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Physical activity is key to your healthy lifestyle

February 3, 2013
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Thousands of Iowans resolved to get fit and healthy in 2013. If leading a healthier lifestyle was one of your new year's resolutions, the Iowa Department of Public Health wants to help you ensure it wasn't just a fleeting thought.

"Adults need a combination of aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening exercises to stay healthy," said Dennis Haney, Community Health Consultant in the Bureau of Nutrition and Health Promotion at IDPH. "Adults should get at least two hours and 30 minutes each week of aerobic physical activity that requires moderate effort or one hour and 15 minutes each week of aerobic physical activity that requires vigorous effort." Adults need to do aerobic activity in periods as short as ten minutes for health benefits.

Some examples of different activities are:

Moderate aerobic activity includes walking briskly, biking slowly, or dancing.

Vigorous aerobic activity includes race walking, jogging, or running, or biking fast.

Muscle strengthening activities should be done at least two days per week and include things like push-ups, lifting weights, or using resistance bands.

For many people, just starting an exercise routine is the hardest part. According to Haney, picking a physical activity that you enjoy and fits your needs makes it easier to ease into. "It also helps to find a time that works best for your schedule whether that's before work or after school you decide!"

Once you've begun your new routine, following through with it can be a challenge. Having an exercise buddy to help you keep up with your physical activity plan is a great way to stick with it. You can also change up your routine or scenery to keep things new and exciting.

No one said this was going to be easy! If you need a little motivational boost, why not sign up for the Live Healthy Iowa 10-Week Wellness Challenge to help you stay on track? Register at



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