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Physical activity is beneficial to individuals

As we enter into the spring season, the warmer weather can encourage us to get outside and increase our physical activity levels. Children should be getting approximately 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity during most days of the week. Adults should be getting about 30 or more minutes. Moderate to vigorous physical activity is any activity that increases your heart rate. Examples of moderate activity include hiking, gardening, golf, walking and stretching. Running at 5 mph or more, swimming, aerobics and heavy yard work are examples of vigorous activity.

Physical activity is often thought of as a way to lose or maintain weight. While this is true, there are many more benefits to getting our daily dose of exercise. Physical activity can help reduce the risk of dying from coronary heart disease. It can reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure, some cancers and diabetes. For those who have high blood pressure, exercise may help reduce it to a healthier level.

Exercise also helps keep our bones, muscles and joints healthy by making them stronger and increasing blood flow to those areas. Physical activity benefits our body and our mind. It can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and it increases our mood and feelings of well-being.

Some people may not have a block of time for 30 to 60 minutes to spend exercising each day. That’s OK. You can split up your physical activity into smaller blocks of time, as long as it adds up to at least 30 minutes each day. Make sure each block of time is at least 10 minutes. Any time less than that does not have the same benefits.

There are many ways to squeeze in some physical activity each day. With spring upon us, it is the perfect time to get outside and make that commitment to get healthier.

For more information on this topic, contact Christina Rittenbach, Stutsman County Extension agent, at 252-9030 or email christina.ritten