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Get moving - every day and in any way

Every January my boys and I make a list of dreams and goals for the new year. Each of us pick out special events we want to attend, jot down road trips or vacations we want to experience and then list a few personal goals we hope to accomplish. This annual routine at the beginning of the new year helps us prioritize and track progress with the wish list.

Physical activity goals may or may not make the list but according to the latest research on physical activity, it should!

A recent review of research indicates that all forms of physical activity and movement provide health benefits. Whether it's pulling weeds in the garden, walking the dog or running a mile, each can help improve your mood, increase your energy level and reduce your risk of chronic disease. If your lifestyle is less active, then start by doing routine tasks more frequently. For example, if you walk from the living room to the bathroom once every hour, try doing so twice each hour.

Here are a few of the key guidelines found in the Second Edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans:

(Office of Disease and Health Promotion)

  • Move more and sit less throughout the day – be a moving object whenever possible
  • Identify how much you move and choose how you can do more – write it down for a daily reminder
  • Make physical activity fun and interesting – one activity is not better so pick what you enjoy
  • Address barriers that keep you from being active – discuss with your health provider if you need referrals for exercise physiology or another specialist to assist with a plan

Aim for about 150 minutes of physical activity each week, and at least twice each week aim for activity that pushes your muscles and helps build strength.

Check out this great online resource called, Move Your Way.

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