2014 Resolution: Get More Active (and chart it for success!)

Whew, you made it through the holiday season and it's time to stop overconsuming and get moving. For some people, diving into (or back into) an active routine is pretty easy. And then there's the rest of us. So to get going and STAY moving, set a goal and make up a simple little chart...nothing fancy...so you can jot down what you've been up to, and when. Then when you look back over the week, you can see what progress you've made, and what you may need to get out and do before the week comes to a close. Here goes:

Being Active for Life

How do I do it?

It's your choice. Pick an activity that's easy to fit into your life. Do at least 10 minutes of physical activity at a time. Choose aerobic activities that work for you. These make your heart beat faster and can make your heart, lungs, and blood vessels stronger and more fit. Also, do strengthening activities which make your muscles do more work than usual.

Why should I be physically active?

Physical activity can make you feel stronger and more alive. It is a fun way to be with your family or friends. It also helps you improve your health.

How many times a week should I be physically active?

It is up to you, but it is better to spread your activity throughout the week and to be active at least 3 days a week.

How do I build up more physical activity?

Do a little more each time. Once you feel comfortable, do it more often. Then you can trade activities at a moderate level for vigorous ones that take more effort. You can do moderate and vigorous activities in the same week.

How much physical activity do I need to do?

This chart tells you about the activities that are important for you to do. Do both aerobic activities and strengthening activities. Each offers important health benefits. And remember, some physical activity is better than none!

Aerobic Activities

If you choose activities at a moderate level, do at least 2 hours and 30 minutes a week.

If you choose vigorous activities, do at least 1 hour and 15 minutes a week.

  • Slowly build up the amount of time you do physical activities. The more time you spend, the more health benefits you gain. Aim for twice the amount of activity in the box at left.
  • Do at least 10 minutes at a time.
  • You can combine moderate and vigorous activities.

Muscle Strengthening Activities

Do these at least 2 days a week.

  • Include all the major muscle groups such as legs, hips, back, chest, stomach, shoulders, and arms.
  • Exercises for each muscle group should be repeated 8 to 12 times per session.

Keeping track of what you do each week

Make copies of the forms that follow to write down your goals and track your activities each week. There are examples first, and then blank forms for your use.

The first form is for aerobic activities. The second form is for strengthening activities. Be active your way by choosing activities you enjoy!



Article courtesy of the US Department of Health and Human Services, at: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/adultguide/part4.aspx

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