Most people don’t get enough physical activity. Here are some reasons why they should:
* Lack of physical activity and not eating the right foods, taken together, are the second greatest inherent cause of death in the United States. (Smoking is the number one cause.)
* Physical exercise can help people feel right and enjoy life more.
* Regular exercise can halt or put off some diseases like cancer, heart disease, or diabetes. It can also perk up your mood can be a direct result along with helping depression.
* Being active can help people stay independent and able to keep doing things like getting around or dressing themselves as they get older.
There are four types of physical activies you need to do to have the right assortment of physical activities.
1. Get at least 30 minutes of activity that makes you breathe harder on most or all days of the week. That’s called “endurance activity,” because it builds your energy or “staying power.” You don’t have to be active for 30 minutes all at once. Ten minutes of endurance activity at a time is fine. Just make sure those 10-minute sessions add up to a total of 30 minutes most days.
How hard do you need to exercise? The right level of effort is described this way: If you can talk while exercising without any trouble at all, you’re not working hard enough. If you can’t talk at all, it’s way too hard.
2. Keep using your muscles. When muscles aren’t used, they waste away at any age. How important is it to have “enough” muscle? Very! Muscles step-up your metabolism, allowing you to burn off more calories during the day when your body is at rest. Using your muscles may also make your bones stronger, too.
3. Do things to help your balance. Every now and then walk heel-to-toe. When you walk this way, the toes of the foot in back should almost touch the heel of the foot in front.
4. Stretch. Stretching can help keep you flexible and will be able to move more freely. Stretch when your muscles have warmed up. Never stretch so far that it hurts.
So, make physical activity a part of your everyday life. Find things you enjoy. Go for brisk walks. Ride a bike. Dance. Work around the house and in the yard, take care of your garden, climb the stairs, or rake your leaves. Regular day to day chores around the hous can keep you moving and active.