State ranks 35th in physical activity app study

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 24, 2015

Zane Urbahns works out at USA Gym Thursday afternoon. |  Andrew Garner/ Star-News

Zane Urbahns works out at USA Gym Thursday afternoon. |
Andrew Garner/

Zane Urbahns’ workout routine is spontaneous.

The Hope, Ind. native and Opp resident spends a good amount of time in the gym, working on everything from his arms to his legs.

“I try to do as many body weight exercises I can, such as squats, pull ups and pushups,” Urbahns said. “I try to get a good number of those in every day.”

Urbahns is one of a few Alabama residents who put in the necessary time toward physical activity each day, according to a ranking done by MapMyFitness in 2014.

MapMyFitness is an app that helps track a person’s fitness regimen while sharing it on various social media platforms, while monitoring those who exercise in different states.

The product, an Under Armour Connected Fitness Business Unit, found that Alabama ranks 35th in the nation in the amount of time devoted to exercising during a week. The study found that Alabamians spend an average of 9 minutes per day doing physical activity.

Robert Johnson Jr., an Andalusia personal trainer, said one should devote between 25-30 minutes to physical activity a day, adding that he sees people come and go from the weight room.

“There are times when you see the gym full, and there are times where you see not that much activity,” Johnson said. “People just lose interest. Over half of them lose interest because they don’t’ know how to work out, or the proper technique. They think that eating right will be the answer, and it’s not. You have to incorporate both.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, adults need at least two-and-a-half hours a week of physical activity.

Physical activity can improve health, and those who are active tend to live longer and have a lower risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression and some cancers.

Johnson suggested people find their activity level to help establish a foundation to start your exercise routine from.

“They can’t buy a DVD and expect to be on that activity level,” he said. “When they can’t keep up, they lose interest with it and it’s just too hard for them, or too much. They don’t understand and have questions, and don’t have answers.”

Johnson said personal trainers can help with technique to garner interest in getting in shape.

“The first thing is to hire a trainer,” he said. “If you can’t hire a trainer, just hire one one day to demonstrate workouts and technique. With that 45 minutes or an hour, you should establish a good workout.”

Motivation to get in shape came easy for Urbahns due to having a weight problem in grade school.

“I was a little chunkier back in school and I got picked on some for it,” he said. “In high school, I started doing pushups and sit ups. In high school, they had an open gym during physical education class, and I worked out all the time during lunch.

“It eventually became a hobby,” he said. “If I haven’t done it in a day, then I start getting a little fidgety.”