What is the National Physical Activity Plan?
The National Physical Activity Plan is a comprehensive set of policies, programs, and initiatives that aim to increase physical activity in all segments of the American population. The Plan is the product of a private-public sector collaborative. Hundreds of organizations are working together to change our communities in ways that will enable every American to be sufficiently physically active.
The Plan aims to create a national culture that supports physically active lifestyles. Its ultimate purpose is to improve health, prevent disease and disability, and enhance quality of life.
This program is sponsored by organizations such as the American Medical Association, Road Runners Club of America, YMCA of the USA and several Universities. The program was developed with input from a wide section of society including business, public health, healthcare and academia.
While running and walking are excellent forms of exercise, the plan looks to utilize a variety of facilities and existing infrastructure to help people lead more active and healthy lifestyles.
What you can do
Many of us live in communities with a college, YMCA or YWCA that has facilities open to the public. Almost every city and town in America has parks. Physical activity could be a Tai Chi class held in a public park, a hike in a local land preserve or a walk through downtown to get a cup of coffee. Many Seniors use local malls to get their daily walking in.
There are many opportunities to increase your physical activity that cost nothing or very little.
Current recommendations for adults is 30 minutes of physical activity daily. This is not a lot, but many of us find it a challenge to do 30 minutes EVERY day. I run or go to the gym five days a week usually. But for two days I am busy doing other things and don’t get in an official 30 minutes.
Your 30 minutes of activity can be broken up into smaller pieces. If you think about it there are a number of ways to add a few minutes of exercise to your daily routine here and there. Using a device like a Fitbit or Up band you can monitor your activity, set goals and find ways to improve your activity and health.
Some often cited simple ways to increase your activity include:
- Parking your car as far from the door to your building as possible
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
- Walking to work or bus/train station. Perhaps walking to the next bus stop
- Standing and stretching at your desk every 30-60 minutes.
Use your creativity and find an activity that works for you. Taking the dog for a walk twice a day may be all that you need. Taking your kids for a walk or push in the stroller may be enough. Working in the garden or the yard also counts.
Check out National Physical Activity Plan for more information on how you can get involved and what you can do to change your life.
Live well my friends!
© 2014 andrew nagelin