Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals | Kathy Kliebert, Secretary

Statewide Initiatives

211 - Get Connected. Get Answers.

Get Moving - Physical Activity

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, doing some kind of moderate physical activity for a total of 30-40 minutes a day, most days a week, will make a big difference in reducing your heard disease and stroke risk. Here are some other benefits of exercise:

  • Reduces the risk of high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes, and obesity
  • Reduces both total blood cholesterol and triglycerides and increases high-density lipoproteins, known as the "good" cholesterol
  • Reduces the risk of a second heart attack
  • Reduces the risk of developing colon cancer
  • Contributes to mental well-being and helps to treat depression
  • Helps relieve stress and anxiety
  • Increases energy and endurance
  • Helps maintain a normal weight by increasing metabolism (the rate at which you burn calories)
  • Helps you to sleep better
  • Keeps joints, tendons, and ligaments flexible so its easier to move around
  • Reduces some of the effects of aging
  • Helps older adults become stronger and better able to move about without falling or becoming excessively fatigued

Source: Pennington Biomedical Center

If... Then...
You do not currently engage in regular physical activity, you should begin by incorporating a few minutes of physical activity into each day, gradually building up to 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity activities.
You are now active, but at less than the recommended levels, you should strive to adopt more consistent activity:
You currently engage in moderate-intensity activities for at least 30 minutes on 5 or more days of the week, you may achieve even greater health benefits by increasing the time spent or intensity of those activities.
You currently regularly engage in vigorous-intensity activities 20 minutes or more on 3 or more days of the week, you should continue to do so.

*Moderate-intensity physical activity: Any activity that burns 3.5 to 7 Calories per minute (kcal/min) (Ainsworth et al., 2000). These levels are equal to the effort a healthy individual might burn while walking briskly, mowing the lawn, dancing, swimming for recreation, or bicycling.

**Vigorous-intensity physical activity: Any activity that burns more than 7 Calories per minute (kcal/min) (Ainsworth et al., 2000). These levels are equal to the effort a healthy individual might burn while jogging, engaging in heavy yard work, participating in high-impact aerobic dancing, swimming continuous laps, or bicycling uphill.

Tips for Being Physically Active

  • Walk, cycle, jog, skate, etc., to work, school, the store, or place of worship.
  • Park the car farther away from your destination.
  • Get on or off the bus several blocks away.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
  • Play with children or pets. Everybody wins. If you find it too difficult to be active after work, try it before work.
  • Take fitness breaks-walking or doing desk exercises-instead of taking cigarette or coffee breaks.
  • Perform gardening or home repair activities.
  • Avoid labor-saving devices-turn off the self-propel option on your lawn mower or vacuum cleaner.
  • Use leg power-take small trips on foot to get your body moving.
  • Exercise while watching TV (for example, use hand weights, stationary bicycle/treadmill/stairclimber, or stretch).
  • Dance to music.
  • Keep a pair of comfortable walking or running shoes in your car and office. You'll be ready for activity wherever you go!
  • Make a Saturday morning walk a group habit.
  • Walk while doing errands.

Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention - Physical Activity for Everyone

Be sure to exercise safely!!