Encouraging active living with our families – Part 1

Get the whole family to move more through physical activities and sit less.

Regular physical activity has several healthy benefits. It will improve body weight and increase physical fitness. Exercise is known to aid in lowering the risk of becoming or being overweight, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and hypertension, osteoporosis and some cancers. It can also aid in maintaining healthy muscles, bones and joints.

Regular physical activity helps our physical, social and emotional health. There are many social benefits that go along with regular exercise. It helps us feel better about ourselves and makes the most of our physical appearance. Exercise will reduce stress and help us sleep better. Another very important benefit is that it will improve our relationships and promote fun with our families and friends.

Michigan State University Extension says that children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Adults need at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days of the week. You can gauge if you are moving at a good pace for yourself if you can still talk while moving. If you can sing, than you probably need to move up the pace. Remember that everyone should consult their doctor before engaging in a regular exercise program and move at a pace that works for you.

There are also a lot of reasons why we do not exercise more. Some suggestions to begin physical activity include:

  • Make it part of you daily routine. Walk as you talk on the phone, use the stairs when available or park far away. Walk your dog or the neighbors if you don’t own one.
  • Give it a try! Just do it and try to enjoy it. Pick an activity that the whole family will enjoy.
  • Be a role model for your family, make it fun and make it a point to fit into your schedule.

Remember to consult your doctor before you begin an exercise program. For more read part 2.

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