Active Living means that you find ways to be physically active every day. Examples are taking the stairs at work or turning off the TV and going for a walk outdoors or going dancing. There are many reasons why active living is a good idea for you and your family. It’s fun to be active together as a family and with friends. Kids who are active keep busy out of school and learn better in school. Living an active lifestyle is a good way to meet new people, while making choices that will help keep your body healthy.

At Home

Active Living can be done in your house while cleaning, in you yard, and even while you are shopping. See below for some healthy living tips at home:

Shopping

You can incorporate active living into shopping, every step and bend counts towards a healthier body! Try mall walking. Mall walking is a great way to safely get your daily walk in. You won’t need to worry about cold weather, icy patches, or wind ruining your walk! Take a friend with you for company, and remember every step counts!

Cleaning

Create a new morning routine. Start your day with 10 minutes of cleaning. Some stretching and activity first thing in the morning can be better than caffeine. Sweeping, dusting, and vacuuming can be a great way to increase your heart rate, and you will have the benefits of a sparkling house! There are also a few things that you can do to make your chores a little easier on your body, like standing on a telephone book while washing and drying dishes. This provides extra cushioning and makes standing easier on your back. Try to start with as little as ten minutes, and gradually add minutes until you reach half an hour.

Cleaning /Stretching

Don’t forget to stretch after you clean. Here are a few tips:

  • Hold your stretches 8 to 20 seconds. The less flexible you are, the longer you will need to stretch the muscle.
  • Never ever bounce. Bouncing is for balls. For people, it can result in injuries.
  • Relax and breathe deeply as you stretch. Concentrate and focus. Some people like to close their eyes. Be sure that you feel the stretch where you’re supposed to feel it. It should never hurt.
  • Give priority to the muscles you used the most in your cleaning.

Child Care

Anyone who has a child knows that keeping up with them requires physical fitness! There are a few things that you can do to make this job a little easier:

  • Try to get half an hour to an hour of aerobic exercise daily
  • Try strength training activities such as bicep curls and squats
  • Include your children, by trying a mom and me yoga class

If you keep yourself fit, you will find that you do not have to catch your breath as often in a game of tag, or have trouble scooping your child up into your arms. Remember to include your children in your physical activity, not only are you benefiting from it, your children are seeing a great role model.

Outside

There are multiple ways to spend time outside and get physical activity around the home. Here are a few ideas:

  • Shoveling snow
  • Raking leaves
  • Planting flowers
  • Weeding
  • Pushing the lawn mower
  • Painting the deck or garden shed

Sun Protection

Energy from the sun sustains all life on earth. However, some forms of sun energy can be harmful to life. This includes the sun’s burning or ultraviolet (UV) rays, the rays that can cause sunburn and skin cancer. The earth’s ozone layer, a thin veil of gas high in the earth’s atmosphere, acts as our planet’s sunscreen. In the past few years, the ozone layer has become slightly thinner than it used to be. This means more of the sun’s UV rays can now reach the earth’s surface. Ultraviolet is a natural part of the sun’s rays, it has always been with us. We should have always been careful about spending too much time in the sun, even before any loss in the earth’s ozone layer. Sunburns are not the only consequence of too much sun. Over time, too many UV rays and repeated sunburns can cause:

  • Skin cancer
  • Premature aging of the skin
  • Weakening of the immune system, which reduces the body’s ability to fight diseases such as cancer Eye cataracts that could lead to blindness

So remember that in both the summer and winter, you need to apply sunscreen to you and your whole family before heading outdoors.

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