Americans young and old should incorporate regular physical activity into their everyday lives. This does not necessarily mean joining an expensive gym or committing to a rigorous exercise or training routine. It is sufficient to choose activities that fit into your daily routine that speed your heart rate and breathing, or increase your strength and flexibility. Examples include walking to work, gardening, taking extra stairs, or mowing the lawn with a push mower. Besides building strength and aerobic fitness, regular exercise relieves stress, provides motivation, promotes relaxation, and facilitates sleep. Such activity reduces the risk of dying of coronary heart disease and decreases the risk for colon cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Regular physical activity is important throughout life. Healthy lifestyles are more influential than genetic factors in avoiding deterioration traditionally associated with aging. The growing number of older Americans places increasing demands on the public health system and on medical and social services. Currently, almost one-third of total U.S. health care expenditures are for older adults. These expenditures are largely due to treatment and care of chronic diseases, and the cost associated with many of these conditions could be reduced through regular physical activity.
For children, almost any physical activity is sufficient as long as they are moving. Playing actively or participating in athletic or physical fitness activities during school, running, biking, jumping rope, and dancing- instead of watching television or playing video games- all provide children with the kinds of activity they need.
Nutrition and Physical Activity
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Additional Government Health Sites:
Run by the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, this site updates the public on the Council's fitness promotion activities and serves as a comprehensive resource for organizations and individuals wishing to take part in the Council's awards programs. Here you can also view Council members' bios.
Based on two years of market research and development with teachers, students, scientists, and communications professionals, this Body and Mind (BAM) site is an interactive tool for adolescents, providing up-to-date information and encouragement to increase their level of physical activity and establish fitness habits that will stay with them for life.
VERB It's what you do.
VERB It's what you do. is a national, multicultural, social marketing campaign coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Visit the tween site for ideas to encourage young people ages 9-13 (tweens) to be physically active every day.
A partnership among Federal land management agencies to provide an easy-to-use web site with information about all federal recreation areas. The site allows you to search for recreation areas by state, by recreational activity, by agency, or by map.
healthfinder® is a free guide to reliable consumer health information, developed by the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies. This site links to carefully selected information and Web sites from over 1,700 health-related government agencies and not-for-profit organizations, includes many online checkups, and offers daily health news in English and Spanish.
The National Women's Health Information Center (NWHIC) is a service of the Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health. The NWHIC Web site at 4woman.gov provides a gateway to women's health information resources developed by the Department of Health and Human Services, other Federal agencies, and private sector resources and covers over 800 topics.
This site provides easily accessible government information on nutrition, healthy eating, and food safety. Providing accurate scientific information on nutrition and dietary guidance is critical to the public's ability to make the right choices in the effort to curb obesity and other food related diseases