Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital
Move More and Sit Less
Americans spend way too much time sitting during the day and it’s impacting the body’s ability to protect against chronic health conditions. New 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines urge adults to spend more time moving throughout the day. This can include things like reading the newspaper standing up, walking around the house during TV commercials, or marching in place during phone calls.
Even a small amount of physical activity can boost your mood, improve mental focus, lower stress, and help you sleep. Think of it as investment in your health. Health benefits occur when adults get 2.5-5 hours a week of moderate intensity activity. Moderate intensity activity includes anything that gets your heart beating fast. This includes activities such as going for a bike ride, taking a brisk walk, or swimming. It’s perfectly acceptable to count activities you had planned to do during the day anyways such as gardening, household chores, or taking the dog for a walk. Incorporate resistance training using your own body weight for brain and body health (i.e. muscles, nerves). This is important for young and older adults alike.
Be safe during physical activity by knowing the risks and consult with your health care provider. Start slow and gradually increase time and intensity. Take time to warm your muscles up before exercising and watch your breathing during. Listen to your body. Talk to your doctor is anything feels out of the ordinary.