What does it mean to be physically active? Why does it matter?
Physical activity is any form of exercise or movement
that uses energy and increases heart rate. Children and adolescents
should get 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day while adults should
get 150 minutes or more of physical activity each week. Whether you engage in
light activity like a stroll in the park or a more vigorous activity like
running, regular physical activity will make you strong, increase your energy
and flexibility and turn you into a physically active person.
What can I do to be physically active?
Physical activity is done as part of playing, working, active
transportation, house chores and recreational activities. Start out slowly and
pick an activity you like and one that fits your lifestyle. After several weeks
or months, build up your activities – do them longer and more often. Being
active with friends and family provides a support network that can help you
keep up your physical activity.
What should I discuss with my doctor?
Your activity level is an important topic to discuss with
your doctor as part of your ongoing preventive health care. Talk with your
doctor about your current physical activity level, whether there are specific exercises
or activities you should avoid, any unexplained symptoms, such as chest pain,
pain in your joints, dizziness, or shortness of breath or how certain ongoing
health conditions affect exercise and physical activity.
WalkWorks is an
initiative to increase opportunities
for physical activity by planning, implementing and marketing community-based
walking routes utilizing the built environment; promoting and establishing
walking groups for social support and promoting policies designed to increase opportunities
for physical activity. WalkWorks is currently in the following counties:
Blair, Fayette, Indiana, McKean, Northampton and Schuylkill as well as the
Harrisburg Capitol Complex. For more information about WalkWorks, please visit www.pawalkworks.com.