How many times have you heard someone say “Oh, go fly a kite!” or “Take a Hike!”
We’ve probably all heard that from a disgruntled coworker. But if you look at it in another way, it’s good advice! We all need to be physically active in one way or another. This is a good time to think about changing our lifestyle and that of our family, as well. With all the video games and electronic gadgets, it seems that times of outdoor entertainment are over. What happened to kids going out and playing freeze-tag, jacks, hopscotch, hide and seek, and other fun games? At school, when kids get to go outside for recess, you can hear them squealing and yelling and having all sorts of fun. When they get home, they are usually in front of the computer or television. (We live in an age where safety is foremost in the minds of parents, so we aren’t encouraging them to go outdoors unless they are in a safe, fenced area or supervised.)
Health professionals recommend that adults participate in moderate physical activity most days of the week for at least 30 minutes. Kids and teens need 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Just some of the fun things families can do together are:
- Play with pets outdoors, or take them for walks.
- Go on bike rides.
- Spend time at the pool or tennis court in summer months.
- In winter months, build a snowman, go skiing or sledding.
- Literally, go fly a kite or take a hike!
- Go camping.
Many companies have exercise programs or weight-loss incentives to encourage their employees to concentrate on exercise while at the same time performing their work. Just how far is it to the vending machine? You’d be surprised by how many steps you take just walking from station to station at your place of employment. Workers can participate in programs by wearing pedometers, and they can actually see how far they walk in their daily regular work regimen. (Competition between groups could make this a fun effort, with the winners being treated for lunch by the others, or some other type of award.) Other companies have facilities where their employees can exercise during lunch breaks or before or after work.
Walking can be a simple choice for creating a more active way of life. The average person walks less than 6,000 steps a day, while the recommended number of steps is at least 10,000 per day. Just 15 minutes of moderate exercise, such as walking one mile can burn approximately 100 extra calories a day.
Begin the process of becoming healthier and set the example for your family, friends, and/or coworkers. Start by making a couple of small changes: take the stairs instead of elevator, or parking at the back of the parking lot. Anything that makes you take those extra steps will be to your advantage.