According to Steven N. Blair, Professor of Exercise Science and Epidemiology at the University of South Carolina,
“There is now overwhelming evidence that regular physical activity has important and wide-ranging health benefits, ranging from reduced risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers to enhanced function and preservation of function with age”.
Compared that with recent findings that physical activity’s opposite, physical inactivity, was responsible for 5.3 million deaths worldwide in 2008 (more deaths than smoking) – it has never been more apparent that we are running the risk of allowing physical inactivity to win first place in the Biggest Public Health Problem of the 21st Century competition.
So what can we do? We can make 2015 the year where we start to move more! Doing any amount of exercise can increase your physical health and longevity. What’s more, you may only need to exercise in short bursts with what has been called “exercise snacking,” shown in studies to be extremely effective. In one 2014 study, scientists in New Zealand followed nine adult Type 2 diabetes patients who completed short 12-minute high-intensity sessions on treadmills. The patients had lower and more regulated blood sugars after the exercise snacking sessions than when they completed 30-minute moderate-intensity sessions. The message coming out of the study for those hoping to keep their blood sugar under control is that brief bouts of higher intensity exercise several times during the day are likely to be more effective than fewer moderate and longer sessions. The good news is that it’s not only your blood sugars that will thank you, but your heart, bones, and immune system!
Exercise Snacking at UBC
Let’s be honest, not a lot of us are not moving while working, and possibly not doing much the rest of the day, either. So let’s choose 2015 where we make walking our snack! According to WalkBC, “Walking is a simple way to improve overall wellbeing and reduce the chances of developing the health concerns associated with inactivity”. Walking is also free and can be done almost anywhere – so why not at UBC? See below for some regular walking related activities happening at UBC that may get you snacking!
- UBC Walkabout 2015 – Walkabout is an annual nine-week health and wellness challenge that promotes regular exercise in social settings, beginning on 19, 2015. Staff, faculty, students and community members create teams of five and compete to cover the distance of a new virtual route each year – everyone is welcome to join the challenge. For more information click here .
- UBC Walk and Talk Club: 10am Every Monday – This club is for people who would like to meet new friends and get active! Throughout the season the group will explore UBC’s Vancouver Campus and nearby Pacific Spirit Park with a different walk each week. For more information click here.
- Free UBC Walking Art Tour Guides – For your ‘exercise snack’ why not experience the campus in a different way? The new UBC Outdoor Art Tour features twenty-six sites including works from the University Art Collection, objects of interest, and artwork that has been commissioned or donated to specific departments and faculties.. Click here for more information.
- UBC Green Building Walking Tours – These popular guided tours are free and customized for groups on campus. Each one-hour tour takes participants through the interior spaces of sustainable buildings at UBC to reveal the stories behind its green features and operating systems. Click here for more information.
- Self-Guided Walking Tours of UTown@UBC – UBC Campus and Community Planning offers four self-guided walking tours of UBC’s different neighborhoods, each focusing on a different region of campus and highlighting attractions, housing and community amenities in UTown@UBC, UBC’s vibrant residential community. The maps and brochures are available through the Campus & Community Planning website.
- Pacific Spirit Park –Are you interested in the many walking trails within Pacific Spirit Park? For a detailed coloured map click here.
- UBC Botanical and Nitobe Gardens – UBC Staff, Faculty and Students have free admission to the UBC Botanical Gardens and the Nitobe Memorial Gardens with a valid UBC Card. For more information click here.
For more information and more offerings on walking at UBC click here.
Free Zumba! 11am-12pm Jan. 27 2015 @ the Student Recreation Centre (SRC) Gym
Zumba fuses hypnotic Latin rhythms and easy-to-follow moves to create a one-of-a-kind dance/fitness program. Achieve long-term benefits while experiencing an absolute blast in an exciting hour of calorie-burning, body-energizing, awe-inspiring movements meant to engage and captivate. For more information or to register click here.