Move More: The More You Do, the Better for You

— Written By Rosemary Crumb-Pipkin and last updated by

Moving more throughout the day is a good starting point, but we need to do more to reach the minimum daily physical activity recommendation for good health. Adults need to get a total of 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity. This means we need at least 30 minutes most days of the week for overall good health. Children and adolescents need at least 60 minutes of play with moderate to vigorous activity every day. Encourage your children to participate in a variety of activities such as hopping, running, skipping, and playing on the playground.

Physical activity is not an all or nothing thing. We usually think of spending hours in the gym or running when we think of physical activity. Those are not the only ways to be active. You are in control of how much you do. This means you are in control of how great you will feel. Making small changes in the amount of physical activity we get can help us feel better, look better, sleep better, as well as help prevent many diseases. Even if we are busy and don’t have big blocks of time, we can make active choices to improve our health. Set small goals and add minutes and other activities to these goals over time. You can set goals to increase your daily physical activity by:

  • Starting with small goals.
  • Planning time for physical activity every day.
  • Including a variety of activities.
  • Gradually increasing activity to reach your goals.

Remember that it’s a good idea to check with your doctor when you start to become more physically active. The important thing is to make a commitment to move more every day by making active choices. Some ways to move more everyday are to:

  • Play outside with your children.
  • Park farther away.
  • Take the stairs.
  • Choose active toys for children.
  • Dance to a good song.
  • Wash your car.
  • Turn off the TV and do something active together as a family.
  • Work in the garden.
  • Walk with the children after school.

Also, when we choose to have a more physically active lifestyle, it’s important to start out slowly. Don’t try to do too much, too fast! It is important to be safe while we’re being physically active. Here are a few simple tips that can help us be much safer:

  • Everyone should wear a helmet when riding a bike or skating.
  • Wear sunscreen, a hat, or both.
  • If you are going to be around traffic, wear light colors so you will be more visible.
  • Drink plenty of water no matter what the temperature.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.” Think about how wise Ben was – this saying is every bit as valuable today as it was over 200 years ago.

For more information, please contact Rosemary Crumb-Pipkin, Extension Adult Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Assistant with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, at 671-3276, by E-mail at, or visit our website at 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.