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Physical activity is more than just “exercise” or “working out”- it’s living an active lifestyle. Whether it’s walking the dog, doing yard work, or playing with your kids, regular movement throughout the day inspires positive health outcomes over time.
How does physical activity improve health?
-Lowers risk of some chronic diseases and conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and cancer (e.g. breast, colon)
-Aids in weight loss and prevents weight gain
-Helps manage stress and may reduce depression
-Strengthens bones, muscles, and joints
-Boosts confidence and self-esteem
How much physical activity do I need?
To receive positive health outcomes strive for at least:
-150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week
-2 days of muscle strengthening activities (e.g. weight/resistance band training, calisthenics, yoga)
-10,000 steps during your everyday routine
- Save time by bumping up the intensity.
Do 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activities per week (e.g. jogging, swimming laps, or hiking uphill).
How can I build activity into my day?
-Divide it up your way. 150 minutes is also: 2 hours & 30 minutes per week OR 30 minutes a day for 5 days OR 10 minutes of activity 3 times a day for 5 days
-Pick activities you enjoy. Moderate-intensity activities include: brisk walking, doubles tennis, golf, and leisure biking
-Invite family, friends, and fellow Soldiers to join you. Take a fitness class, join a recreation league, sign-up for a 5K run/walk, or start a walking group in your neighborhood
-Save time by bumping up the intensity. Do 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activities 2 times per week (e.g. running, swimming laps, basketball, or hiking uphill)
Be a good role model.
-Your health is critical to the wellbeing of your family.
-The more active you are, the more likely your kids will follow suit.
-Children and adolescents (ages 6-17) need at least:
60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day
-11,000 steps for girls and 13,000 steps for boys each day
-3 days of muscle strengthening physical activity per week
Try to avoid sitting for long periods of time. Prolonged sitting increases the risk of blood clots, obesity, and heart disease. Move at least 10 minutes of every hour.
You can make small changes in your daily routine to increase your physical activity. The American College of Sports Medicine suggests taking the stairs whenever you can, walking to a co-workers desk instead of emailing or calling him/her, picking up a new active hobby (ex. cycling), standing or moving when talking on your cell phone - just to name a few.
Don’t let chronic conditions prevent you from being active. Even low intensity activity is good for your health. Remaining physically active can help you maintain your physique, mobility, flexibility, and coordination. Talk to your health care provider about what activities would suit you best.
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