According to the Wellness International Network,
75 percent of Americans are not meeting the basic, daily, activity-
level requirements and 25 percent of Americans are completely
sedentary. In other words, fast -food joints and consumerism
have reinforced a couch potato culture. Hawai‘i, with
its outdoor culture, has successfully remained above the obesity
curve. According to the CDC, Hawai‘i has the second lowest
obesity rate in the nation. But there is still work to be done.
Nearly 30.5 percent of Native Hawaiians are obese, followed
by 14.7 percent of the Asian population.
It’s almost indisputable that schedules have become busier
and more demanding. But according to the ACE, time should never
be an excuse to not stay healthy. And it’s true. Most of
us are busy, but we make time for routines and people we deem
important in our lives. The first step to overcoming the most
common excuse for not exercising is to make exercising a priority.
Jarnett Lono, coordinator of Intramural and Recreational Sports
at HPU and director of the HPU fitness center on the windward
campus, recommends starting off by setting aside at least 20
minutes a day to exercise. “The key is to develop a routine,” Lono
said, “Even if you’re only getting out for a walk.” Keeping
a time set aside everyday for a short, rigorous workout is the
first step to developing a routine.
Once the mind is trained to think in terms of a routine, more
rigorous activities can be added, such as weight training, aerobics,
yoga, and Pilates. Unfortunately, the ACE also found that the
majority of respondents to its survey are afraid to go to a gym
or fitness club. Lono agrees, and adds that many people are intimidated
by the buff gym bunnies and overly complicated equipment found
in most fitness centers.
Lono believes it’s easy to be intimidated by the brawny
frequenters of gyms, but the focus should be on getting yourself
active and not on some hard body on the lat machine next to you.
She also advises not to be embarrassed by your body’s current
shape. Everyone at the gym has the same intentions as you: to
be healthy, active and to improve their outward appearance.
Lono advises people to start a routine of going to the gym
on the same days and time each week. “It’s about building
your confidence,” she said.
According to the ACE, however, many people are also confused
about what to do at the gym once they are there. Most gyms have
personnel ready and available to help people figure out proper
usage of equipment. But according to the ACE, 3 percent of respondents
avoid asking for help because they are embarrassed. Lono said
she doesn’t mind questions about equipment because she’d “rather
see people use it correctly.”
If going to the gym is still out of the question, there is
hope yet if you have a normal active routine.
taking the stairs or going out for a walk is better than nothing,” she
said. At least it’s a start to doing something about
our growing sedentary bodies.