Fit Tip #4: Just Move It! Creating a Physically Active Campus Community
The human body needs physical activity just to be healthy. You might not realize it, but your body craves movement - and we deprive it of everyday by sitting at our desks for hours on end. So how much is enough? And how do we work our workouts into our workdays?
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) highlights the fact that adults need a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity (PA) per week. That’s about 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. If you push a little harder, 75 minutes of vigorous PA is all that you need. But more is usually better: getting up to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity or 150 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week can help prevent weight gain, improve your fitness level and provide added health benefits.
Moderate PA is defined as activity that raises your heart rate and breathing rate, but is still easy enough for you to carry on a conversation with a co-worker. Examples are: brisk walking, cycling, social dancing or playing doubles tennis. To test yourself, try singing. If you can’t carry a tune, but you can still talk, it’s moderate.
Vigorous PA is defined as activity that raises your heart rate and breathing rate a lot, and is usually strenuous. Examples are: running, walking quickly upstairs, jumping rope or hiking. If you can’t recite the pledge of allegiance or a familiar poem without pausing in-between sentences for a breath, then the activity is vigorous.
Does this mean I have to get on a treadmill and sweat for half an hour every day?
Nope! In fact, you can break up your physical activity into 10-minute bouts, 3 times a day. This could mean simply parking farther away, walking on your lunch break and then taking the dog for a stroll when you get home. In fact, here are a few ways you can be physically active right here at GCC.
Be on the lookout for moving vehicles when walking through parking lots. If no sidewalk is available, you should walk opposite to the direction of traffic so that you can see it clearly.
For more information on the CDC physical activity recommendations, visit www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity