Get Moving and Improve Your Health

Leading a healthy lifestyle at any age can help with prevention or management of chronic diseases and improve quality of life. A nutritious diet and getting the recommended amount of physical activity are important steps to achieving a healthy lifestyle. Increased movement can improve your mood, lead to better sleep, help you focus, and even reduce stress. Physical activity can be incorporated into simple aspects of your everyday life, such as daily household chores. According to CDC recommendations, adults should be participating in 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity, as well as muscle strengthening at least twice a week. If you have a chronic condition, or it’s been a long time since you exercised, talk to your healthcare provider before starting to incorporate more physical activity. Don’t be concerned about starting slow- even adding 5 more minutes of activity can have health benefits.
What does moderate and vigorous physical activity look like? If you’re breathing hard, but can still have a conversation, that’s moderate physical activity. If you’re breathing hard and can only say a few words, that’s vigorous physical activity.

Examples of moderate physical activity include:

  • A brisk walk
  • Dancing
  • Riding a bike on level ground
  • Gardening, raking the lawn, or using a push mower
  • Vacuuming, washing windows, or mopping

Examples of vigorous physical activity include:

  • Running or jogging
  •  Swimming laps
  • Jumping rope
  • Heavy yardwork, like digging
  • Hiking uphill, or with a heavy backpack

Hiking gives you a chance to explore and enjoy nature while improving your health. There are many scenic places to explore in Putnam County, including the Appalachian trail, which runs through Garrison, Putnam Valley, and Kent. To plan for a hike, visit https://appalachiantrail.org/explore. If you’re looking for a touch of history, look no further than the West Point Foundry in Cold Spring. This National Historic Landmark has trails that can be accompanied by an audio tour: https://foundrytour.org.

When preparing for your trip, make sure to pack a map, plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen. Reduce risk for tick and mosquito bites by using EPA-registered insect repellents according to the package directions and by wearing clothing treated with permethrin. After anytime spent outdoors, make sure to check your whole body for ticks. They can hide in armpits, behind the knees, in the hair, and in the groin. If you find a tick, remove it as soon as possible by using fine-tipped tweezers, grasping as close to the skin as possible and pulling away from the skin.