Get Active: Why and How
Video by Jonathan Parrish
Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health.
No matter your age, you can gain many long-term benefits from being active, like improving your strength, supporting emotional and mental health, and helping manage or prevent illnesses.
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If you are just becoming active, keep it simple. Keep in mind that physical activity is as simple as moving more and sitting less. Here are three tips to remember:
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Always carry a water bottle with you during physical activity.
- Rest if you need to. Be sure to take breaks and listen to your body.
- Use sunscreen, sunglasses, and protective clothing when you’re outside. Check out these tips from the Food and Drug Administration for more on how to protect your skin in the sun.
For more on the benefits of physical activity, different levels of activity, suggestions for success, and simple, every day changes that can help you increase your physical activity, download Extension Publication IS 1769, “Becoming Physically Active.”
Some statistics to think about:
- More than 1 in 5 U.S. adults are physically inactive!
- Adult physical inactivity ranges from 17.7% to 49.4% in all states and territories with data.
- The overall prevalence of physical inactivity is 25.3%, and varies depending on race, ethnicity and where people live.
You can find key guidelines for physical activity in the Executive Summary of Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, a document published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Some resources to help you get started
Writing down your goals is a great way to begin. Extension Publication M1408, “Physical Activity Goal Sheet” will help you think about what you want to accomplish and how to get started.
Have children or grandchildren? Extension Publication P2964, “Be a Leader: Modeling Healthy Lifestyles to Young Children,” offers tips on how to help children develop healthy habits.
Extension Publication IS1777 provides a list of dos and don’ts for physical activity.
Extension Publication IS 1677, “Reasons to Get Moving” provides more motivation and tips for getting physically active.
Remember: The most important thing is to be active and do it your way. Join our MSU Extension Nutrition and Wellness Facebook group for more physical activity tips and check with your local Extension office for nutrition and wellness programs offered in your area.
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