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Podcast: UP and Moving just getting started after 100 workouts

June 21, 2021 | By Michael H. Babcock

When it became clear COVID-19 was a serious threat, there were many emotions for people around the world. For students led by Steve Elmer, PhD, including Doctoral Student Isaac Wedig, it meant trying to do their part by starting UP and Moving.  

UP and Moving IG“We’re the exercise people,” Wedig said of those early moments. “We knew physical activity is really important for health, so we thought we need to promote this and then slowly as we started this project to get people active, more and more evidence has come out to back this up."

That became increasingly clear when a study by Dr. Robert Sallis was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine on the topic. The evidence pointed to a clear conclusion: Consistently meeting physical activity guidelines was strongly associated with a reduced risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes among infected adults. That study was a huge reason why Dr. Sallis was invited to be the speaker for the June 2021 edition of the UP Health Science and Medicine Lecture Series.

In this podcast we talk about that study, but we focus more on the movement Dr. Elmer and Wedig started with UP and Moving. UP and Moving provides free live and recorded home-based workouts with the goal is to keep adults in the Upper Peninsula physically active and healthy during the pandemic and beyond. They do live workouts six days a week - folks can participate in the workouts on the website, they’re streamed on Facebook live and all of the workouts are archived on YouTube. They air workouts on ABC10 the first and third Sunday of every month. They are also doing DVD’s, call (906) 487-2715 to order DVDs.

This Episode’s Guests

  • Steve Elmer, PhD, Associate Professor of Dept. of Kinesiology & Integrative Physiology
  • Isaac Wedig, MS, Doctoral Student in Dept. of Kinesiology & Integrative Physiology

The podcast goes through the history of UP and Moving, including highlighting the fact they’ve been through 100 episodes. As it nears the end, we hear about their plans moving forward.

Get Involved with UP and Moving

Quotable Moments from Podcast Guests

Steve Elmer, PhD, Associate Professor of Dept. of Kinesiology & Integrative Physiology

  • “I want to commend Isaac and the entire team of graduate students that have led this."
  • “We think of walking or physical activity more broadly as a robust form of medicine. It helps to do many things. It helps to promote good physical and mental health. Helps to reduce risk or many chronic diseases. It helps also to bolster immune function, which is extremely important when there is a deadly virus circulating throughout the world. We know it’s a form of medicine and regular amounts are so important.”
  • “People are sitting more and moving less.”
  • “The bottom line is walking can help protect you against severe illness from COVID-19."
  • “The study also indicated that if you are physically inactive, that can be a major risk factor. Even more so than high blood pressure, being overweight, smoking, etc. All the things you see on the CDC website.”

Isaac Wedig, MS, Doctoral Student in Dept. of Kinesiology & Integrative Physiology

  • "Reaching that 100-workout marker we really have that foundation laid and we're ready to keep this moving into the future and build off what we have."
  • “We study the way physical activity impacts the body, impact it has on health and quality of life. For me, in terms of the problem we have right now, we’re in the middle of a pandemic. We have this specialty of exercise and physical activity. The really cool thing right now is how people with a particular specialty have stepped up and filled in the gap.”
  • “That study was pretty conclusive evidence now that we know physical inactivity is definitely going to increase your odds of severe outcomes with covid."
  • “Even before the COVID-19 pandemic there was already a “physical inactivity pandemic.” Not a whole lot of people are meeting the recommended levels of physical activity. That’s a problem we’re going to have moving forward out of the pandemic. Long story short, we want to keep this moving. Now that we have the foundation laid, that’s what we plan to do.” 
  • “Hopefully turn physical activity assessment into a vital sign of health.”

Additional Information


Michael H. Babcock

Michael H. Babcock