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Mark your calendar today—the next statewide 2nd Sunday is Oct. 9. 2nd Sunday is designed to get individuals, families and children moving and engaged in activity—whether they bike, walk, run, play or participate in fun and healthy activities.
The idea for Kentucky’s focus on movement was inspired by a similar, popular event in Bogota, Columbia, where officials close more than 70 miles of roads to vehicles, opening them to local residents for exercise every Sunday. Now, in its fourth year, virtually every county in Kentucky, a state with a consistently high level of obesity and weight-management and health issues, participates. Activities range from the old-fashioned fun of hula-hoop contests and straw mazes to more traditional pursuits of running, hiking and biking.
The day’s focus on activity helps get people involved in their own health and exercise. It also opens dialogue about these issues, leading to conversations and increased knowledge among parents and youth, family members and friends, as well as community leaders and government officials.
According to “F as in Fat: How obesity threatens America’s future–2011”, a report from Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF):
•Fifteen years ago, Kentucky had an obesity rate of 16.6 percent and was ranked eighth most obese state in the nation.
•The obesity rate in Kentucky increased 90 percent over the past 15 years. Kentucky now has an obesity rate of 31.5 percent and is ranked sixth most obese state in the nation.
University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service publication “Diabetes and Physical Activity,” http://www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/fcs3/fcs3541/fcs3541.pdf, offers advice for starting to exercise:
•Start with a consistent exercise schedule.
•Include both aerobic (jog, swim, bike) and anaerobic (weight-lifting, push-ups) exercises.
•Aim for at least 20 minutes a session or per day.
•Work to an intensity level of 50 to 75 percent of your maximum heart rate.
•If obese, burn or work off 700 to 2,000 calories per week.
Additionally, other weight management strategies include:
•Aim for a healthy weight, using your body mass index (BMI) and waist measurement to gauge your weight.
•Be physically active every day. Adults should aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of activity daily, children 60 minutes daily.
•Plan family physical activities.
•Support family members’ interests in sports and active hobbies or activities.
•Limit TV and computer time.
The important thing to remember is that you control many of the factors that affect your risk for serious illnesses, such as heart disease and diabetes. One positive step you can take is to participate in 2nd Sunday, and then use that impetus to jumpstart physical activity until you are moving every day.
So plan to get active on Sunday, October 9, 2011! In Trimble County we are encouraging families, individuals and/or groups to plan their own physical activities. Give us a call at the Trimble County Extension office at (502) 255-7188 for information. Those that register will receive an activity log, a free Second Sunday t-shirt and a pedometer to help get you started. The activity log can be used to record how many and what type of activities you and your family are active in.
Jane Proctor is Trimble County’s Cooperative Extension agent for family and consumer services.