Get Active

Physical activity is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. In combination with healthy eating, it can help prevent a range of chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and stroke, which are the three leading causes of death. Physical activity helps control weight, builds lean muscle, reduces fat, promotes strong bone, muscle and joint development, and decreases the risk of obesity. Children need 60 minutes of play with moderate to vigorous activity every day to grow up to a healthy weight.

If this sounds like a lot, consider that eight to 18 year old adolescents spend an average of 7.5 hours a day using entertainment media including TV, computers, video games, cell phones and movies in a typical day, and only one-third of high school students get the recommended levels of physical activity. To increase physical activity, today’s children need safe routes to walk and bike ride to school, parks, playgrounds and community centers where they can play after school, and activities like sports, dance or fitness programs that are exciting and challenging enough to keep them engaged.

Let’s Move! aims to increase opportunities for kids to be physically active, both in and out of school and to create new opportunities for families to move together.

Active Families: Engage in physical activity each day : a total of 60 minutes for children, 30 minutes for adults.
Active Schools: A variety of opportunities are available for schools to add more physical activity into the school day, including additional physical education classes, before–and afterschool programs, recess, and opening school facilities for student and family recreation in the late afternoon and evening.
Active Communities: Mayors and community leaders can promote physical fitness by working to increase safe routes for kids to walk and ride to school; by revitalizing parks, playgrounds, and community centers; and by providing fun and affordable sports and fitness programs.

Let’s Move! supports the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA+) challenge, which helps individuals commit to regular physical activity and healthy eating — and rewards them for it. The challenge is for anyone, from students to seniors, but it’s geared toward people who want to set themselves on the road to a healthier life through positive changes to physical activity and eating behaviors.

For kids and teens (that’s anyone between 6 and 17 years), your goals are:

Physical activity: You need to be active 60 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, for 6 out of 8 weeks. As an alternative, you can count your daily activity steps using a pedometer (girls’ goal: 11,000; boys’ goal: 13,000).
Healthy eating: Each week, you’ll also focus on a healthy eating goal. There are eight to choose from, and each week you will add a new goal while continuing with your previous goals. By the end of the six weeks, you’ll be giving your body more of the good stuff it needs.

For adults (that’s anyone aged 18 and older), your goals are:

Physical activity: You need to be active 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, for 6 out of 8 weeks. As an alternative, you can count your daily activity steps using a pedometer (goal: 8,500).
Healthy eating: Each week, you’ll also focus on a healthy eating goal. There are eight to choose from, and each week you will add a new goal while continuing with your previous goals. By the end of the six weeks, you’ll be giving your body more of the good stuff it needs.

Article Source: http://www.letsmove.gov/get-active

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