Children showing their arm muscles in an exercise class.

Five Benefits of Moving Each Day

February 22, 2022 Written by Kaitlin Klair, Extension Educator - 4-H Youth Development

We, as a nation, try to put a strong emphasis on health and physical fitness. Everyone encourages you to be active and exercise, but they don’t necessarily talk about what that means for your health and well-being — the why you should become active. So, why is it important for us to be active and make sure we are getting up and moving each day? On an average day, an adult sits for 7 hours and teens between the ages of 12-19 sit for 8 hours. For the majority of the year, teens are at school and adults are working. The hours of inactivity really add up and, over time, can take a toll on our bodies and health.  

During the colder months and after the holiday season, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things. But the new year is made for resolutions! What better time to start a new fitness goal than now?

You don’t even need to commit to an intense workout routine. Any moderate activity for 30 minutes a day is beneficial. Don’t feel like you can do 30 minutes? Break it up throughout the day and you’ll be surprised how easy a goal it is to achieve!

 

Here are five benefits to making sure you move your body each day:
 

1) Sharper memory

Whether it be in school or work, we need to make sure that we are sharp, able to pay attention and use our brains to the best of our abilities. Physical activity gets your heart pumping, which sends more oxygen to your brain. It stimulates the brain to create new connections between cells, which helps enhance neurological growth.
 

2) More energy

Physical activity boosts cardiovascular health, which gives you more energy throughout the day. It builds confidence in your ability to do things, so you are more apt to agree to go out with family and friends (and you’ll have the energy to do so). It also helps you have a positive mindset throughout the day!
 

3) Better Sleep

To get the most out of your day, you should be getting enough sleep for what your body needs. This may vary depending on your age but making sure you are rested is very important. You may benefit from more restful sleep after incorporating moderate physical activity into your daily routine.
 

4) Healthy Muscles

Being active each day may reduce the pain and discomfort of arthritis for youth and adults and will increase balance and strength while walking. Ever heard the phrase, “Use it or lose it”? Your muscles need moderate use to stay strong and not become injury-prone due to underuse.
 

5) Weight loss and maintenance

Regular physical activity helps keep your metabolism active. We all know that calories equal energy. But if you take calories in and don’t expel the energy, your body will store it as fat. This is the reason you are more likely to gain weight when your life involves long periods of sitting and this puts your health at risk. Getting up and moving as little as 10-30 minutes a day will help you maintain your current weight at the very least and may help you lose weight, depending on your diet.
 


Now that you have the benefits, here are some easy ways that you can move around each day:

  1. Take a walk around the neighborhood.
  2. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  3. Use a Fitbit, pedometer or watch to calculate your steps each day to try to hit 10,000 steps.
  4. Get up from your desk a couple of times a day and take a break by walking around the building.
  5. If you’re ready to really get active, take a dancing or fitness class, strength training class, chair yoga, barre or any physical activity you’re interested in! Of course, always consult with your doctor first before starting any new training program.

 

Take a literal stand today and prove to yourself that you will be more active for your family, your friends, and most importantly, yourself!


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