Struggling with a daily fitness routine? You’re not alone. One in four Massachusetts middle school and high school students, and more than half of all adults in the state, are obese or overweight. The good news is that engaging in physical activity and reaching a healthy weight can reduce your risk for certain types of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Working out can also help you feel less stressed and strengthen your muscles and bones, among other benefits.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise a week for adults, according to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Children should participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Adults can set a good example by moving more and encouraging kids and teens to exercise with tips from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH).
Get Fit by Moving More
A fun routine or an enjoyable activity can make all the difference in motivating you to stay in shape.
- Take a 30-minute walk or hike at one of the many state parks or hiking trails in Massachusetts maintained by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).
- Grab your bike for a ride around town or on a DCR biking path or trail near you.
- Incorporate muscle-strengthening activities into your fitness routine twice a week, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Yoga, lifting weights, doing push-ups or sit-ups, and training with resistance bands all count as great muscle-strengthening exercises.
- Find an aerobic exercise, such as swimming, dancing, cycling, or jogging, that works for you. Cardio is great for both body and mind.
Encourage Kids and Teens to Exercise
Children and teens should pay extra attention to their daily physical activity. Being active helps kids maintain a healthy weight, improve sleep, and perform better in school. Ways to help children move more include:
- Create opportunities to be active. Take children to the playground, park, and other spaces where they can move around.
- Become an active family with tips from Let’s Move. Engage in exercise with your kids to ensure you’re being athletic as well.
- Make an activity log and stick to it.
- Work on a skill. Developing proficiency in anything from hitting home runs to shooting hoops can encourage kids to keep up with exercise.
Massachusetts residents lead busy, full lives, but putting in a little extra effort and setting aside just 30 minutes a day can make a big difference. You can spring into shape and have fun at the same time. Move more and see for yourself!
What’s your favorite way to exercise? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @MassGov.
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