This week is Men’s Health Week (MHW), which is celebrated annually during the week preceding (and including) Father’s Day. MHW honors the importance of men’s health and wellness and was created by Congress in 1994 to heighten awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.
Chronic conditions associated with inactivity and obesity (i.e. diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer) continuously make headlines for their roles as leading killers. Sadly, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension – ailments primarily reserved for adults – are now common in children.
It’s no secret that kids can benefit from spending time with active, health-conscious adults. It’s our responsibility to help them learn early on that physical fitness can also be fun. Perhaps this Father’s Day is a time to commit to being an active parent? Whether it is a game of baseball, biking through your neighborhood or a visit to a local multigenerational playground, your energetic lifestyle can be an important stimulus for your child.
Curious just how much physical activity is enough? Consider these guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services:
Children and adolescents: Ages 6 and older need at least an hour a day of physical activity. Most of the hour should be either moderate or vigorous aerobic activity. In addition, children should participate in muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening activities at least three days a week. Many classic activities, such as playing on playground equipment and jumping rope, cover all the bases at once.
Adults: Most healthy adults need at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity, such as brisk walking or swimming, or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity, such as running — preferably spread throughout the week. Adults also need strength training exercises at least twice a week.
What are your favorite ways to get moving alone and with your children? How many minutes of exercise do you clock a week?