By Robin Quay, MS, RD Sodexo Dietitian
Being active is an important part of being healthy. The human body was made to move, and to participate in physical activity, every day. The human body gets healthier when it’s used. (Sitting all day leads to poor muscle tone, and joints that don’t work as well.)
Physical activity uses up the calories we eat, builds and preserves muscle mass, and improves the overall quality of life. It can improve your mood and the way you feel about yourself, and is a great way to manage stress. It helps prevent heart disease and stroke, peripheral vascular disease, high blood pressure, non-insulin dependent diabetes, back pain, and osteoporosis.
To be healthy, and achieve the benefits of physical activity, the Centers for Disease Control recommend that people participate in 150 minutes of moderate-intense aerobic activity each week. The CDC also recommends muscle strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms). For more information about the types and amounts of activity that are beneficial, visit http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/adults.html. More activity produces more health benefits. However, be sure to start off slowly, as pushing too hard can lead to injuries.
The value of physical activity to a person’s well-being is undeniable. Enjoy the benefits of being active!