Living Columns & Blogs

People Centre’d on Diabetes: Get active with Centre Moves

Did you know that Centre County was recently ranked the second healthiest county in Pennsylvania?

With more than 70 fitness centers, more than a dozen farmers markets, seven great school districts, six state parks, five major grocery chains and more than 63 miles of bike lanes and trails, this is no surprise.

However, even with this high ranking, more than 25 percent of adults are obese, nearly 10 percent have diagnosed Type 2 diabetes and 20 percent (about 31,000 adults) report no physical activity. This is where Centre Moves comes in.

Centre Moves is a new initiative in the region, formed by a broad coalition of businesses, health care providers and dedicated individuals all working to improve our collective health through regular exercise and healthy living.

Did you know that as little as 30 minutes of walking each day can reduce risk of heart disease by more than 35 percent, reduce the risk of developing diabetes by nearly 60 percent and help prevent and control depression and anxiety better than the leading medications?

The evidence supporting regular exercise as a means to prevent, treat and in some cases even reverse major chronic diseases could fill up this entire page.

You may have heard the preview of Centre Moves on the radio last fall and now comes the Centre Moves Fit Families Challenge.

The Fit Families Challenge will run April 1-30 and its goal is to encourage families across the county to exercise together. To meet the challenge, you just need at least two members of your family to exercise at least 15 times in April.

Your “family” can be anything you want to make it — mom, dad, kids, cousins, grandparents, close friends and even dogs — and your workouts can be anything from formal gym sessions to walking your dog through the neighborhood.

As long as at least two members of your family get moving 15 times in April, you will qualify to win. Participation prizes will be awarded throughout the month, and several grand prizes (including a one-year family membership to the YMCA and two, one-month Group Training Packages to One on One Fitness, a Class Pass to Wellness in Motion and a pass to Fit for Play) will be awarded through random drawings at the end of the challenge.

For full details, sign-up instructions, ways to get active and additional community resources, visit or email Info@CentreMoves .org.

To launch and conclude the Fit Families Challenge, Centre Moves will also host events throughout April at all four YMCA of Centre County locations. Each event will occur with various community partners and will be open to the public.

▪ 8:30-11:30 a.m. April 2, State College YMCA

▪ 1:30-4:30 p.m April 2, Moshannon Valley YMCA

▪ 8:30-11:30 a.m. April 3, Bellefonte YMCA

▪ 1:30-4 p.m. April 3, Penns Valley YMCA

▪ 12:30-5 p.m. April 30, State College YMCA

The April 30 event will coincide with the YMCA Healthy Kids Day and feature a 3-mile Fun Run/Walk for adults beginning at 1 p.m. Kids will be able to enjoy a number of great activities hosted by the State College YMCA throughout the afternoon.

Physical activity gives us energy, helps us stay fit, and fights off health epidemics like obesity and diabetes. Achieving better health for our community is a collective effort, and Centre Moves is the foundation where we can all commit to being our best selves. So, join us! Jump in, start small, and just get moving.

Centre Moves. Do you?

Zack Papalia is a resident of State College and a Penn State kinesiology graduate. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach with the National Strength and Conditioning Association, earned his Masters of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh and is working on his Doctorate in kinesiology with a concentration in psychology of physical activity at Penn State. He teaches Kinesiology at Penn State and owns Inspire Wellness Solutions.