By: Tamika McLean, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Assistant
N.C. Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center
Every sunny day in my neighborhood while growing up, children played outside until the street lights came on. Laughter and joy filled the air as we played hide and seek, 1-2-3 red light, freeze tag, and rode our bikes up and down the streets. As years have gone by, times have changed. Video games and electronics have taken children from outside to inside on the couch. Even most adults do not take time to incorporate physical activity in their everyday lives. What does it mean to be physically active, and how can we get more of it?
Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that require energy expenditure. Regular moderate intensity physical activity, such as walking, cycling, or participating in sports, has significant benefits for health. For instance, it can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, depression, diabetes, as well as colon and breast cancer. Whether at work or home, there are many simple activities that will increase physical activity, such as taking a walk, parking further away, taking the stairs, choosing active toys for children, turning off the TV to do something as a family, or gardening. Even creating a walking group at work or in your neighborhood is a good way to get others involved for support and encouragement as well. Physical activity should not be thought of as another chore but as fun and enjoyment for you and your family. Take advantage of the next bright and sunny day. Go outside with your family and get active!
For more information, please contact Tamika McLean, Extension Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Assistant (EFNEP) with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, at 671-3276, by E-mail at Tamika_McLean@ncsu.edu, or visit our website at http://robeson.ces.ncsu.edu/. North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status, or disability. In addition, the two Universities welcome all persons without regard to sexual orientation.