Getting fit is not just a popular New Year’s resolution; it is something we need to think about every day. Fitness is critical to the readiness, mental and physical health and productivity of our service members, but it is just as beneficial to those who are not in uniform.
Today is a perfect time for you and your family to start a regular exercise program and embrace the benefits of being physically fit. Staying physically fit can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other diseases, and regular activity will help you lose and maintain a healthy weight.
Before starting an exercise program, be sure to check in with your primary care provider. Visiting your provider is an important step to take if you are pregnant, or if you have medical problems, such as heart disease. Your provider will help determine the right amount of activity for you based on your personal condition.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend 30 minutes of daily physical activity for adults and 60 minutes for children. Many everyday activities provide opportunities for being more active. Daily doses of activity include walking, cycling or skating to work or school, parking the car further from your destination, taking stairs instead of elevators and taking exercise breaks instead of cigarette or coffee breaks. Remember, some physical activity is better than none and adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits.
Set realistic goals and stay on track by planning a step-by-step approach, setting specific targets and keeping track of daily achievements. These steps can help ensure you reach your goals.
You can learn more about how to get fit at www.tricare.mil/healthyliving. Another great resource is the “Let’s Move” program, led by First Lady Michelle Obama and endorsed by the Department of Defense. The focus is to help kids be more active, eat better and grow up healthy. For more information visit www.letsmove.gov.
It’s never too late to begin an exercise program so please join in taking the first step to healthier living.