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Posts tagged: types of physical activity

Help Your Kids Have a Healthy Summer—and Make Sure You Do Too

Written by the Weight-control Information Network

Happy summer! Are you a parent or other caregiver who is trying to help your kids enjoy physical activity and stay healthy during the summer? With summer’s longer days and seasonal fruits and vegetables like strawberries, nectarines, and sweet corn, chances abound for you and your family to get healthier this summer.

The Weight-control Information Network (WIN) offers these ideas:

  • Eat breakfast every morning to charge up your family. Then go for a hike or bike ride.
  • Take your kids to a local park or walking path to increase their active time.
  • Limit screen time on TV, computers, and hand-held devices. Take play outdoors. Jump rope or play hopscotch or kickball.
  • Make sure your kids drink fluids to stay hydrated. Choose water or nonfat or low-fat milk instead of sugary beverages like soda or sports drinks.

WIN also suggests these tips for summer health for adults:

  • Beat the heat with early morning activity. Go for a walk or bike ride (wear a helmet and reflective gear) as the sun comes up.
  • Start a small garden in your yard or a community patch to exercise, grow healthy food, and have fun with family and neighbors.
  • When the sidewalks sizzle, get moving indoors with a fun fitness video or DVD.
  • Choose water workouts and make a splash as you get fit and strong.

Find more ideas in WIN’s Don’t Take a Vacation From Your Healthy Habits This Summer! This flyer suggests ways to be physically active, eat healthy foods, and stay hydrated during the summer. WIN also offers Parents … Splash Into a Healthy Summer with These Ideas!, a flyer for parents and other caregivers with ideas for helping kids have fun and be healthy. This flyer is available in Spanish as well as English.

Have you done something this summer that helped your family get healthier? Or something that helped you? If not, use the above tips to build a plan to try a new activity or fruit  before the season ends.

Get Active, Stay Hydrated!

Written by the NEA Health Information Network

After the Polar Vortex that seemed to never want to end, summer is just around the corner! If you’re like us, you probably can’t wait to head outdoors and shake off those winter blues.

Who says that resolutions are only for January? Set a fitness goal to accomplish by summer’s end! Summer’s longer daylight hours make it easier to wake up early and get moving, or to get in a brisk walk after work.

STAY HYDRATED

Before you head out the door, be sure to grab two things: sunscreen and water.

Popular to contrary belief, you don’t need fancy sports drinks to hydrate while being active. Did you know that the average sports drink has nearly nine teaspoons of added sugar? That’s more than the daily suggested sugar limit for kids and teens!

Water is refreshing and free – and it does a great job keeping you hydrated while you’re on the move.

10 Ways to Be Active during National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

Written by the Weight-control Information Network

May is the National Physical Fitness and Sports Month! Celebrate by building habits to meet the Physical Activity Guidelines—or, if you have these habits, by keeping up the good work. The warmer, sunnier weather of spring may make it easier to fit activity into your day and try new kinds of exercise.

The Weight-control Information Network (WIN) offers ideas to help people of all ages start physical activity and make it part of their routine. Here are some tips for adults:

  • Mix it up. Try a new activity each day like dancing or planting a garden to find out what you enjoy most.
  • Make it social. Meet a friend for workouts, or train together for a charity event. Join a class or sports league where people count on you to show up.
  • Move more with your kids. No matter what age your kids are, find an activity you can do together. Dance to music, take a walk, run around the park, or play basketball or soccer.
  • Fit it in. Add a daily 15-minute walk during your lunch break or after dinner. If your schedule allows and you can do so safely near home or work, taking a walk may help you clear your head.
  • Don’t break the bank. If you’re on a budget, try activities that don’t require special gear. Walking requires a pair of sturdy shoes. To dance, just turn on some music.

Here are some ideas to help teens get and stay active:

  • Get outside. Enjoy outdoor physical activity, such as jumping rope, playing Frisbee or flag football, or skateboarding.
  • Join in. Join a school sports or dance team. Jump into a neighborhood pickup game of basketball or softball.
  • Pitch in. Help keep your community’s sidewalks, sports fields, parks, and athletic centers clean and usable.
  • Be active with friends. Choose group activities such as sports, active games, or walking around a public park.
  • Sit less. Watching TV, gaming, and surfing the web are fun but inactive, so spend less time in front of the screen.

Find more tips and information in WIN’s Tips to Help You Get Active and, for teens, the tip sheet Get Moving! Tips to Help You Get Active offers tips to help readers become more physically active, overcome barriers to activity, and stay motivated. Get Moving! suggests ways teens can get and stay active both indoors and outdoors. It is based on the longer booklet Take Charge of Your Health: A Guide for Teenagers, which is available in English and Spanish.

Check out healthfinder.gov’s page on National Physical Fitness and Sports Month for reasons to be active, ideas for helping others get more exercise, and sample messages to send through email or social media and post to your blog or other website. 

Have you tried a fun new kind of exercise this spring—something you’ve never done before? What did you do?

Four Tips for Staying Active in Winter

Post by: The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease Weight-control Information Network

As we’ve watched the Olympics on TV, the weather has sometimes made it hard to keep moving toward our own exercise goals. If you’re not a world-class winter athlete, or can’t stand going out in the cold, how can you stay active in winter? What can you do to keep moving throughout the year?

