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Chaparral 2014-2015: 23.4 FitTips

FitTip (March 2015)

Fit Tip #4: Just Move It! Creating a Physically Active Campus Community

by Erin Calderone

 

map of glendale college with walking track marked

The human body needs physical activity just to be healthy. You might not realize it, but your body craves movement - and we deprive it of everyday by sitting at our desks for hours on end. So how much is enough? And how do we work our workouts into our workdays?

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) highlights the fact that adults need a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity (PA) per week. That’s about 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. If you push a little harder, 75 minutes of vigorous PA is all that you need. But more is usually better: getting up to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity or 150 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week can help prevent weight gain, improve your fitness level and provide added health benefits.

Moderate PA is defined as activity that raises your heart rate and breathing rate, but is still easy enough for you to carry on a conversation with a co-worker. Examples are: brisk walking, cycling, social dancing or playing doubles tennis. To test yourself, try singing. If you can’t carry a tune, but you can still talk, it’s moderate.

map of glendale college with walking track markedVigorous PA is defined as activity that raises your heart rate and breathing rate a lot, and is usually strenuous. Examples are: running, walking quickly upstairs, jumping rope or hiking. If you can’t recite the pledge of allegiance or a familiar poem without pausing in-between sentences for a breath, then the activity is vigorous.

Does this mean I have to get on a treadmill and sweat for half an hour every day?

Nope! In fact, you can break up your physical activity into 10-minute bouts, 3 times a day. This could mean simply parking farther away, walking on your lunch break and then taking the dog for a stroll when you get home. In fact, here are a few ways you can be physically active right here at GCC.

  • Glendale College stairs to the upper parking lotTake a walk in Verdugo Park – or even around our gorgeous campus. Verdugo park is just a short jaunt across the bridge and you’re transported into a peaceful, green, stress-reducing space. Have you ever wondered where the “VG” building is or where the child development center keeps all the kids? You can get to know our campus and improve your health at the same time! The two maps on this page display two paths that you can take for either a lovely stroll or a more intense trek all around GCC.

Be on the lookout for moving vehicles when walking through parking lots. If no sidewalk is available, you should walk opposite to the direction of traffic so that you can see it clearly.

  • Use the GCC track. The track is a standard competition track, so 4 laps around the inside lane will roughly equal 1 mile. However, to save wear and tear on the track, we encourage all walkers and joggers to use the outside lanes - 7 & 8, which will actually add almost another 1/10 of a mile to your 4 laps. So walking on the outside of the track will give you more mileage - and therefore more calorie burn – each lap.
  • Take the stairs. Ahhh… those infamous GCC stairs! Instead of lining up and awkwardly avoiding eye contact with 50 people waiting for the elevator, why not take the stairs? Although everyone is different, a 150lb person taking 5 flights of stairs up to the parking lot will burn about 25 calories. Repeat this 3 – 5 times a day and in a few months you’ll be sporting a healthier heart… and some buns of steel.  

 For more information on the CDC physical activity recommendations, visit www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity

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