Mind and Body: Are you getting enough physical activity?

Published 9:40 am Thursday, July 18, 2019

By Angela Bereznak

Clark County Health Department

There are many benefits to making sure you get enough physical activity.

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Physical activity can help you control your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers and strengthen your bones and muscles.

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends these exercise guidelines for most healthy adults:

Aerobic activity

Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. Moderate aerobic exercise includes activities such as brisk walking, swimming and mowing the lawn. Vigorous aerobic exercise includes activities such as running and aerobic dancing.

Strength training

Do strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times a week. Aim to do a single set of each exercise, using a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12 to 15 repetitions. Strength training can include the use of weight machines, your body weight, resistance tubing or resistance paddles in the water, or activities such as rock climbing.

Reducing sitting time

The more hours you sit each day, the higher your risk of metabolic problems. Sitting too much can negatively impact your health and longevity, even if you get the recommended amount of daily physical activity. To cut sitting time at work, get a “standing desk” or take several opportunities to stand and stretch.

With busy schedules, it can be challenging to set aside 30 minutes at one time to be physically fit. If this is the case, park further away from the building and take the stairs instead of the elevator. Greater amounts of exercise will provide even greater health benefits. But even small amounts of physical activity are helpful.

Something is better than nothing.

Clark County Health Department provides programs for the entire family, including WIC, HANDS, family planning, well child care/immunizations, and home health care. For more information, call 744-4482 or visit clarkhealthdept.org.