It’s almost summertime, and we’re grateful for longer days and warmer weather. Our favorite parks that sat idle throughout winter are filled with joggers and dog walkers. Children and adolescents are excited to reengage in sports, testing their soccer, lacrosse, softball and baseball skills on rejuvenated fields, and the temperature is perfect for being outdoors. This May, SCPT encourages everyone to incorporate physical activity into their daily routine and to get active during National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.
Physical activity provides health benefits to those of all ages. SCPT is happy to share with you how much exercise is recommended for your age group, and suggestions to incorporate physical fitness into your busy day-to-day schedule.
Youth: Children and adolescents who are active do better in school and have decreased risks for developing depression, chronic conditions, and obesity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that children get at least 60 minutes of aerobic activity per day to maximize their health benefits. Playing jump rope, engaging in a team sport, swimming, bicycling, or taking a family walk after dinner are great options. Kids should also focus on muscle- and bone-strengthening activities. The CDC reports that the largest amounts of bone mass are accumulated during the years leading up to and during puberty, so even engaging in playful activities like hop-scotch can help your children jump towards better bone health later on in life.
Adults: According to the CDC, adults between 18 and 65 years of age need two hours and 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week, and muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days per week. Making the weekly commitment to incorporate 150 minutes of exercise into our busy lives may feel overwhelming, but when broken down into ten-minute intervals, the challenge may seem more feasible. Need some inspiration to on how to pepper bursts of exercise into your day? Read SCPT’s blog: “How much do we really need to stay healthy?”
Seniors: Once you reach retirement age, it’s time to kick back and take things nice and easy, right? If you were hoping the answer was yes, you’re going to be disappointed. Adults 65 years or better who are in good health with no chronic conditions can follow the standard adult guidelines for physical activity. That’s two hours and 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week and muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days per week. Try your hand at gardening, or rent a kayak for the day and enjoy the breath-taking scenery of New England’s many ponds and lakes. If you’re retired, now’s a perfect time to explore new passions and hobbies.
Incorporating enough physical activity into our daily lives is a balancing act, one that can keep us walking the tight-rope of life with strong, sure steps. Physical activity not only keeps our muscles and bones nimble enough to complete this act, but when the rope slacks and we fall, exercise helps to support mental health, so we can lift our chin high, square our shoulders, and pick up right where we left off.
For a tailored exercise plan that fits your lifestyle, contact SCPT for a free fifteen-minute assessment of your current health and fitness level, available now through the end of May. SCPT’s skilled therapists are standing by to offer suggestions to help you incorporate recommended activity goals into your daily routine.