What does it mean to be physical active?

Being physically active simply means that your body is moving and using energy. Of course, the degree of intensity and the duration of activity will play a role in the determination of the overall health benefits received from the activity – but if you're moving, there will be a benefit!

Health Benefits of Physical Activity

Research shows physical has been shown to:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improve blood glucose and cholesterol levels
  • Help manage body weight
  • Reduce the risk of some cancers
  • Strengthen bones and muscles
  • Improve mental health and mood
  • Manage stress

When you say physical activity – what do I need to do?

According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, there are two types of physical activity that we need to do to improve our health: aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activity.

Aerobic activity, sometimes called "cardio" has significant cardiovascular benefits while muscle-strengthening activity prevents the loss of lean muscle mass and strength as we age.

Just How Active Do You Need to Be?

Well, it depends on how intense your activities are. If you are engaging in moderate-intensity aerobic activity, than you need 150 minutes/week.

If you are engaging in vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, you will need 75 minutes/week.

How Do You Know What Level of Intensity You Are Working At?

Moderate Intensity Aerobic Activity

Vigorous-Intensity Aerobic Activity

Walking briskly (about 3 ½ miles per hour)

Jogging or running (5 miles per hour)

Dancing

Walking very fast (4 ½ miles per hour)

Bicycling (less than 10 miles per hour)

Bicycling (more than 10 miles per hour)

General gardening such as pushing the lawn mower, raking, or trimming shrubs

Heavy yard work, such as chopping wood

The most important things to remember; life is not an all or nothing event – and neither is your journey to health. When you make small, healthy lifestyle choices each day, the culmination of those choices will impact your health. And although you may not feel those changes are happening as fast as you would like, keep at it - because even if you cannot tell a difference, your Heart can!

Today's post was written by Diane Reinhold, MPH, MS, RDN, is a registered dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Educator serving Jo Daviess, Stephenson & Winnebago Counties. She specializes in chronic disease prevention, food preservation and worksite wellness