Since Men's Health declared Lexington the laziest city in the country, the Herald-Leader has been asking people to share how they keep moving as part of our Stand Up, Lexington series. Here are some Lexingtonians who make exercise a part of their everyday lives, telling their stories in their own words.
If you share your story by emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org, you could win an annual membership to Fitness 19 plus one free personal training session.
Exercising with friends and family is one of my favorite things to do. We enjoy walking, running and hiking in Lexington parks and Kentucky state parks. This year, we participated in YMCA's Reindeer Ramble, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and the Race to Read. I plan to participate in more races so I can support causes near and dear to my heart while getting those endorphins pumping. I believe that there is something active for everyone to enjoy. You just have to figure out what it is and take a family member or friend along for the ride.
I was devastated to learn Men's Health magazine named Lexington the most sedentary city in the nation.
As for me and my family, we try to stay active by doing things that are fun and don't necessarily feel like exercise. We have a pool in our back yard, so as often as we can, we go swimming. My kids are generally in the pool during the summer at least six hours a week. My son started riding his bike without training wheels last summer, so now we take long family bike rides to explore the neighborhood and ride to the playground. My children are also very active in sports. My husband participates in two softball leagues, and while I know softball isn't a horribly heart-pounding, calorie- burning sport, it's still activity. As for me, through my job assignments, I teach an exercise class three times a week. On my work break times, my co-workers and I go for two 15-minute power walks a day, or we will do a 15-minute workout video twice a day. Pass the word along to Men's Health.
Ben C. Kaufmann
Ever since I was 12 years old, I have participated in a sports activity by playing on organized basketball and football teams, as well as participating in track. In college and graduate school, I played in intramural sports, as well as doing many things on my own. In 1967, after leaving college, I joined the YMCA, where I participate in activities six days per week. I started playing noon-time basketball, but the replacement of two knees has caused me to redefine my activities to swimming, stationary bikes and outdoor walking, where I spend between 1 1/2 and 2 hours per workout.
Enjoying the magnificent city view is a nightly routine for me and my friends. Don't get me wrong — we enjoy our fair share of video games and air-conditioned nights at my apartment, but nothing compares to ending our day walking downtown. Too young to bar-hop, we enjoy the sights of overly happy, slightly tipsy strangers giving out high fives down by Cheapside. Running through the fountains, getting lost and finding our way back by the "Big Blue Building" is a common routine in our lives. And we wouldn't trade it for anything.
I came of age in a small California coastal town where exercise was part of everyday life. A regular conversation-starter among adults was, "How was your run (or workout) today?" Even people who commuted 11/2 hours away to work often hit the gym (or pavement) before the long drive. While I was never athletic, I regularly jogged, swam laps at the local pool and walked. It just seemed like the "right" thing to do.
Now living in Lexington 20 years older and 30 pounds heavier, I walk the dog an hour a day, seven days a week and commute to work via bike, foot or carpool. Several of my neighbors and co-workers also commute via bike, foot or carpool. We do so for a variety of reasons — to help the environment, save money or to improve general well-being. Many people comment that we are "inspirational," but I hope someday that our activities will be looked upon as "normal" — just like when I was growing up.
Frank J. Sikora
I'm a runner. I started running at age 51 two years ago. I tallied about 1,200 running miles in 2010. I will hit 1,000 running miles in 2011 in about a week. I ran my first marathon in October 2010 and did it in four hours and 19 minutes. I ran my second marathon April 2011 at four hours and 29 minutes.
I went on a biking/kayaking/hiking vacation with my son two weeks ago. In four days, I traveled 108 miles and he traveled 156 miles. This Lexingtonian was not polled by Men's Health.
Men's Health magazine recently named Lexington the least active city in the nation. Today we're featuring the stories of six active Lexingtonians. Help us prove that Men's Health — and Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert, who mocked Lexington on his show — were wrong. In about 100 words, tell us how you get those endorphins pumping. We'll collect the stories and send them to Men's Health and Colbert. We might even publish a few in the newspaper and online. And we've created Stand Up, a Lexington Facebook page where you can post how you're being active. Send information about your activity with your name and a daytime phone number to: email@example.com. Fitness 19 will give an annual membership plus one free personal training session to the first 100 respondents.