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Move More and Sit Less to Make Strides Toward Better Health

Photo: Courtesy of Dane Wetton

Science has linked being inactive and sitting too much with higher risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon and lung cancers, and early death. It’s clear that being more active benefits everyone and helps us live longer, healthier lives.

If you’re not as active as you’d like to be, it’s OK. Getting started doesn’t have to be hard. Any amount of movement is better than none!

Get moving

Start by spending less time sitting. Even light-intensity activity (like walking, climbing stairs, and stretching) can offset some of the risks of being sedentary.

Aim for 150 minutes of moderate activity per week (or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity), and try to spread out that activity throughout the week. Also, increase the amount and intensity of activity gradually over time.

An easy way to get more active is to include the whole family. Kids need to move more, too, so it’s important to set a good example for your children or grandchildren by encouraging healthy habits while they are young.

Before exercising, be sure to warm up for several minutes to get your muscles ready, and then stretch slowly for at least 5 minutes before you begin.

Ready to go

If you have a chronic condition or disability, talk with your healthcare provider about what types and amounts of physical activity are right for you before making too many changes. 

If you have diabetes, the American Diabetes Association suggests that you become familiar with how your blood sugar responds to exercise. Checking your blood sugar level more often before and after exercise can help you see the benefits of activity.

So what are you waiting for? Get ready, get set, get moving!

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