Being active for 30 minutes a day can help you stay in shape, maintain your weight, and feel great. So take the stairs, park further away, go for a walk – just move!
Moving More Everyday
Moving more everyday helps lower your risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, problems with your heart, and some types of cancer. It can also help with stress, weight loss, and feeling great.
To take care of your health, the CDC recommends either:
- A total of 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate activity each week, or
- A total of 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) of vigorous activity each week.
Sound like a lot? The good news is that you can spread this activity out during the week so you don't have to do it all at once. You can even break it into smaller, 10-minute chunks of time.
To lose weight, combine a healthy diet with at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every day. In addition, add muscle-strengthening activities two times a week.
How Do I Know if An Activity is Moderate or Vigorous?
Try the "talk test."
A person who is doing moderate activity should be able to talk, but shouldn't be able to sing. These usually include activities like biking or walking.
If a person is too out of breath to carry on a conversation, the activity is vigorous. Vigorous activities include running, jogging, or playing a sport like basketball or tennis.
You Don't Need A Gym Membership!
There are simple activities you and your family can fit into your busy schedules.
- Dance to your favorite music.
- Be active while watching TV. Use a stationary bike, treadmill, stair climber, or small weights.
- No equipment? Pilates, yoga, and tai chi are great for toning, balance, and flexibility.
- Stretch, stretch, stretch!
- Play games with the family. Shoot hoops, jump rope, or play tag.
- Walk your kids to school or volunteer to chaperone a Walking School Bus.
- Take family walks after dinner.
- Go for a run or ride your bike.
- Walk to the grocery store and to other errands whenever you can.
- Plant a garden or mow the lawn.
- Try a new activity like tennis or hiking.
- Weymouth has a ton of parks, forests, and other recreation lands. Explore them all! Find them here.
Children need at least 60 minute of physical activity each day. Being active can help your child perform better in school, sleep better at night, reach a healthy weight, and grow strong bones and muscles.
Helping your child move more isn’t always easy. But teaching them early in life will help them develop healthy behaviors that will last forever.
Go on walks together, visit a playground, or get your child’s heart rate up by dancing, riding bikes, or jumping rope. You can even break activities into smaller periods of 10-20 minutes throughout the day.
Explore State Parks
The Massachusetts state park system has locations for all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you're looking to camp under the stars, hike a mountain, or fish for trout, there's something for you.
Find a heart healthy trail
There are over 70 Heart Healthy Trails designated across the state park system. These trails offer a low cost and fun way to be physically active. Find a trail here.
Heart Healthy Trails are marked by a green heart at each trailhead. Trails measure from one to two miles in length and are easy to moderate in difficulty.
Move more by visiting a Heart Healthy Trail in Weymouth or exploring other parks and trails across the state. Use this chart to keep track of your walks and try reaching the goal of 75 miles walked by Labor Day.
Explore the Coast
The Massachusetts Coast Guide includes nearly 400 public access sites from Salisbury to Hingham - ranging from expansive beaches to out-of-the-way scenic vistas. These sites offer a low cost and fun way to be physically active.
While currently out of print, links to the Coast Guide's South Shore maps and site descriptions are provided below. Find current maps covering the entire Massachusetts coastline here.
Getting Past Your Barriers
There are all kinds of reasons that keep us from being active.
If You Feel You Don't Have the Time...
- Think of any free time you have during your day. Keep track of your daily activities for one week and notice when you have 20 or 30 minute time slots you could use to be more active.
- Add physical activity into your daily routine:
- Walk or bike to work or errands.
- Walk the dog.
- Be active while you watch TV.
- Park far away from the place you're driving to.
- Take stairs instead of the elevator.
If You Need More Support From Family and Friends...
- Tell them that you want to be more active. Ask them to support and encourage you.
- Invite friends or family members to work out with you, or plan events that involve being more active.
- Develop friendships with people who are already active. Join a group, such as the YMCA.
- Find a hiking or walking club.
If You Think You Don't Have the Skills...
- Choose activities that are easy, and require no new skills: walking, climbing stairs, or using a stationery bike.
- Take a class to develop new skills or learn a new sport.
If You Don't Feel Motivated...
- Plan ahead and write it into your schedule.
- Invite a friend to work out with you on a regular basis.
- Join an exercise group or class - sometimes it's easier to attend a class than to work out by yourself.
If You Don't Have the Resources You Think You Need...
- Choose activities that don't require going to a gym or using a lot of equipment: hiking, biking, yoga, or tai chi.
- Look for cheap, easy resources available in your community, such as park and recreation programs or senior center programs.