Be an Active Family

We move all day long, but we still may not be getting enough health benefits from physical activity unless we use energy to move our bodies with purpose.  That isn't as hard as you might think; walking, gardening, pushing a stroller, biking, climbing stairs, and dancing are all ways to be physically active!

What kinds of physical activity?
Your family's physical activity needs to be moderate to vigorous to be beneficial to your health.   Light activity doesn't raise your heart rate or cause to you to breathe harder, but moderate and vigorous activity does, and that is what your goal for physical activity should be for the whole family.

Mix and match moderate and vigorous physical activity throughout the week.  Try taking a brisk (fast) walk after dinner one night, playing a game of basketball the next, tidying up the yard together, and having a dance contest at home the next night!

How much physical activity?
Young children under age 5 are encouraged to be physically active several times each day.  Children ages 5 to 17 should be physically active 60 minutes each day.  Adults need to combine moderate and vigorous physical activity with strengthening activities.  Visit the Choose MyPlate website and Let's Move website for more ways to be active.

Challenge your family members to come up with their own ideas for exciting ways to be physically active together.  Find fun things to do as a family and be sure to schedule time to do them -- let physical activity be your family's reward each day for finishing other tasks.

One program that your family could join is the Walk MD program through University of Maryland Extension.  This program encourages walking and exploring Maryland!

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This institution is an equal opportunity provider. This material was funded by USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - SNAP in cooperation with Maryland's Department of Human Services and University of Maryland Extension. The University of Maryland Extension will not discriminate against any person because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry or national origin, marital status, genetic information, political affiliation, and gender identity or expression.
© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall