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Physical Activity

There are multiple health benefits from engaging in regular physical activity.  Research has demonstrated that physical activity can reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers, strengthen muscles and bones, control your weight, lower blood pressure, improve overall well-being and ability to perform activities of daily living, and increase life longevity.   The consequences of not being physically active have become a major public health concern for all Americans.  Fortunately we have Physical Activity Guidelines issued by the Federal Government to help families to select the type and amount of physical activity to stay healthy.

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Steps to a Healthy You—Being Physically Active

 

1.    Motivate yourself—Get yourself into the mindset that workouts are fun and you will start looking forward to them.  Try these simple methods below to make your workout regimen fun and exciting:

a.    Make your workouts fun—Incorporate new exercises into your workout routine, try sprinting, dancing, basketball, rollerblading, or even swimming.

b.    Add your favorite music—When you exercise with your favorite tunes, it is easy to forget that you are trying to burn calories.

c.    Workout with a friend—Time will fly when you are catching up with a friend, and this will help you motivate each other.

d.    Incorporate an exercise-themed video game for your home system—Workout games are a fun way to add variety to your exercise routine.

e.    Wear workout clothes that you feel and look good in—Consider buying a new outfit that will fit you when you reach your goal.

f.     Keep motivated by rewarding yourself when you reach a goal—You should chose a reward that you really want in order to help yourself feel motivated.

 

2.    Be active whenever possible—Incorporate exercise into your daily living activities whenever, and wherever possible.

a.    Walk instead of drive

b.    Climb the stairs

c.    Walk your kids to school

d.    Make the time after dinner to walk with your family

e.    Do yard work, gardening, or shovel snow depending upon weather

f.     Wash your car by hand

g.    Park farther and walk more

References:

We Can! The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/wecan/get-active/index.htm