Health and Fitness with Jake

The little things are the big things

On November 6, 2012

Our culture has dictated the general perception of what our physical appearance should be. We all wish we had the sculpted and godlike physiques of our favorite NFL superstars or the poised and graceful curves possessed by pop culture's most highly sought-after female celebrities.

However, with these nearly impossible standards of Americanized beauty running rampant through our minds, the question remains: How do I go about starting the metamorphosis from the overweight, lay-about before me into a specimen pulled from Grecian lore?

What should you do to get yourself into better shape and continue a trend of overall physical fitness? What facilities will best help you improve your all-around physical fitness and health? With winter coming, where should you go to get a good workout?

Dr. Harold Burton, associate professor of exercise and nutrition science, stresses the importance of including variation in your workouts.

He said the best thing you can do for your overall health is to workout with a friend. This makes working out less of a chore and more of a fun, social experience.

"Lots of people don't want to go to the gym or can't find the time to pursue a weekly workout routine, but you don't have to," Burton said. "Go to the bike path on UB North Campus. There are always a ton of people out there running and biking, and the key is to just start slow and build [yourself] up over time."

Burton's ideology for the average person to get into better shape couldn't be simpler: just get out there and move around. Engage in more daily activities that involve increased levels of activity because that's the best first step you can take.

The reasons to maintain your physical fitness and overall body health are limitless. Personal pride, athletic ability and your desire to increase your sex appeal with co-eds are just a few. And for those of you out there seeking a healthy lifestyle, I commend you.

It is no easy road you have embarked upon and there will be many obstacles in your way, but here are a couple of personal tricks I have used over the years that you can incorporate into your daily life. They'll have you out there moving around and starting your journey toward better physical fitness:

Take the stairs.

Using stairs is a great way to cheat and get in some exercise for your core, legs and those ever-important gluteals. In addition, consider the weight of your backpack as additional training equipment as you tread onward.

Park far away.

By parking farther from your destination, you are simply mandating the fact that you will have to walk more throughout the day. If you have class over in Clemens, try parking in the Hochstetter lot instead of Jacobs, just to keep yourself moving around.

Use your friends.

Get all of your friends together every weekend and try to play a game of pick-up football, basketball, cricket or whatever you fancy. Have some fun playing outside and running around like you did when you were a little kid, and I guarantee you will be happier. "But it's about to be snowing," you say - so what? Suit up, grab a sled and head for the nearest hill. Just be sure you watch out for oncoming traffic at the bottom.

There are a million and one things you can do to try to improve your physical fitness and overall health. Find one you enjoy and get moving.



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