Let’s Get People Moving!

Exercise is so important to health, yet most Americans lead sedentary lives and only 20% of adults and adolescents meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

Here are some ways you can promote physical activity to your clients, students, or employees:

  1. All ages benefit. From preschoolers to octagenarians, movement makes a difference. Tailor your message to the age group you’re working with.
    • The Move Your Way campaign has free materials like short videos, social media messages, graphics, and GIFs (many in Spanish) that target different populations, including adults, older adults, parents and kids, and pregnant/postpartum women.
  2. Any movement counts. Simply sitting less is a step in the right direction and has benefits. The same goes for the movement you do while cleaning the house or playing with the kids.
    • Be Active Everyday Your Own Way is a simple handout with guidance for kids and adults. It also shows that everyday activities like walking the dog and washing dishes counts as movement.
    • Home Exercise poster is a light-hearted reminder that you don’t need to join a gym or run a marathon. You can get movement throughout your day and in the comfort of your own home.
  3. Take advantage of transitions. Going back to the office after working from home due to the pandemic is a great time to start a new exercise habit. The same goes for other life transitions like having a baby or starting a new school year.
  4. Find a health motivator. Exercise has so many immediate and long-term benefits that everyone is bound to relate to at least one of them.
    • Not sleeping well? Diagnosed with high blood pressure? Dealing with anxiety? Physical activity has immediate effects on these issues.
    • Worried about your risk of developing cancer, diabetes, depression, or dementia? Physical activity has long-term effects on these conditions (and many more!).
    • 3 Prong Exercise Plan to Stop Prediabetes is an example of targeting a health condition many folks might be worrying about.
  5. Manage a health condition. Exercise can help…
    • Decrease pain for those with osteoarthritis.
    • Reduce disease progression for hypertension and type 2 diabetes.
    • Reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
    • Improve cognition for those with dementia, multiple sclerosis, ADHD, and Parkinson’s disease.

Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD

 

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updated on 10-16-2021