Posted on: January 13th, 2014 by The Accel Group | No Comments
It’s the New Year and time to do something positive for your health and the health of your family.  Life can get in the way, but it doesn’t have to.  Make getting more physically active a family priority.  Chances are, when you involve the whole family, all of you will be successful in attaining and sustaining your health goals.  Give it a try!

Current Recommendations for Physical Activity (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

 

Children ages 6 to 17 years of age:

Aerobic Activity:  60 minutes or more a day.  This can include brisk walking or running for example.

Muscle Strengthening:  3 days a week as part of the 60 minutes of daily aerobic activity.  This can include push-up type exercises.

Bone Strengthening:  3 days a week as part of the 60 minutes of daily aerobic activity.  This can include jumping rope or running for example.

 

Adults:

Aerobic Activity:  30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity at least 5 days a week (150 minutes a week).  This can include brisk walking or running for example.

Muscle Strengthening:  2 or more days a week.  The activities should work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

Or:

Aerobic Activity:  75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity activity.  This includes jogging or running.
Muscle Strengthening:  2 or more days a week.  The activities should work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

Benefits of Regular Exercise

  • Exercise improves your mood.  Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed than you were before you worked out.  Regular physical activity can even help prevent depression.
  • Exercise combats chronic diseases.  Regular physical activity can help you prevent or manage high blood pressures, blood cholesterol, type II diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer.
  • Exercise helps you manage your weight.  When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories.  The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn and the easier it is for you to keep your weight under control.
  • Exercise boosts your energy level.  Physical activity delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues.  Regular exercise helps your entire cardiovascular system work more efficiently.  When your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you’ll have more energy.
  • Exercise promotes better sleep.  Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep.
  • Exercise reduces your stress.  Regular exercise reduces the amount of stress hormones in the body, resulting in a slower heart rate, relaxed blood vessels, and lower blood pressure.
  • Exercise reduces your chance of getting a cold.  Regular exercise jump-starts the immune system, thus helping to reduce the number of colds, flu, and other viruses.

 

With all the proven benefits of regular exercise, why not get started?  Here are some fun activities you and your family can do together: 

  • Take a family walk after dinner.
  • Replace a Sunday drive with a Sunday walk.
  • Go for a walk instead of watching TV.
  • Take the dog out for a walk.
  • Family gardening and cutting the lawn.
  • Wash the car by hand.
  • Do sit-ups in front of the TV. Have a family competition.
  • Pace the sidelines at kids’ athletic games.
  • Go on a family bike ride.
  • Dance to music with the kids.
  • Swim with your kids.
  • Go to the park, zoo, or lake as a family.
  • Train as a family for a charity walk or run.
  • Celebrate special occasions – birthdays, anniversaries, etc. – with something active like a hike, walk, or bike ride.

Additional suggestion: When your children are doing their homework, have them take 10 minute exercise breaks (jumping jacks, jump-rope, skipping, etc.). The exercise will improve their concentration.

Enjoy your family.  Have fun together.  Get active!

Source: Engagement Health Newsletter, January 2014