Spring is finally here, which means warmer weather and lots of opportunities to get outside after this horrible winter. The American Heart Association has deemed April to be Move More Month to encourage us to get moving for our health. The national obesity rate is approaching 40% in many parts of the United States. In Kansas, it’s 32.4%. Also, almost an equal percentage of Americans fall into the overweight but not yet obese category.
So what can you do? Move more for your health. Being more physically active can help control your weight and decrease your risk of developing chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, several cancers, arthritis, and many sleep disorders.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends adults over the age of 18 years achieve a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week. More is even better! In addition, we need at least 2 weekly sessions of strength training activities that target major muscle groups. Flexibility and balance activities and exercises are also recommended.
Add Physical Activity to Your Day
- At Work
- Make it a habit to always take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Park farther away from the door to your office building.
- Walk during your breaks and at lunch.
- Set a reminder on your phone to get up and move often.
- Keep small hand weights or a resistance band at your desk to do some quick and easy strengthening activities.
- At Home
- Involve all of the family in household and yard chores. Walk the dog together, wash the car, do yard work, clean the house. The work gets done quicker and everyone benefits from the additional activity. Then you have more time to play!
- During every TV commercial, drop and do some push-ups, planks, sit-ups or other quick exercises.
- Have a family dance party; put some music on and dance around the house.
- Other Suggestions
- Plan family outings around physical activity, like hiking, cycling or going to a zoo or park.
- Spring is here and recreational leagues are beginning. Sign up to learn a new sport or one that you enjoyed when you were younger. There are usually adult leagues for most sports.