Physical activity options plenty

Tom Morris

“If physical activity could be put in the form of a pill, it would be the most highly prescribed medication in the world”, say the vast majority of health professionals. The Surgeon General has determined that lack of physical activity is detrimental to your health. Being physically active for as little as 30 minutes per day can decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease (heart attack and stroke), type II diabetes, colon-rectal cancer, breast cancer, osteoporosis, depression, low back pain and obesity.

Many people who understand the benefits associated with increasing their physical activity and want to increase their level in order to improve their health and wellness may ask, “What is the “best” type of activity to do?” The quickest answer to that question is: The best physical activity in the world is the one you enjoy doing; and, in turn, would most consistently do. When pressed for a more specific answer, I personally would suggest that walking is the ideal physical activity for the majority of Americans for numerous reasons. First, walking can be done anywhere and in pretty much any type of weather. Besides a good pair of athletic shoes, walking does not require expensive equipment or an expensive gym membership. Walking can be either an independent activity or a social activity performed with friends depending on your preference. Walking is considered a low-impact activity and will be less stressful on your joints as compared to other, more aggressive exercises. Walking is virtually an injury-free activity.

Walking for health can take many forms. The following are just a few examples:

• Walk to a nearby store or the post office to accomplish errands.

• Accompany your kids on their walk to school.

• Take your leashed dog for a walk.

• Walk around the house while talking on your cell phone.

• Take a family walk after dinner.

• Stroll around the field while watching your child’s sport event.

• Sign up for the “Get Moving Tucumcari” 3-mile fun run/walk event scheduled for Saturday, October 2, 2010.

•Train for the fun run/walk by using the simple-to-follow training program available from the Extension Office located in the Terry Turner Building.