“I want to live for a while. I want to live to see, you know, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and one way to do that, hit the gym,” says Langston Bush.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Langston is in the minority of Americans. Recently released data shows only one in five Americans is getting the exercise they need to add those extra years on to their lives. But Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas wellness coordinator Sunni Stipp says you don’t necessarily have to spend hours in the gym to get the benefits.
“Getting up and moving, going for a walk, taking the dog for a walk, going outside, playing with your kids, simple things. I mean, you can do a Google search and look for a four minute workout,” says Sunni Stipp.
Stipp says you don’t even need a full gym to get in a good workout.
“A gym is great for not getting burned out on a lot of stuff, but you can do plenty of workouts with just body weight,” says Stipp.
And Stipp says you can even get a good workout during your workday.
“Take the stairs at work, when you have a break, walk down the hallway, walk around, stand up, do ten pushups, do a wall sit for 45 seconds, you know, there’s a lot of different things you can do just to get your heart rate up,” says Stipp.
Stipp says making a few simple changes now could make a big impact later in life, and that’s part of what keeps Langston coming back to the gym.
“It’s just like I’m wrapping up a gift for my future self, you know. He’s really going to appreciate these health benefits that I’m giving him,” says Langston Bush.
Before beginning any exercise regimen, check with your doctor to make sure there aren’t any health concerns you need to take into account.