May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Physical activity can be any activity that gets your body moving.
If you’re like most of us, trying to squeeze in any type of physical activity during the day can be challenging and intimidating. It’s especially difficult when you’re over 40 and find that you lack energy as the day goes on.
Don’t worry. Getting active is not as frightening as it may seem. Being active doesn’t mean you have to carve out an hour or more every day for some type of physical activity. It doesn’t even have to involve a trip to the gym.
Experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity at least five days a week; that’s only 2 hours and 30 minutes each week! That’s about the time it takes to watch one movie or binge-watch two episodes of your favorite TV or online series.
Physical activity also has a number of health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow, boosting good cholesterol, and lowering risk of certain diseases. Studies have found that just 30 minutes of physical activity a day can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke, the No. 1 and No. 5 leading causes of death in the United States.
Regular physical activity can also lower risk of type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. Research has also found that regular physical activity can help you manage stress and boost your mood.
Knowing all of this makes 30 minutes of activity a day seem worth it.
If 30 minutes seems too challenging, the American Heart Association recommends breaking it up into 10-15 minutes of activity, two or three times a day, at times that are convenient for your schedule and lifestyle.
Next time, we’ll look at the types of activity you can do every day to keep your body moving and improve your health.