If you are like most of us, we know how important physical activity is to our health and well being. Sometimes we get so busy with our lives that it becomes the first thing we eliminate. Fall is here and now is a great time to increase your physical activity level. Aim for being active at least 5 days per week at a minimum of 30 minutes.
How much physical activity is needed?
Physical activity is important for everyone, but how much you need depends on your age.
ADULTS (18 to 64 years)
Adults should do at least 2 hours and 30 minutes each week of aerobic physical activity at a moderate level OR 1 hour and 15 minutes each week of aerobic physical activity at a vigorous level. Being active 5 or more hours each week can provide even more health benefits. Spreading aerobic activity out over at least 3 days a week is best. Also, each activity should be done for at least 10 minutes at a time. Adults should also do strengthening activities, like push-ups, sit-ups and lifting weights, at least 2 days a week.
Physical activity is generally safe for everyone. The health benefits you gain from being active are far greater than the chances of getting hurt. Here are some things you can do to stay safe while you are active:
• If you haven’t been active in a while, start slowly and build up.
• Learn about the types and amounts of activity that are right for you.
• Choose activities that are appropriate for your fitness level.
• Build up the time you spend before switching to activities that take more effort.
• Use the right safety gear and sports equipment.
• Choose a safe place to do your activity.
• See a health care provider if you have a health problem.
Why is Physical Activity Important?
Did you know? When you are not physically active, you are more likely to:
• Get heart disease
• Get type 2 diabetes
• Have high blood pressure
• Have high blood cholesterol
• Have a stroke
Physical activity and nutrition work together for better health. Being active increases the amount of calories burned. As people age their metabolism slows, so maintaining energy balance requires moving more and eating less. Get outside and enjoy the fall weather by taking a walk or riding your bike.
Move more today!
Author: Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator