Dec 18 2013

Are You Getting Enough Physical Activity?

Some Americans are getting enough, but too many are not
• Less than half (48%) of all adults meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines.
• Less than 3 in 10 high school students get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
• Physical activity can improve health. People who are physically active tend to live longer and have lower risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers. Physical activity can also help with weight control, and may improve academic achievement in students. There’s more.
• Inactive adults have a higher risk for early death, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers.

Rates of activity and inactivity vary across states and regions

• Americans living in the South are more likely to be less physically active than Americans living in the West, Northeast and Midwest regions of the country.
• To see the 2010 state rates for physical activity and inactivity, please visit the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Prevalence and Trends Data for Exercise, 2010.

Some groups are more physically active than others

• More non-Hispanic white adults (22.8%) meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity than non-Hispanic black adults (17.3%) and Hispanic adults (14.4%).
• Men (52.1%) are more likely than women (42.6%) to meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guideline for aerobic activity.
• Younger adults are more likely to meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guideline for aerobic activity than older adults.
Physical activity and socioeconomic status
• Adults with more education are more likely to meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guideline for aerobic activity than adults with less education.
• Adults whose family income is above the poverty level are more likely to meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guideline for aerobic activity than adults whose family income is at or near the poverty level.

How much physical activity do you need?

Regular physical activity helps improve your overall health and fitness, and reduces your risk for many chronic diseases.
Fitting regular exercise into your daily schedule may seem difficult at first, but the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans are more flexible than ever, giving you the freedom to reach your physical activity goals through different types and amounts of activities each week. It’s easier than you think!
Children and adolescents should do 60 minutes (one hour) or more of physical activity each day.

Types of activity for children:

A. Aerobic activity: Aerobic activity should make up most of your child’s 60 or more minutes of physical activity each day. This can include either moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, or vigorous-intensity activity, such as running. Be sure to include vigorous-intensity aerobic activity on at least 3 days per week. What is aerobic physical activity? Activity in which the body’s large muscles move in a rhythmic manner for a sustained period of time. Aerobic activity, also called endurance activity, improves cardiorespiratory fitness. Examples include walking, running, and swimming, and bicycling.
B. Muscle Strengthening: Include muscle strengthening activities, such as gymnastics or push-ups, at least 3 days per week as part of your child’s 60 or more minutes. What is muscle-strengthening activity (strength training, resistance training, or muscular strength and endurance exercises)? Physical activity, including exercise that increases skeletal muscle strength, power, endurance, and mass.
C. Bone Strengthening: Include bone strengthening activities, such as jumping rope or running, at least 3 days per week as part of your child’s 60 or more minutes. What is bone-strengthening activity? Physical activity primarily designed to increase the strength of specific sites in bones that make up the skeletal system. Bone strengthening activities produce an impact or tension force on the bones that promotes bone growth and strength. Running, jumping rope, and lifting weights are examples of bone-strengthening activities.

So what are you waiting for? Inactivity is the friend of disease and illness. Inactivity is the friend of obesity and weight gain. Get up and start moving. Even ten minutes a day can help. Can you spare ten minutes a day? Of course YOU CAN. Carve some time out of the tech/TV time and poof-you can have much more than ten minutes. Get up and start moving-dance around the house, yoga, tai chi, walking-its all good!

    For more information , please visit:

A. United Health Foundation America’s Health Rankings 2013 at www.americashealthrankings.org
B. CDC: www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity
C. Healthy People 2020: www.healthypeople.gov

Find out where your state ranks for obesity, exercise, smoking and many other measures-visit United Health Foundations America Health Rankings 2013.

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