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If it's May, it's time to get your body moving

by on May 27, 2014 11:00 AM

DAYTON, Ohio — May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, designed to raise awareness for all Americans about the importance of being active on a regular basis.

According to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) recommendations, youths need 60 minutes or more of physical activity every day and adults at least 2οΎ½ hours of moderately to vigorously intense exercise each week. The HHS also advises doing strength training exercise two or more days per week.

Getting into the habit of being more active not only aids in weight management but also can lower cholesterol and blood pressure, improve mood and reduce risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition has been instrumental in bringing attention to the many benefits that can be gained from physical activity, including the Let’s Move! campaign. Launched by the first lady, the Let’s Move! initiative is dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity, providing workable strategies to help parents and caregivers support healthy choices.

Nearly one in three children in America is currently overweight or obese.

Many of the health problems associated with obesity in children and teens are the same as those for adults, and obese children are more likely to be obese adults. Weight issues also impact self-esteem.

To learn more, go online to www.letsmove.gov.

Where to start? Some tips:

Make it a family affair, keep it simple and have fun. Take your kids to the park, toss a Frisbee or sign up for fitness events.

Go biking or hiking, plan an active vacation or set aside times and days designated as family fitness days, where each person takes a turn choosing the activity.

Walking is the easiest and most convenient way to get into the habit of exercising. If you aren’t used to long bouts of activity, you can start with 15 to 20 minutes of walking and add minutes or increase pace as you get stronger.

Keeping an activity log is helpful. Make note of date, time, type of activity, frequency and duration.

Doing so will allow you to track progress and better gauge when it’s time to step it up to the next level of fitness.



Marjie Gilliam is a personal trainer and fitness consultant.
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