Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Keep Moving!

The busy holiday season, filled with lots of great food and not a lot of exercise, has passed. Now, as many of us look to resolve our New Year’s resolution of slimming down our waist line, a healthy and active lifestyle has never been more important.

Here are some tips and facts to help keep you on your “A” game. Did you know?

More than 60 percent of adults do not achieve the recommended amount of regular physical activity.

Twenty-five percent of all adults are not active at all.

Only 19 percent of all high school students are physically active for 20 minutes or more in physical education classes every day during the school week.

The Expert Panel of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommend: “Every American should accumulate 30 minutes or more of moderate intensity physical activity on most, preferable all, days of the week …adults who engage in moderate intensity physical activity – i.e. enough to expend 200 calories per day can expect many of the health benefits described herein…” Those benefits include; reducing the risk of developing high blood pressure, helping to control weight, helping to build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, cardiovascular systems, and joints, and reduced feelings of depression and anxiety.

Chronic health conditions compose a major portion of health care costs in America. While 46% of people reported chronic health conditions, these conditions accounted for 76% of direct medical care costs in America in 1987 totaling 272.2 billion dollars.

What else can I do to increase my physical activity level? Making small changes in your lifestyle can make a big difference in your overall health. Here are some examples:

Take a walk for 10 or 15 minutes during your lunch break.

Take stairs instead of escalators and elevators.

Park farther from the store and walk through the parking lot.

Do housework at a fast pace.

Rake leaves or do other yard work.

According to many studies, regular exercise can help reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes and obesity. It can also help keep joints, tendons and ligaments flexible so it’s easier to move around, reduce some of the effects of aging, contribute to your mental well-being, help relieve stress and anxiety, increase your energy and endurance, and help you maintain a normal weight by increasing your metabolism (the rate you burn calories).

So keep moving, and look for ways to add steps and movement to your everyday activities!

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