To stay healthy it's important to make physical activity part of your lifestyle. Often people think of physical activity as strenuous exercise and get discouraged. Time constraints and physical limitations are also reasons people might give to not get their bodies moving.
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What Is Physical Activity?
Anything that gets the body moving is considered physical activity. (REFERENCE 1) Everything from gardening and pushing a lawn mower to walking briskly in the park or playing Frisbee are examples of physical activity. Recreational activities are fun ways to keep the body moving and burn calories. Table tennis, golf, bowling and darts are low-intensity recreational exercises. For greater health benefits, consider doing vigorous exercises such as jogging and biking a few times a week (REFERENCE 2).
Frequency of Physical Activity
Most health experts will say to do a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity each day. (REFERENCE 3) Doing more and increasing the intensity of exercise will increase the health benefits. (REFERENCE 4). Depending on your personal fitness goals, you will need to create a plan that works for you.
Making Physical Activity a Lifestyle
The key to staying physically active is to find exercises that you enjoy doing and sticking to them. By starting a routine and making time in your day for exercise, it will become a habit. (REFERENCE 5). Consider inviting a friend to exercise with you. Doing so will keep both of you accountable and motivated.
Precautions and Knowing your Capabilities
Physical activity keeps the heart rate up for a prolonged period which is good in most cases. But it is important to check with your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough to begin an exercise routine. (REFERENCE 6) Depending on the needs of your body, there may be limits to what types of physical activities you should do. If you are nervous to get started or are unsure of what exercises to do or how to do them, consider hiring a personal trainer.