Parents – Get Active!

Active ParentsIt is important for parents to encourage their children to be active, and the best way to inspire this behavior is to lead by example.

Being active is important for the mind and the body.  Physical activity is linked to a healthy heart, maintaining a healthy body weight, preventing diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as sustaining proper emotional health and keeping people in a positive mood.  But many adults have trouble finding the time and motivation to fit in the proper amount of physical activity.  Experts agree that an adult should be active for at least 30 minutes a day five days a week. ChooseMyPlate.gov offers these ideas to help get you started:

  1. Start activities slowly and build up over time.  If you are just starting physical activity, build up slowly. This will help prevent injuries. After a few weeks, increase how often and how long you are active.
    1. Make active choices throughout the day. Every little bit of activity can add up, and doing something is better than nothing. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, go for a 10-minute walk on your lunch break, or park further away from work to get in a little more walking.
    2. Use the buddy system.  Activities with friends or family are more enjoyable than doing them alone. Join a walking group, attend fitness classes at a gym, or play with the kids outside. Build a support network — your buddies will encourage you to keep being active.
    3. Be active your way. Mix it up – there are endless ways to be active.  They include walking, biking, dancing, martial arts, gardening and playing ball.  Try out different activities to see what you like best and to add variety.
    4. Have fun!  Physical activity shouldn’t be a chore.  It can help you feel better about yourself and the way you live your life.  Choose activities that you enjoy and that fit your lifestyle.

 

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