Move More to be Healthy For Good
Healthy for Good is a revolutionary healthy living movement created by the American Heart Association to inspire you to create lasting change in your health and your life, one small step at a time. The approach is simple: Eat smart. Move more. Be well.
This month, we are following the American Heart Association on the Move More part of the mission to be Healthy for Good every day. Being active is one of the best ways to maintain your physical and mental health – especially during this time of isolation and social distancing.
Why Is It Important to Move More?
Here are just a few of the ways physical activity can help you feel better, look better and live better.
It Improves Your Mood
Regular physical activity can relieve stress, anxiety, depression and anger. You know that “feel good sensation” you get after doing something physical? Think of it as a happy pill with no side effects! Most people notice they feel better over time as physical activity becomes a regular part of their lives.
It keeps you physically fit and able.
Without regular activity, your body slowly loses its strength, stamina and ability to function properly. It’s like the old saying: you don’t stop moving from growing old, you grow old from stopping moving. Exercise increases muscle strength, which in turn increases your ability to do other physical activities.
It helps keep the doctor away.
Stand up when you eat your apple a day! Too much sitting and other sedentary activities can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. One study showed that adults who watch more than 4 hours of television a day had an 80% higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
Being more active can help:
- lower your blood pressure
- boost your levels of good cholesterol
- improve blood flow (circulation)
- keep your weight under control
- prevent bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis
All of this can add up to fewer medical expenses, interventions and medications later in life!
It can help you live longer.
It’s true, 70 is the new 60… but only if you’re healthy. People who are physically active and at a healthy weight live about seven years longer than those who are not active and are obese. And the important part is that those extra years are generally healthier years! Staying active helps delay or prevent chronic illnesses and diseases associated with aging. So active adults maintain their quality of life and independence longer as they age.
Here are some other benefits you may get with regular physical activity:
- Helps you quit smoking and stay tobacco-free.
- Boosts your energy level so you can get more done.
- Helps you manage stress and tension.
- Promotes a positive attitude and outlook.
- Helps you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
- Improves your self-image and self-confidence.
- Helps you spend more time outdoors.
How much physical activity do you need?
Fit in 150+
Get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. You can knock that out in just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Or get 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity (or a combination of both), preferably spread throughout the week.
Move More, Sit Less
Get up and move throughout the day. Any activity is better than none. Even light-intensity activity can offset the serious health risks of being sedentary.
Moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise is best. Your heart will beat faster, and you’ll breathe harder than normal. As you get used to being more active, increase your time and/or intensity to get more beneﬁts.
Include moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity (like resistance or weight training) at least twice a week.
Remember To Move More
So, this is easy! Just move more, with more intensity, and sit less. A good starting goal is at least 150 minutes a week, but if you don’t want to sweat the numbers, just move more! Find forms of exercise you like and will stick with, and build more opportunities to be active into your routine. You don’t have to make big life changes to see the benefits. Just start building more activity into your day, one step at a time.