10 Reasons to Get Moving Today!

Mother, father, and two children riding bicycles in countryside

Physical activity is one of the best things you can do to improve your health. Here are 10 benefits of physical activity to get you moving today!

  1. Better Mood.
    Getting enough physical activity can immediately reduce feelings of anxiety and help you sleep better. Over the long-term, it can reduce the risk of depression. Regular walking, for example, can improve your mood, and participating in walking groups can help you remain socially connected to your neighbors and friends.
  1. Better Brain Function.
    Regular physical activity can keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp and delay the decline of these skills as you age.
  1. More Money in Your Wallet.
    $117 billion [PDF-480KB] – That’s how much our country spends each year in health care costs associated with low levels of physical activity. Not getting enough physical activity can increase your risk of developing a chronic disease, which comes with higher health care costs.  Staying active is good for your health and your wallet, too.
  1. Lower Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke.
    Heart disease and stroke are two of the leading causes of death in the United States. Being regularly active at a moderate intensity level can help lower risk for these diseases. Regular physical activity can also lower your blood pressure and improve your cholesterol levels.
  1. Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes or Diabetes Complications.
    More than 34 million Americans have diabetes. Another 88 million US adults have a condition called prediabetes, which puts them at risk of type 2 diabetes. Regular physical activity helps prevent type 2 diabetes. If you already have diabetes (type 1 or type 2), you can help control your blood sugar levels by staying active.
  1. Lower Risk of Some Cancers.
    Getting the recommended amount of physical activity can lower the risk of many cancers. These include cancers of the bladder, breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, lung, and stomach.
  1. Longer Life.
    Being physically active can reduce your risk of dying early from leading causes of death such as heart disease and diabetes. About 110,000 deaths per year could be prevented if US adults age 40 and older increased moderate-to-vigorous physical activity by even 10 minutes a day.
  1. Stronger Bones and Muscles.
    Doing aerobic, muscle-strengthening, and bone-strengthening physical activities of at least moderate intensity can slow the loss of bone density. Being physically active can also help with arthritis pain and reduce the risk of hip fracture.
  1. Fewer Sick Days.
    Physically active people tend to take fewer sick days. Some workplace wellness programs offer a gym, gym membership, or outdoor walking paths. If your workplace doesn’t have a wellness program, management may be willing to start one. And you can always add physical activity on your own with walking meetings, physical activity breaks during long meetings, or taking a walk during your lunch break.
  1. Better Grades in School.
    For kids, school physical activity programs can improve attention and some measures of academic performance. Students who are physically active tend to have better grades, school attendance, brain function, and classroom behaviors. You can also make physical activity part of your family’s daily routine by taking family walks or playing active games together.

If you are wondering how to add physical activity to your life, see our sample schedule for ideas. Just be sure to pick activities that are enjoyable and match your abilities – and your kids’, too. This will help everyone stay in the game!

Also, if you have a chronic health condition such as heart disease or arthritis, talk with your doctor first about the types and amounts of physical activity that are right for you.

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