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Let’s Get Moving for Better Health!
Scientific research repeatedly shows that participating in physical activity
on a daily basis helps make us healthier. Being active reduces the risk of
developing or dying from some of the leading causes of illness and death in
the U.S. It doesn’t matter what age you are, the message is clear: move it!
What are you waiting for? Get moving!
Physical activity helps strengthen bones, muscles and joints, helps reduce
depression and anxiety, enhances the immune response system, helps control
body weight and blood pressure, boosts self-esteem and self-confidence and
improves the overall feeling of well-being.
Moderate physical activity can add up during the day
Physical activity is a part of many daily activities, including household chores,
hobbies and job-related duties. Aim to accumulate at least 30 minutes (adults)
or 60 minutes (children and youth) of moderate physical activity daily. If you
already get 30 minutes of physical activity daily, you can gain more health
benefits by increasing the amount of time that you are physically active or
by taking part in more vigorous activities. No matter what activity you choose,
you can do it all at once, or spread it out over two or three times during the day.
Let’s consider a typical day and see how simple, regular, moderate physical
activity can add up. Let’s say you get up in the morning and walk the dog for
10 minutes. You take the stairs two or three times at work (5 minutes) and
park in a lot that is 5 minutes from your office resulting in 10 minutes of
activity to and from the office. At home you vacuum for 5 minutes. You have
achieved 30 minutes of physical activity for the day!
30 minutes a day improves your health
More physical activity is required to achieve physical fitness, change body
composition and maintain weight. However, just 30 minutes of physical activity
can help improve health and decrease risk of chronic disease. In addition,
physical activity is a fun and healthy way to socialize with friends and to
spend quality time with family members.
• Begin a hobby that incorporates activity — gardening, dancing, tennis.
• Take your dog for a walk.
• Take the stairs whenever possible.
• Park your car at the far end of the parking lot and walk.
• Walk briskly.
• Wash your car instead of using the car wash.
• Do your own yard work. Use a push mower rather than a riding mower.
• Do not use the remote control. Instead get up and change the channel!
Material used with permission from North Carolina State University Cooperative
Extension’s Successful Family Program