NEW ALBANY —
Spending much of his time in the seat of a big rig, Kelvin Shorter said it was difficult for him to know if he had time to exercise. Between long stops and even longer stretches on the road, it was hard to budget time to get on his feet.
But at Fitness Fun Day, part of the seventh annual Ohio River Greenway 5K Run/Walk, the Louisvillian said he learned just 10 minutes of activity can help make him and his family healthier.
“I just want to be more proactive about our health, exercise and eating better,” Shorter said. “We have a membership at the [YMCA], so that’s how we found out about this.”
On Saturday, the Floyd County Physical Activity Coalition and Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services paired up with the Ohio River Greenway to expand their event this year to reach families on the importance of daily exercise and the impact it has on their health.
At the New Albany Amphitheater, residents could participate in the 5K, but also get in on some Zumba and other exercises at the lead of experts from the Floyd County YMCA.
Shannon Carroll, member of the Wellness Coalition of Southern Indiana and community outreach nurse at Floyd Memorial, said last year, a health assessment by the hospital showed Floyd County has areas of concern in cancer, heart disease and obesity. She said that spurred them to come up with programs for residents involving exercise, nutrition and smoking cessation.
But she said something the event focused on was a program called “Give Me 10.” She said research shows 10 minutes of activity can make a person healthier than if they don’t engage in any kind of physical activity at all.
She said while 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day is optimal, 10 minutes is enough to impact a person’s health and is easy enough to manage.
“That’s a lot more doable, just 10 minutes,” Carroll said. “Even if you’re just at your desk, or if you’re young or elderly, it’s a great place to start. But hopefully, it helps make people develop a love for exercise.”
She said each of the partners with the event showed families different ways to squeeze in a few minutes of exercise without the need to go to the gym.
“We want to introduce people to different ways to engage in physical activity,” Carroll said. “Every booth had to have a physical activity and we wanted to give people lots of options for that.”
At Southern Indiana Rehab Hospital’s booth, children could make their way through a bicycle safety course. They also fitted each child with a helmet and gave it to them.
Deb Strickler, a recreational therapist at the hospital, said while adults need to get out and burn calories, children also need to know the benefits of an active lifestyle.
“It’s to get the kids out and moving and to promote health and wellness,” Strickler said. “If we can get them active at a young age and help them remain active as adults, they’ll pass that on to their own children.”
Della Hayes, Shorter’s fiancée, said she was glad there were resources for her children to learn how to eat well and have fun while exercising.
“I want my kids off the couch and help them make healthier choices with what they eat,” Hayes said. “Even if they’re not working out and she’s involved in other activities, it’s better than not doing anything.”
Nancy Anderson, co-chair of the Wellness Coalition, said even if 10 minutes of exercise is just marching in place, doing squats or other simple exercises, it can have an impact on a person’s health.
“It’s fun to get up and do anything,” Anderson said. “We’ve provided them with a lot of activities they can do without a lot of equipment. They can do 10 minutes and workout just with Zumba, that’s just moving their body.”