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Extension > Live Healthy, Live Well > Keep Moving in Spring

Monday, May 2, 2016

Keep Moving in Spring

By Milena Nunez Garcia — SNAP-Ed Educator

Spring is not just about melting snow, blooming flowers, and singing birds. After a long winter spent indoors, spring is also the ideal time to get outside and get moving.

Staying healthy through physical activity should be a fundamental part of our lifestyle. There are two types of physical activities, and each one offers important health benefits.

Aerobic activities strengthen and improve the performance of the heart, lungs and blood vessels. Moderate intensity aerobic physical activities include walking briskly, water aerobics, gardening, and others. Vigorous intensity aerobic physical activities include running, team sports, aerobic dancing, and others. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recommend that adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activities per week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activities per week — or an equivalent combination of the two.

Muscle strengthening activities strengthen muscles and bones. Muscle strengthening activities include lifting weights, using resistance bands, or using your own body weight as resistance, such as doing pushups, sit-ups, squats, or other exercises. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults do muscle strengthening activities two or more days per week, focusing on all major muscle groups in the body: legs, abdomen, shoulder, back, hips, chest, and arms. Exercises for each muscle group should be repeated 8 to 12 times per session.

Consult your doctor before starting any exercise routine, and remember that motivation comes as soon you start moving your body!

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