Health Article

Energize Yourself! Stay Physically Active
NIH Publication No. 97-4059

Add activity to your daily routine and feel more energetic!
Being physically active is important. It can help you feel better and improve your health. There are many fun things that you can do to be active‹by yourself or with family or friends. Children and adults should do 30 minutes or more of moderate physical activity each day. You can do 30 minutes all at once or 10 minutes at a time, three times a day. If you are not used to being active, start out slowly and work up to 30 minutes a day. Add more activities for longer periods of time as you begin to feel more fit, or add some vigorous activity.

Improve your outlook!
Physical activity can be your solution to feeling tired, bored, and out of shape. With more physical activity you may feel less stressed!

Physical activity can also:
make you feel more energetic
help you lose weight and control your appetite
help you sleep better
lower your chance for diabetes
lower your chance for a stroke
lower your blood pressure
improve your blood cholesterol levels

Move your body!
Change your habits by adding activity to your daily routine. Any movement you do burns calories. The more you move, the better. Check out some of these simple activities to get you started today.

To perk up:
Get up 15 minutes earlier in the morning and stretch.
Jog in place.
Ride your stationary bike while watching TV.
Workout along with an exercise video.
To do a quick workout:
Use the stairs instead of the elevator.
Walk to the bus or train stop.
Walk to each end of the mall when you go shopping.
Park your car a few blocks away and walk.
To have fun:
Play your favorite dance music. Do the old steps you love–add some new moves.
Jump rope or play tag with your kids or grandkids.
Use hand-held arm weights during a phone conversation with a friend.

What’s the best type of physical activity for you?
The best type is the one or two that you will do! Pick an activity that you enjoy doing and one that will fit into your daily routine. Start with moderate levels of activity and work your way up!

Moderate level of activity
Here’s a good place to start. Moderate activities such as walking and climbing stairs for 10 minutes, three times a day can improve your health. Pick a few things to try from the list below.

Moderate Activities
raking leaves
climbing stairs
Vigorous level of activity
You can increase to this higher level as you become more fit. You get additional health benefits from doing vigorous activity. If you are already at this level, keep up the good work!

Vigorous Activities
marching in place
doing aerobics
playing sports (basketball, football, soccer, baseball)

Make staying physically active a lifelong habit!
Make it a family thing.
Work out with your family, friends, or neighbors. Teaming up with a partner keeps you both motivated.

Make it a religious thing.
Start a physical activity group at your church.

Make it a work thing.
Keep a pair of walking shoes at your job. Hook up with a coworker and use part of your lunch time or breaks to be active. Challenge each other to better health.

Are you ready to get active?
You can start being physically active slowly if you do not have a health problem.
If you have a health problem, check with your doctor before starting a vigorous exercise program.

Create a healthier you!
Choose one activity from the list of moderate or vigorous activities above and get started for a healthier you! Get a pencil and write your answer below.

My goal is to _______________________________for at least
(write one favorite activity here)

____________ minutes ____________ times each week.
(minutes per day) (number of times)

Make Physical Activity A Habit
Track your daily progress. Start out slowly. Soon you will reach 30 minutes or more a day!