Finding ways to get active is as easy remembering 60-30: 60 minutes per day of activity for children and adolescents, 30 minutes per day for adults. These periods throughout the week should be a mixture of activities that are aerobic, strengthen muscles, strengthen bones, and enhance balance (Go 4 Life: Exercises, n.d.). For those with busy lifestyles allocating time for fitness can be a daunting proposition. Adolescents can easily achieve this level of activity by unplugging from video-based entertainment and going outside. The outdoors naturally encourages play! Adults can accomplish 30 minutes daily by walking during lunch or after work.
Unfortunately, many school children do not get enough exercise during the school day. Nationally, “daily PE is provided in only 4 percent of elementary schools, 8 percent of middle schools, and 2 percent of high schools” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2012, p. 2). Approximately 71% of school-aged children achieve less than 60 minutes per day of exercise! The family however, can compensate for this disparity.
Getting the family outside is an easy solution. Walk the dog. Go to the park. Do yard work together. Play catch. Invite friends to play games with your family. Fun, low-cost, and free activities can be discovered through local parks and recreation departments, community colleges, the YMCA, and other organizations. Benefit walks, 5Ks, and other events can be discovered at local sport supply stores. Participating is easy! Specific exercise ideas can be found at http://go4life.nia.nih.gov/try-these-exercises.
Go 4 Life: Exercises. (n.d.). Retrieved from Go4Life from the National Institute on Aging at NIH: http://go4life.nia.nih.gov/try-these-exercises
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2012, December). Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Midcourse Report: Strategies to Increase Physical Activity Among Youth. Retrieved from www.health.gov: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/midcourse/pag-mid-course-report-final.pdf