Fall is here and kids are back to school. What better time to try out new healthy habits as a family?
Regular physical activity is one of the most important things we can do to improve our health. A recent government report showed that active people are healthier than people who are not active.
Active people are less likely to get chronic health problems. This includes heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and some cancers.
If you already have a chronic health problem, you can keep yourself healthier by becoming more active. If you are more active, you will have a decreased chance of getting other chronic health problems, it will be less likely for your chronic health problem to get worse and you will also have a better quality of life.
Children benefit a lot when they are active. Active kids are able to think better and focus more at school, have stronger bones, and are more likely to have a healthy weight.
Active people also sleep better and feel better than people who are not active.
Many health benefits happen right away. If you are more active, this will immediately improve your blood pressure and your sleep. Being active will also help you think clearly during the day. Even light physical activity, like walking, will make you feel better and improve your health.
So how much physical activity is recommended? Adult should get at least two-and-a-half hours of activity each week. Children ages 6-17 need at least 60 minutes each day.
Here are some activities to try with your family:
Light activities include walking at a slow pace or standing while working.
Moderate activities include walking at a fast pace, riding your bike or doing yoga. Other activities include house chores like sweeping or playing with your kids.
Hard activities include walking very fast, running or playing sports. Other activities include shoveling snow or mowing the lawn by hand.
Visit bit.ly/2sJITXm for more tips on being an active family.
Maggie McHugh is a senior nutritionist with Finger Lakes Eat Smart NY at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wayne County.