Physical activity can be as simple as standing instead of sitting

Get up and get moving to reduce the risk of health problems later on.

You may think that you don’t have time to get physical activity each day, or maybe you haven’t started moving yet because exercise is hard. It’s important to get physical activity, no matter what shape you’re in and there’s no time like the present to get started. Getting started may be as easy as getting out of your chair and standing.

For example, stand up while talking on the phone. Standing burns more calories than sitting because your muscles are working. Do stretching exercises while you watch television.  Every one little movement helps.

ChooseMyPlate lists benefits of physical activity, like living longer, feeling good about yourself, better sleep, healthy or healthier weight and stronger muscles and bones. If you choose not to start moving your risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and stroke all increase. It’s true that your genetics play a role in some health concerns, but physical activity can help to decrease your symptoms and reduce your risk.

It is important to vary your physical activity. Different types of physical activity mean different benefits for your body, according to ChooseMyPlate:

Aerobic activities make you breathe harder and make your heart beat faster. Aerobic activities can be moderate or vigorous in their intensity. Vigorous activities take more effort than moderate ones. For moderate activities, you can talk while you do them, but you can't sing. For vigorous activities, you can only say a few words without stopping to catch your breath.

Muscle-strengthening activities make your muscles stronger. These include activities like push-ups and lifting weights. It is important to work all the different parts of the body including your legs, hips, back, chest, stomach, shoulders and arms.

Bone-strengthening activities make your bones stronger. Bone strengthening activities, like jumping are especially important for children and adolescents. These activities produce a force on the bones that promotes bone growth and strength.

Balance and stretching activities enhance physical stability and flexibility, which reduces risk of injuries. Examples are gentle stretching, dancing, yoga, martial arts and t'ai chi.

It may be easier to get yourself moving if you choose the type of activity you feel most comfortable doing and advance to others. The most important point is that it’s better to start now, rather than later. Choose somewhere, anywhere to start. To get started, just stand up.


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