Beyond controlling weight, physical activity helps boost your sense of confidence and self-sufficiency. Being active also allows you to set a good example for kids and other loved ones in your life. Physical activity can improve health and lower risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression and some cancers. Physical activity also helps with improved academic and work success.
Physical activity can…
- Helps with weight control
- Reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease (heart disease)
- Reduces your risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
- Reduces your risk for some cancers (physically active people have a lower risk of colon cancer and breast cancer compared to people who are not active)
- Improves your mental health and mood
- Increases your chance of living longer
Physical activity recommendations from the CDC for each age group:
- Children (6 to 17 years old)
- Adults (18 to 64 years old)
- Older adults (65 and older)
- Pregnant or Postpartum Women
Free Activity Options
Staying active doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, it can be free! Here are a few simple activities you can do every day.
- Dance while brushing your teeth.
- Water bottles or soup cans make great substitutes for lifting weights.
- Go back to the basics with sit-ups, push-ups or wall sits.
- Commit to doing 5 sit-ups or push-ups for every hour of TV you watch.
- Load a laundry basket with clothes at make it into a weight lifting activity.
- Talk to your property manager or landlord about how to pool resources and/or organize activities for your housing community.
- Walk or ride your bike to work.
- Take the stairs. With permission, run or walk up and down stairwells in public buildings.
- Borrow a fitness VHS tape or DVD from a friend or family member. Ask them if they want to do it with you.
- Walk with a friend or create walking groups at your workplace.
- Walk to the grocery store (if you are able) or park your car at the back of the lot.
- Walk the dog and do it for five minutes longer, or better yet, take them out an extra time per day.
- Utilize the soccer field, basketball or tennis courts in a local park. There’s likely others looking for a quick pick-up game.
- Borrow a bike and helmet from a friend and treat yourself to the same fun you had as a child.
- Check out local walking maps to find new trails to walk with friends and family.
- Help out with some hands-on community service projects.
Low-Cost Activity Options
- Visit the local pool. Often the admission fee is minimal, and you can spend the day playing in the water.
- DVD-based exercise programs. Check out the options at your local library. Or keep your eyes open for a used DVD at the local thrift store or at a garage sale. Hopefully it’s a minimal cost, then all you need is yourself – and a little space to workout at home.
- Yoga or Pilates at home. Attend a group class at your nearby community center with a friend and commit to remembering or taking notes of the basic yoga moves. Then all you need is a yoga mat at home and you’re ready to go!
- App-based exercise programs. Check out apps like Daily Burn, Fitstar Personal Trainer, or even a free pedometer like Footsteps to track your steps.
Physical Activity in the Workplace
A workplace wellness program that includes a physical activity component can help maintain a healthier workforce. A healthier workforce can benefit from reduced direct costs associated with health care expenses. The workplace wellness program also has potential to increase employees’ productivity reduce absenteeism, and increase morale.
What we are doing to improve Grant County’s health:
Complete Streets: Currently we are working with communities to build roads and neighborhoods that are safe for all users, including pedestrians, cyclists, transit, motorist, and freight. One of our goals is to encourage cities to adopt Complete Streets policies. The goal is to create an environment that is safe for people to walk and bike to and from destinations safely, and for pedestrians to be more visible to motorized traffic. Check out 5 benefits to Complete Streets here.
Resources for information on Complete Streets:
Safe Routes to School: Safe Routes to School is a national and state program that encourages students to walk or bike to school. Funding is provided to qualified school districts or local governments to construct safe walking paths and provide education to students on safe walking and biking habits. GCHD assists local governments and school districts in applying for funding and implementing projects.
Local Cities and groups dedicated to active living:
Moses Lake Parks and Recreation
Moses Lake Trails Planning Team
Friends of the Lower Grand Coulee
Ephrata Parks and Recreation
Coulee Area Parks and Recreation District
Electric City Trails Planning Committee
Questions? Please call GCHD at 509-766-7960