Overcome inactivity with regular physical movement

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Is it your imagination, or are we less physically fit than we used to be?

Data from the World Health Organization shows one in four adults globally don’t achieve the recommended amount of physical activity on a regular basis. But it’s not just grownups. More than 80% of adolescents are physically inactive.

Why is this a concern? It means we’re less healthy. Physical movement improves sleep quality, which is good for concentration. Weight-bearing activities like walking and lifting keep bones strong – a big plus for older women. Any activity that increases your breathing and heartrate is good for your lungs and heart.

Physical activity can be lots of fun and personalized to what interests you. Choose bowling, basketball or biking, skiing, sand volleyball or salsa dancing.

An interesting thing about movement is that the more frequently you engage in physical activities that get your blood pumping, the more stamina you have to perform that activity longer the next time.

Don’t use “no time” as an excuse. Take a 5-minute walk in a long hallway or down the sidewalk. Jog or march in place in front of the copier or elevator. Park a long way from the entrance.

Ann Cochran is the health navigation coordinator in the Dallas County Public Health Department.

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