America on the Move Month: Making Exercise Part of Your Free Time

by Jason 9/13/2012 2:43 PM

It’s “America on the Move Month,” a month dedicated to improving the overall health of Americans. And as you probably know, Americans’ waistlines are expanding at an alarmingly fast pace. The effects of our extra weight have decreased overall health for many Americans.

Obesity is linked to several general health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and diabetes. Now for the surprising part; your oral health also suffers as a result of obesity. Not only is there a link between gum disease and obesity, obesity is actually a risk factor for periodontal diseases. This means that gum disease can be a direct result of being obese.

So clearly there is a big need for Americans to make wise decisions about eating and physical activity every day. And it sounds simple enough to do, but in today's hectic world too many people see their best intentions lose out to other daily demands.

However, research shows that small, specific changes in food and physical activity behaviors have positive effects on your health and stopping weight gain. Start by making incremental changes that you can stick with for the long term, such as adding 2,000 extra steps to your daily routine and eating 100 fewer calories each day.

So, with the knowledge that small changes can mean big changes, we wanted to review some exercises that are easy enough to incorporate into your life, no gym pass or Stairmaster required.

1) Head to one of the many Missouri lakes or rivers and paddle or swim around. You will be amazed at how many calories swimming will burn.

2) Visit the zoo. Walking around the zoo is as good as walking around a track.

3) Go camping. Setting up the tent and building a fire will burn calories that sitting at home watching TV won’t.

4) Go shopping. It will be exercise and retail therapy all in one day.

5) Plant a garden. Besides burning a ton of calories, using your home-grown veggies for dinner is much healthier than drive-thru food.

Making a personal commitment to replace one night of watching TV with one night of these fun and healthy activities will have great effects on your health and your waistline. So, get out there Missouri and join the “America on the Move” movement.

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