Be Active Your Way In May!
Margo Kerrigan, M.P.H., Area Director
Indian Health Service California Area Office
The month of May celebrates physical fitness and sports, high blood pressure education, women's health, employee health, and better sleep. All these share physical activity as a supporting factor. Being physically active on most days can help maintain a healthy weight, support good eating habits, control stress and blood pressure, and promote better sleep. Being physically fit means being able to function effectively throughout the day, perform your usual activities, and have enough energy left over to handle any extra stress or emergency that may arise. Physical fitness supports good body composition, and too much body fat can reduce sports performance and negatively impact health.
Three key components of physical fitness are:
- Aerobic exercise; which helps oxygen and nutrients reach the cells and take waste away.
- Strength training; which helps build and maintain muscles, important at any age.
- Flexibility; which includes stretching and helps joints move, also important at any age.
Three national resources supporting fitness are, the Just Move It campaign, President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, and the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. The Just Move It campaign promotes physical activity for American Indians and Alaska Natives. Its website connects communities across the country, provides ideas on how to start an activity, and promotes the sharing of resources, stories and events. The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports provides online health, physical activity, fitness, sports information. It provides ideas on how to start a program, and stay active for life. The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans describes the types and amounts of physical activity that provide substantial health benefits to Americans.
Simply stated, being active your way means striving to be as active as you can on most days. This is a central piece of balancing life, promoting wellness, and the benefits include:
- Weight Control
- Cardiovascular disease risk reduction
- Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome risk reduction
- Risk reduction of some cancers
- Increase bone and muscle strength
- Reduction of daily stress
- Improved mental health and mood
- Ability to do daily activities
- Healthy sleeping patterns
- Increase chances of living longer!
For more information visit:
Just Move It, http://www.justmoveit.org
President's Council of Physical Activity, http://www.fitness.gov
The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/
National Women's Health Information Center, http://www.womenshealth.gov/whw/
NHLBI, Guide to Lowering Blood Pressure, http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/hbp/
Office of Personnel Management - Healthier Feds, http://www.healthierfeds.opm.gov/
HHS Disease Prevention/Health Promotion- Healthier U.S., http://www.healthierus.gov/
California Area IHS Web page on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention http://www.ihs.gov/FacilitiesServices/AreaOffices/California/Universal/PageMain.cfm?p=68