As the days become longer and the weather gets warmer, the desire to be outside and more active becomes more contagious. In a world of smart phones, interactive video games, and social media, it is sometimes easy to forget to go outside and stretch our legs. When I was younger, those luxuries were not an option. Neighborhoods were filled with anxious youth and adults, engaging in various activities of a physical nature. Times were good. People were healthier. Enter; fast food, technology, and other distractions. Now we barely have time to walk to the mailbox because it is so much easier to just drive up on our way into or garages. Something has to change. In order to become healthier, we must alter our behaviors. This can be easier than you think.

Physical activity is anything that makes your body move and burn calories. Each week, it is suggested that adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity.  This means you're working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat. One way to tell is that you'll be able to talk, but not sing the words to your favorite song. Here are some examples of activities that require moderate effort:

  • Walking fast
  • Doing water aerobics
  • Riding a bike on level ground or with few hills
  • Playing doubles tennis
  • Pushing a lawn mower

Exercise and increased physical activity has many benefits. Experts at the Mayo Clinic believe that there are at least 7 key benefits to exercise, including;

  • Improved health conditions
  • Improved mood
  • Boosts in energy
  • Improved sleep
  • Weight control
  • Improved sexual activity
  • Having fun

This year National Walking Day falls on Wednesday April 3rd and it is encouraged that individuals and groups use this day to encourage physical activities in their communities, families, churches, and beyond. Let’s use this opportunity to improve our own health one step at a time. Pledge to walk or engage in some type of physical activity more often and if you have to have your smart device with you, make sure you add any apps that can help you track your progress while you work towards being a better version of you. Be sure to always consult your primary care physician before making any changes to your health and fitness behavior.  If you are interested in forming a Community Walk Team for your church, faith group, sorority, fraternity or other civic function for this fall’s annual Triangle Heart Walk, please contact Amy Blackwelder.

Track your physical activity, blood pressure, blood glucose, medications and more at www.heart360.org/TriangleNC.

To volunteer or learn more Multi-Cultural Initatives or about being an American Heart Ambassador please contact Charmaine S. Fuller Cooper.

To learn more about the American Heart Association’s advocacy efforts please contact Betsy Vetter.

For more information about the Center for Health and Healing, please visit www.c4hh.org or call toll-free 1-866-972-6374.

 

Blog content provided by Cornell P. Wright, MPA, Agency Programs Manager at the Center for Health and Healing, Inc. and is an American Heart Association Triangle Metro Mission Committee Ambassador.