Moving Matters!

— By Kathy Savoie, Extension Professor, University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Kate Yerxa, Extension Professor, University of Maine Cooperative Extension

This is the first in a series of four blog posts focused on being more physically active. Each blog in the series will build on the information in the previous blog post to help you build physical activity as part of your daily routine.

Did you know that adults need recess too? Even the busiest people can make time for activity. Think of a normal day and think about how you can add activity to it. Before and after work or before meals are good times to get moving. Every little bit helps! There are 1,440 minutes in a day. If you spend 30 of them being active, you will be on your way to feeling more energetic.

People who are physically active are less likely to develop heart disease, certain types of cancers, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. In addition to reducing your risk of developing chronic diseases, physical activity can do great things for your sense of well-being. Other immediate benefits to becoming more active are that you will be stronger and have more energy for your day to day activities.

You can feel a lot better by doing just a little physical activity on most, or all, days of the week. A few ways for you to be more active include:

  • Walk instead of driving.
  • Park your car farther away and walk the distance.
  • Play with children or pets.
  • Take walking breaks at work.
  • Do yard work or chores around the house.
  • Add activity while watching TV (you could use hand weights, step in place, or stretch).
  • Dance to music.
  • Keep a pair of walking shoes with you (you’ll always be ready to move).
  • Take a walk with your family.
  • Walk while doing errands.

When you combine activity with good eating habits, your body is sure to thank you. Keep up the good work!

Excerpted from University of Maine Cooperative Extension Bulletin Series #4550, Moving Matters.