Healthy Families, Kids Health

Defining Exercise

What is exercise? Seems like a pretty easy questions right? Not so much.  In the past, we have always defined exercise as any kind of movement that requires movement and produces sweat.  Sound good? Well, these days we have found that the answer to the exercise question is a bit more complicated.

These days, research has expanded our definition of exercise into more of a spectrum than a black and white answer.  Researchers have found that even if a normal person spends 30 minutes on a walk or a run in the morning, but spends the rest of the day in car, bus, or at a desk, they can see approximately the same health issues as those who are generally sedentary throughout the day.  In contrast, professions that require long periods of standing (teachers, nurses, etc.), but little forward movement can also experience some of the health risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

So, what does this mean? As before, everyone should shoot for approximately 150 minutes (30 minutes/5 days per week) per week, but the key is in addition to those 30 minute sweat sessions, movement throughout the day is key as well.  Taking a walk during your lunch break, or parking far from the mall entrance is a great way to start.

How do you encourage your kids to be on the move? Set a good example, not just while working out! Take a family walk with the dog, run an errand and turn off the TV.  Showing your kids that movement is important throughout the day is key to living their best life!

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Brooke Magni