Physical Activity and Fitness

  • Regular physical activity is important for maintaining good health.  Along with helping to maintain healthy weight, the benefits include increasing muscle strength, relieving stress, improving self-esteem, reducing high blood pressure, improving circulation, and lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

    Exercise, playing sports and games, dancing, swimming, walking, jogging, and running are all good examples of ways to be physically active.  For exercise to be beneficial, activities should increase the heart rate without becoming exhausting; activities like walking briskly, jogging, swimming, and biking.  Also, it is important to enjoy what you are doing; you’ll be more likely to do it regularly.  Vary activities so exercise will not become boring.  For some people, exercising with a group or a friend will help with set up a regular Set a goal for 30 minutes a day; this may be divided into three 10-minute sessions.


    Try these web-sites for more information on the benefits of physical activity and health.


    Recommended Time Spent on Physical Activity

    For better health, physical activity and good nutrition work hand in hand.

    Benefits of physical activity

    •  Feelings of well-being, happiness, and self-esteem are increased
    • Fitness levels are improved
    • Builds and maintains bones, muscles, and joints
    • Posture and flexibility are boosted
    • Helps maintain and/or lose weight
    • Risk of heart disease, colon cancer, and type 2 diabetes are reduced
    • Blood pressure is better controlled
    • Depression and anxiety levels are reduced

    Some activities are particularly advantageous:

    •  Aerobic activities – running, jogging, dancing, swimming, jumping rope, skipping, playing basketball, softball or soccer, skating, skiing, snowboarding 
    • Resistance, strength building and weight-bearing activities – weight-lifting, walking
    • Balance and stretching activities – stretching, yoga, dancing, gymnastics, martial arts, tai chi 

    How much activity?

    On most days, the CDC recommends spending 30 minutes doing moderate activity. To prevent weight gain or maintain weight that was lost, 60 minutes of moderate activity may be needed.  The more time spent exercising, the more calories are used – lost calories = weight loss.  Children and teens need 60 minutes or more every day. If the amount of activity seems like too much to do at one time, it can be divided into smaller parts (2 or 3 times throughout the day).

    Moderate activity includes things like bicycling, yoga, lifting weights, dancing, walking, and swimming.