Did you know?
- More than 60 percent of adults do not achieve the recommended amount of regular physical activity. 25 percent of all adults are not active at all.
- Only 19 percent of all high school students are physically active for 20 minutes or more in physical education classes every day during the school week. In high school, enrollment in daily physical education classes dropped from 42 percent in 1991 to 25 percent in 1995.
- The Expert Panel of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommend: “Every American should accumulate 30 minutes or more of moderate intensity physical activity on most, preferable all, days of the week …adults who engage in moderate intensity physical activity – i.e. enough to expend 200 calories per day can expect many of the health benefits described herein…” Those benefits include; reducing the risk of developing high blood pressure, helping to control weight, helping to build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, cardiovascular systems, and joints, and reduce feelings of depression and anxiety.
- Chronic health conditions compose a major portion of health care costs in America. While 46% of people reported chronic health conditions, these conditions accounted for 76% of direct medical care costs in America in 1987 totaling 272.2 billion dollars.
What else can I do to increase my physical activity level?
Look for ways to add more physical activity to your daily routines. Making small changes in your lifestyle can make a big difference in your overall health. Here are some examples:
- Take a walk for 10 or 15 minutes during your lunch break.
- Take stairs instead of escalators and elevators.
- Park farther from the store and walk through the parking lot.
- Do housework at a fast pace.
- Rake leaves or do other yard work.
Benefits of regular exercise
- Reduces your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes and obesity
- Keeps joints, tendons and ligaments flexible so it’s easier to move around
- Reduces some of the effects of aging
- Contributes to your mental well-being and helps treat depression
- Helps relieve stress and anxiety
- Increases your energy and endurance
- Helps you sleep better
- Helps you maintain a normal weight by increasing your metabolism (the rate you burn calories)
The Surgeon General’s latest report on physical activity (1996) endorses a moderate amount of physical activity that can be obtained by doing any of the following:
30 minutes of brisk walking
30 minutes of lawn mowing
30 minutes of leaf raking
15 minutes of running
45 minutes of volleyball
So keep on working America – looks for ways to add steps and movement to all your everyday activities!