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Get Out and Get Active

By Kristie Popa

Girl playing soccerIt is time to turn off the TV and get active! Are you physically active everyday? What exactly does physically active mean? Well, if you are using your body causing you to use energy then you can answer yes, you are physical active! You should engage in moderate or vigorous physical activity each day. So, what type of activities are considered moderate or vigorous? Moderate physical activities include things such as:

  • A brisk walk (3 ½ miles per hour)
  • Bicycling (less than 10 miles per hour)
  • Gardening (raking, trimming shrubs etc.)
  • Dancing
  • Golf (walking the course & carrying your clubs)
  • Water aerobics
  • Canoeing
  • Doubles tennis

Vigorous physical activities include things such as:

  • Running and/or jogging (5 miles per hour)
  • Walking very fast (4 ½ miles per hour)
  • Bicycling (more than 10 miles per hour)
  • Heavy yard work (for example, chopping wood)
  • Swimming freestyle or laps
  • Aerobics
  • Basketball (competitive)
  • Tennis (singles)

With vigorous activities, you get similar health benefits to moderate activities in ½ of the time. Light intensity activities do not increase your heart rate, so these should not be counted towards meeting physical activity goals or requirements. These are activities such as walking at a casual pace or while shopping or doing light household chores.

Now that you know what physical activity is, it is important to make sure that adults get 2 ½ hours per week of physical activity and children get 60 minutes per day. Consider starting a log on paper or within an app on your phone to keep track of your physical activity.

Here are some neat ideas for physical activity for children as well as family physical activity:

  • go for a walk or jog together
  • jump rope
  • play tag
  • dance
  • gymnastics
  • sock basketball
  • skating or skateboarding
  • follow the leader
  • Wii fit
  • create a maze on the driveway or sidewalk requiring different aspects of physical activity
  • Simon says
  • Ride bikes
  • Play on a playground
  • Kick a soccer ball or kickball

Information derived from choosemyplate.gov

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