Senior News Feature

Keep Moving! Be Immune to Inactivity

The World Health Organization has called inactivity the second-leading risk factor for non-communicable diseases and the fourth-leading risk factor for global mortality. In the United States, inactivity has helped contribute to the fact that 35.9 percent of adults age 20 years and over are obese, as well as 18 percent of adolescents and children ages 6-19.

With risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and more, it’s important to make sure you get enough exercise and activity to stay healthy. Here are some tips to help you keep moving.

Do Something Aerobic Every Day. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends getting 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week. If you break it down, that’s just over 20 minutes a day of activities like walking, water aerobics, riding a bike, or pushing a lawnmower. Want to cut that down even further? If you bump the exercise up to vigorous intensity, you can cut the time in half. Vig- orous-intensity activities include jogging or running, swimming laps, and playing basketball or tennis.

Add Muscle-Strengthening Activities. Lifting weights, working with resistance bands, and doing body-weight resistance exercises, heavy yard work, or yoga are all considered by the CDC to be important muscle- strengthening activities. The recommendation is to get this type of exercise at least twice a week to the point where your muscles are tired.

If you focus on setting realistic goals and getting just a bit of exercise each day, you’ll be on your way to meeting the requirements in no time. Find exercises and activities that you enjoy doing, and it won’t seem like such a burden. Plus, you’ll feel great about reduc- ing the risk factors associated with a sedentary lifestyle. So get a plan, get out there, and get moving!

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