Mowing the lawn is one way to get exercise. *File photo
Mowing the lawn is one way to get exercise. *File photo

May 10th is Move for Health Day and we owe it to ourselves to become more active in order to have full, quality lives.  Exercise significantly reduces health care expenses and it’s also a great way to have fun with friends or make new ones.

The use of universal remote controls and vehicles encourage inactivity but you can improve your fitness by changing your routine just slightly.  If you decide to watch an episode of The Voice, do some strength exercises and stretch during the commercials.  Parking a five minute walk from your destination is also beneficial.  These are a couple of low-cost options that allow you to move more without much effort.   

 Adding a little movement to your life is a great way to improve the health of your heart; it reduces the risk of diabetes and makes your bones and muscles stronger.  Physical activity reduces stress, it builds confidence and it is rewarding.  School children and workers benefit from exercise since it helps them sleep and concentrate better.   Greater performance has economic benefits for individuals and the island.   Take a moment right now to consider a small step that you can do to become more physically active.

The data reflects that Bermuda needs to move more.  Two thirds of our adults are living above normal  weights and the same is for 1 out of 3 children between the ages of 5 and 10.  Unhealthy body weight is a serious health concern and it leads to a host of other medical problems.

There are lots of fun things that we can do collectively to encourage more activity.   Our island will become physically and socially healthier if we schedule in a team sport or playtime with the family.  Activities like swimming or kicking a football strengthens relationships and allows you to enjoy nature.  If you want something more energetic, consider going for a jog while your young person rides their bicycle on the Railway trail.  Remember to maintain healthy body weights, children and teens need at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity, and adults need to exercise for 30 minutes at least three times a week. 

Creating a healthier lifestyle doesn’t have to mean drastic changes.  In fact, drastic changes almost always lead to failure.   Figure out some 10-minute sessions that you can adopt and add them to your weekly exercise plan.  We can also encourage our families, homes, schools, and jobs to create environments that help us become more active.   Bermuda live up to the challenge and join us in moving for our health today!

10-Minute Session Ideas:

Sweep or vacuum the house

Download stretch breaks software and do them

Use resistance bands during conference calls

Garden

Keep flats nearby and walk whenever possible

Use a central copier and trash can

Mow the lawn

Play the drums

Take the stairs

Pedal to work

 

Lynniece Nisbett Garnett MPH is an officer in the Sustainable Development Department in the Ministry of Environment and Planning.  Virloy Lewin Ed.D., MPH is the Health Promotion Coordinator for the Department of Health in the Ministry of Health and Seniors.  For more information about sustainable development and the Well Bermuda Strategy visit www.sdbermuda.bm  or www.gov.bm .