Physical activity, or more commonly known as exercise, is a habitual form of activity that is meant to maintain or improve physical fitness and functions. Many medical experts around the world recommend at least a moderate level of regular physical activity every week. It provides lifelong health benefits, such as greater strength, a more level mood, increased energy and a longer lifespan.
How much Physical Activity do Adults Need?
You may know that exercise is good for you, but did you know that even small amounts of physical activity offer important and quick benefits? Think about dropping the all-or-nothing attitude about exercise. Don’t have time to work out for the 45 minutes that you planned? Then walk briskly for 10 minutes. It’s essential to be flexible because life happens. Let go of ideas of perfection and let yourself feel good about what you can—and do—get done.
The important thing is to find time for exercise. That may sound difficult, but even just a few minutes every day can go a long way. It’s recommended that you get 21/2 hours of moderate or 11/4 hours of vigorous activity every week. This can include things like brisk walking a few times every day for 5 days a week or running for 25 minutes 3 times a week.
How much Physical Activity do Kids and Teens need?
Physical activity is important for lifelong health. As a parent, you can do a lot to help your child learn to live a healthy and active life. Habits start early in life. Kids follow the examples set at home. If you make exercise a priority in your life, chances are your kids will too! Find activities that are fun for your child. You can plan things that you can do with your child, like hiking and biking. When they grow into adolescence, you may even want to consider having them participate in activities with you or the rest of the family.
Consider letting your child try an organized sport or activity to see what he or she might enjoy. And make sure you have a plan to cope with barriers, such as bad weather or busy schedules, that can keep your child from being physically active.
Incorporating your Workout into your Routine
When we start new activities, it’s almost always a little awkward at first. The same holds true with exercise. When you begin an exercise program, chances are your body isn’t used to it, and it’s going to take a little time to adjust to your new healthy activity. The trick is to stay with it until exercise becomes a habit. One strategy for sticking with your fitness routine is to know why you want to stay active. Your goals are important because knowing why you want to exercise can help you keep at it—even when you want to quit.
Keeping your Workout Fresh
No matter what your age or condition, you can find activities that are right for you. And with regular practice, physical activity can become a part of your normal routine. You might get bored or frustrated with doing the same workout routine over and over again. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should give up exercise, but it may be time to add some new twists to your program. Finding and varying the right activities can go a long way in keeping you active.