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Gov’t makes it easier to be healthy

In our society of SUVs, TVs, Xbox’s, computers and fast food, staying fit seems a more difficult task each day.

Vehicles long ago replaced any mode of transportation that requires more physical activity than stepping on a gas pedal. Kids, and even adults, spend more time sitting in front of a television screen or a computer monitor than they do outside. And carefully prepared meals taken with friends and family have lost ground to greasy burgers and fries taken in the car whenever 10 minutes are available.

It all adds up to a bunch of unhealthy and, by extension, unhappy people. It’s no secret that regular exercise makes one feel better, but there just never seems to be any time for a walk or any other physical activity.

That’s the problem addressed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines. Basically, the guidelines found that speaking out loud three times a day the full name of the guidelines burns 1,500 calories a day. So, say it with me, “U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines.” Ahhh, don’t you feel better?

Just kidding about that – though I don’t see why exercising your mouth isn’t just as important as any other body part – but the guidelines are important for Americans to consider. The basic idea is that some physical activity is better than none, news editor Scott Mims reported on Sunday, and exercise can be done in small increments – even while you are working.

“Americans are pretty hurried living their daily lives,” said Laurie Eldridge-Auffant, health behavior specialist with the Nutrition and Physical Activity Division of the Alabama Department of Public Health. “The great thing about these new guidelines is that you can get physical activity in throughout the day. These are the first guidelines issued by the federal government that say the best time for physical activity is what works into your own schedule.”

Eldridge-Auffant mentions as an example taking a break and walking around the building. I’m sure you can come up with several approaches, also. The important thing is that we take control of our own health. You can find out how by visiting http://www.health.gov/PAGuidelines.