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Tim Wiederaenders: What would you walk a mile for?

December 16, 2018

Consider that the average Arizonan would not walk a mile to get somewhere, a Gear Hungry survey says.

• Arizonans walk for a maximum of 18.5 minutes (about 0.9 miles), on average;

• One-third of Americans would take an elevator rather than walk up one flight of stairs;

• One-half of those younger than 35 can’t remember when they last ran a mile; and,

• Better than one in 10 would not exercise more, even if their lives depended on it.

That last one scares me most, considering it comes down to a personal choice. I have recently faced some challenges that now require me to exercise more. Still, I cannot imagine choosing otherwise.

It’s no myth that as a nation America struggles with obesity levels. Troubling data from the federal health officials earlier this year showed that in 2016 and 2017 over 40 percent of Americans were obese, a sharp increase from the decade before. For the same period, data also showed that the sale of fast food had increased by 22.7 percent. No coincidence.

The survey of 2,200 Americans, ages 18 to 65, shows it’s no wonder Americans have an ever expanding waistline.

What’s worse is we the people of the Grand Canyon State are among the most lethargic in the country. Given how much they love the outdoors, Alaskans are even worse — they’d walk for only a maximum of 15 minutes, or 0.8 miles to get somewhere. Who’s the most energetic? The good people of Idaho would persevere for nearly half an hour (28 minutes) or 1.4 miles, before calling it a day.

For me one last statistic from the survey hit home. Over half (52 percent) of respondents said they would be completely put off walking somewhere if it was raining.

What are you afraid of, melting like the Wicked Witch of the West? It reminds me of a talk I had with my brother once, in which he poo-pooed running in the rain.

I guess my lack of hair is a factor, nothing to mess up there; but why are we so reluctant to exercise?

Tim Wiederaenders is an editor of the Prescott Daily Courier and a a former Lake Havasu City resident.

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