Not getting enough physical activity is a major health risk for people today. Being physically inactive puts you at risk for heart disease. As a person gets older, having little or no physical activity can lead to health problems. The good news is that you can do something about this risk factor.
Physical activity can allow for a fun time with family and friends if the activities are done together. In addition, physical activity can:
Keep your bones strong
Give you more energy
Tone your muscles
Help control your appetite
Make your heart and lungs stronger
Increase the number of calories your body uses
Help you feel better about yourself
Help lower your blood pressure
Lower your stress
Help lower your blood cholesterol
Help you sleep better
Help lower your chance for diabetes
People feel better when they are active. Physical activity may help you maintain your weight at a healthy level, help you to lose weight if you are overweight, and help to control your appetite.
There are different types of physical activity. Physical activity includes some of the things that you probably do each day, like walking, climbing stairs, or doing household chores. You may want to start to increase your activity with activities like walking, climbing stairs, dancing, raking leaves, vacuuming, gardening, bowling, or playing with your children.
After a while, you will be able to do even more including running or jogging, bicycling, swimming, doing aerobics or floor exercises, jumping rope, skating, or playing soccer, basketball, or baseball.
All types of physical activity help the heart. Start slowly. Then move on to higher-level activities. For example, when you are comfortable walking, increase your pace or the amount of time and you’ll feel great.
Most people do not need to see a doctor before they start a slow, sensible program of physical activity. However, you should talk with your doctor if you:
Remember to start slowly. Build up the time and effort that you put into any activity. You should not be tired the next day.
Both children and adults should be physically active for at least 30 minutes or more most days. When you are physically active you set a great example for your children. If you can’t set aside 30 minutes at one time to be active, you can break your activity into shorter periods of 10 minutes or more. Just make sure it adds up to at least 30 minutes on most days.
There are a lot of ways that you can incorporate physical activity into your day, free of charge:
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