Here are some tips that may help:

  • Choose activities that are fun. In all seasons, people are more likely to be active if they like what they are doing. In winter, you may enjoy a brisk walk at a local shopping center or a dance class.
  • You can do many activities to strengthen muscles indoors. As the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend, do 2 or more days per week of strengthening activities such as lifting light weights, doing full or modified push-ups, or working with resistance bands (large rubber bands).
  • Keep an activity log to track your progress.
  • If your time is limited, do 10 minutes of exercise at a time. Spread these bursts of activity out throughout the day. Every little bit counts!

Find out more in the Weight-control Information Network’s Better Health and You: Tips for Adults. This brochure suggests physical activity to meet the requirements of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. It also helps readers figure out if their weight is healthy, explains why a healthy weight is important, and describes how to create a plan of healthy eating and drinking. It features a tip sheet people can print and post to remind themselves in all seasons of the importance of regular physical activity, healthy eating and drinking habits, and staying at a healthy weight.

What helps you to stay active during the cold days of winter?

Getting the Balance Right

Post by Colin Milner, Founder and CEO of the International Council on Active Aging®

Does your center or community have a yoga studio or personal-training area? If so, odds are that you offer these programs because of growing demand or as a new way to meet your clients’ needs. With the youngest Boomers celebrating their 50th birthday this year—and exponential growth in older age groups for many years to come—many new opportunities are available to support health and wellness. One such opportunity is a “balance center.”

Why balance?

What is a balance center, and why should you consider adding one? A balance center offers you the ability to address a significant need in the older-adult population—one that will only become more pressing given today’s changing demographics. Consider the picture in the United States, for example:

•  One in every three people older than 65 will fall this year.

•  Approximately half the age 65-plus individuals who have fallen will fall again in the next 12 months.

•  Strength- and balance-training programs could reduce the number of falls by up to 40%.

Few older adults have their balance screened by a physician prior to a fall despite the fact that many have a higher fall risk due to changes linked with aging. Yet falls can cause life-altering injuries or death. Even when individuals avoid injury in a fall, the fear associated with falling again can lead to social isolation, depression and a downward spiral in health. So falls have immense emotional and financial effects on older adults and their families and caregivers.

By addressing this issue with a balance center, you can expand your reach and tap into more than 30% of the age 65-plus market—all while helping individuals reduce fall risk, maintain independence and improve quality of life.

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Physical Activity for Cancer Patients

Post by Melissa Merson, Prevent Cancer Foundation

Patients emerging from cancer treatment are accustomed to detailed instructions from doctors regarding medications, radiation, surgery, etc.  Yet when they complete treatment the doctor often sends them along with a simple directive to eat right and be physically active. Patients often are frightened by no longer having a protocol to fight their disease and bewildered as to what to do next.

For years there were questions about whether cancer survivors should even attempt physical activity.  In 2010, the American College of Sports Medicine, convened an expert panel to review the scientific evidence. The group reached the consensus that, “although there are specific risks associated with cancer treatments that need to be considered when survivors exercise, there seems to be consistent evidence that exercise is safe during and after cancer treatment.”

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The National Comprehensive Cancer Network doesn’t advise running marathons or climbing mountains, but the organization says “it’s wise to add some form of regular exercise to your daily life – even during cancer therapy. “ The group advocates “moderate aerobic exercise, such as riding a stationary bicycle or taking a daily walk, coupled with the use of light weights for strength training” to enhance well-being and spur recovery.

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Resolution Tip: Don’t Increase Training By More Than 10% Per Week

By Dr. David Geier, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine

As 2014 begins, people all over the country are trying to stick to their New Year’s resolutions. Many of them pursue goals to get in shape or start new fitness programs. While all of these exercise goals are admirable in helping to improve their physical health, they should also set realistic goals in order to avoid injuries.

Sports medicine orthopaedic surgeons see a surprisingly large number of runners injured as they train to run marathons or half-marathons. Or they might be overweight people trying to lose a few pounds in extreme weight-loss competitions. They might even be people preparing for beach season.

The underlying factor in their injuries almost always involves trying to reach a fitness or athletic goal too fast and increasing training too quickly. When they ask what they could do differently to avoid injuries next time, we often recommend setting realistic goals and increasing their training slowly to achieve those goals.

This tip is easiest to explain for jogging, but the concept can be implemented with almost any form of exercise or training.

For example, if you haven’t jogged in two years, running a 10-K race six weeks from now might be a bad idea. Likewise, if you run 10 or 15 miles per week, you probably won’t be able to safely increase your training to complete a marathon two months from now.

Similarly, people who want to lose weight quickly or get in shape often hire trainers or join boot camps but start far too aggressively. If you haven’t lifted weights in years, doing large numbers of reps and sets many times a week could lead to shoulder or arm injuries.

Instead of doing too much too soon, increase training in a way that doesn’t overly stress your body’s ability to heal and get stronger. If you run 20 miles per week now and want to increase that amount, aim for 22 miles next week. If you want to run a marathon in 12 months, determine the mileage you need to reach. Then use the 10% rule backwards to figure out when you need to start training.

Increasing mileage, frequency of workouts and intensity of workouts can follow the same principle. Increase them a little bit at a time.

When selecting and pursuing exercise goals, remember that they are are marathons, not sprints. Increase your training slowly to avoid injuries and reach your goals.

How do you plan to achieve your resolutions?