What is physical activity?
Health risks if you do not include daily physical activity:
- Aerobic exercises: Cause the heart to beat faster, the lungs to breathe deeper and the body to sweat. Examples:
- Playing basketball
- Jumping rope
- Strengthening exercises: Cause muscles to get stronger and protect your bones. Examples:
- Lifting weights
- Using exercise bands
- Stretching exercises: Cause muscles to lengthen to increase flexibility. Examples:
- Reaching for toes
- Butterfly stretch
- Wall stretch
Benefits of daily physical activity:
- Weight gain
- Weak heart and lungs
- Increased risk of injury and joint pain
- Weak muscles and bones
How to judge if working hard enough:
- Weight maintenance or weight loss
- Stronger heart and lungs
- Stronger joints to help prevent injury
- Feel more energized, helps improve mood
What you can do:
- You will be sweating
- You will be breathing harder
- Your heart will be beating faster
Remember, not all activity counts toward the 60 minute a day goal.
- Start out slow, with one time per week and increase frequency once consistency is established.
- Substitute physical activity such as walking, swimming or dancing for sedentary activity like watching TV, playing video games, using the computer or talking on the phone.
- Try a new physical activity with friends and family members to increase variety. You may find a new favorite!
- Try an alternative exercise such as yoga, pilates, a group class or martial arts.
- Complete physical activity before sedentary activity on a daily basis.
- Substitute video games that get kids up and moving. Read more.
Light activity – these activities include reading, studying, short leisure walks, and watching TV. These activities do not count towards the 60 minute a day goal. Read more about light activities.
Moderate activity – these activities raise the heart rate and require more exertion. These activities count towards the 60 minute a day goal. Read more about moderate activities.
Vigorous activity – these activities raise the heart rate, breathing rate, and challenge kids to exert themselves. These activities count toward the 60 minute a day goal. Read more about vigorous activities.