The “skinny” on exercise

The Northerner thanks you for reading this new regular feature on our web site. In the months soon to come, you will be noticing many changes that will improve your reading experience of our paper online. Here is a great sneak-peek of a soon-to-be blog that will be hosted on our site. We hope you enjoy it, and thanks once again for reading.

To learn more about the upcoming changes to our online venue, please click here, or see the “New in the News” link on the left-hand navigation bar.

Most of us hear the word exercise and grumble, already thinking, “How much longer?”

Once we finally gather up enough courage to go to the gym, we are greeted by a scary, muscle-bound weightlifter that only discourages us more. For those of us having faced this daunting situation, there is good news. While the Surgeon General strongly recommends Americans to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-level exercise on most days of the week, they also highlight exercise can come in many forms.

The word exercise is a loose term, simply meaning physical activity. It doesn’t have to be boring, hard or overly-challenging. In fact, it is possible to have fun and improve your health. You can try some aerobic activities such as dancing, playing basketball, walking or playing Frisbee. Exercise can be as simple as grabbing a few friends heading to the park for an afternoon of fun!

The fact is most of us are not getting enough physical activity, period. One of the more popular reasons among college students for not exercising is lack of time. Time management is a skill professors preach heavily and sadly it can be applied to this topic as well.

Even with homework, reading assignments and papers demanding students’ attention, a little bit of time management can leave 30 extra minutes a day for exercising. The 30 minutes do not have to be together, either. Two-15 minute sessions or three-10 minute ones will work as well.

According to the National Institute of Health, an average person weighing about 150 pounds can burn approximately 170 calories just from a brisk walk. That works out to 85 calories burned in each 15-minute session and 57 calories burned in each 10-minute session.

Another trick to avoid the land of laziness is to get a group of friends together for exercise. By doing so, workouts can become a social experience and hold a level of accountability. Try to find things that can be applied to a daily routine, such as walking the dog, taking the stairs, choosing a parking space farther away or riding a bike to class.

The ultimate goal is to lead a healthy, active lifestyle. Those who participate in physical activity can improve their health and decrease the chance of premature death. By choosing exercises that compliment interests and incorporate time management skills, this goal can be achieved.

Jessica Daniels can be reached at