Courtesy Activate Allen County
Regular physical activity can produce long term health benefits. People of all ages, shapes, sizes, and abilities can benefit from being physically active. The more physical activity you do, the greater the health benefits.
Being physically active can help you:
- Increase your chances of living longer
- Feel better about yourself
- Decrease your chances of becoming depressed
- Sleep well at night
- Move around more easily
- Have stronger muscles and bones
- Stay at or get to a healthy weight
- Enjoy yourself and have fun
Physical activity and nutrition work together for better health.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that children and adolescents aged 6-17 years should have 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of physical activity each day.
It is important to encourage young people to participate in physical activities that are appropriate for their age, that are enjoyable, and that offer variety.
For important health benefits it is recommended that adults get at least:
- 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) every week and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).
- 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., jogging or running) every week and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).
There are many great opportunities in our region to enjoy physical activity this winter:
- Sledding/snow tubing: Head to one of Allen County’s parks or sledding hills with a sled or inner tube and ride on down the slope. Climbing a hill with your sled in tow offers plenty of exercise and your kids won’t even know it. If you don’t have a sled, don’t fret. No high-end, fancy sleds needed (although those are fine too), a simple inner tube works great!
- Skiing and snowboarding: Head to Mad River Mountain and strap on your skis or snowboard. Winding down slopes is a full-body exercise for your kids and works their balance, coordination, and core, arm, and leg muscles.
- Snowshoeing: Dress warm and explore the local wilderness. Check out Johnny Appleseed Metro Parks and Ohio state for trails.
- Build a snowman: Or make a whole family of snowmen and women. Rolling up balls of snow is sure to work out your kids’ arms, legs, and imaginations. Top it all off with a carrot nose, scarf, and top hat.
- Neighborhood stroll: You can get better acquainted with your neighborhood and enjoy some brisk exercise all at once.
- Free play: If all else fails, let your kids have unbridled free play in the snow. They can create snow castles or forts, play their favorite summertime sports (with a twist), or imagine and act out grand, epic stories. As long as they’re having fun and not lazing about idly inside, your kids are doing enough to stay fit.
- Shovel the driveway: At the end of all that snow play, you can incorporate even more physical activity by having your kids shovel the driveway and front walkway. Chores are chores. Treat them to some healthy snacks when they’ve finished.
- Indoor fun: If the outsides are looking a little too harrowing, take the fun inside. There are a whole host of things you can do inside to stay active, or take the family over to the gym for indoor versions of your favorite sports, including swimming, soccer, and basketball.