Oklahomans and exercise: It’s not as bad as you think

by Jaclyn Cosgrove Modified: May 3, 2013 at 6:05 am •  Published: May 3, 2013

Judi Joy works out because, otherwise, her body would revolt against her.

The 62-year-old Oklahoma City resident has undergone spinal fusion surgeries recently, and per doctor’s orders, she makes it a point to regularly exercise.

“You have to, or it will get worse — that’s why I have to work out,” Joy said. “My goal at my age now is just to keep healthy and live a longer, active life.”

Joy is among an active group of Oklahomans the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says gets enough exercise.

Thursday, the CDC released a report that noted only 16 percent of Oklahomans perform enough aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercises to meet federal guidelines.

Those federal guidelines defined “enough” activity based on the survey respondents’ age and gender. For example, respondents were classified as meeting both the aerobic and muscle-strengthening guidelines if they met the aerobic activity guideline of 150 minutes or more per week of moderate intensity aerobic activity.

Since losing weight, Edmond resident Josh Evans has taken a moment at the gym to lift the amount of weight he lost.

“You wonder how you lugged it around all the time,” Evans said.

About five years ago, Evans went from 208 to 170, thanks to a competition at work. He now regularly exercises, incorporating strength training and cardio.

His motivation lies, in part, in that he wants to be around to help raise his 3-year-old twin children.

“I try to just mix upper-body routines, do a balanced workout, (with) lower body, and get some fun things in like basketball sometimes,” he said.

About 24 percent of Oklahomans meet the federal government’s guidelines for incorporating enough strength training into their workouts. This compares to a national average of about 30 percent, according to the CDC.

For a while, Jennifer Yates, of Stillwater, was more focused on strength training.

“I’ve only, probably in the last year, gotten into more cardio and aerobic type workouts, and it makes a huge difference on body fat loss and increasing the amount of muscle mass that you have versus fat mass,” Yates said. “It makes a difference over just strength training.”

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by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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