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More American adults are becoming sedentary

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According to a report released by the Physical Activity Council one million more American adults slipped into a sedentary lifestyle in 2011—a trend that is fueling the obesity epidemic.

Utah and other states have initiated programs to increase activity among residents. The Physical Activity, Nutrition and Obesity Program administered by the Utah Department of Health aims to reduce obesity and increase physical activity and nutrition among Utahns. The website offers numerous tips to incorporate more physical activity for all ages.

We Can! is a collaboration between the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the National Cancer Institute that aims to enhance the activity and nutrition of American children.

Evidently, children are listening to these messages while adults choose to ignore. The study from the Physical Activity Council also revealed that 100,000 children aged 6 to 12 increased their physical activity during 2011, suggesting initiatives are taking effect among the younger generation.

The study noted that fitness sports remained the most popular physical activity, with activities like yoga and boot camp-style training driving this set of activities. The inactivity rate of most states was over 18 percent. Northern and western states had the most active populations, while southern states were more inactive.

Physical inactivity is associated with a range of diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer and depression. The current physical activity recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control are 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and two or more days of resistance training every week. You can cut your aerobic training in half if it is vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Even better turn 20 minutes a day into hours of fat burning with high-intensity interval training.

In addition to a regular exercise program it is easy to incorporate behaviors that add physical activity to your normal daily routine. Try these five simple ways:

  • Take the stairs whenever possible.
  • When you go to work, school or a store, park in a stall furthest from the door.
  • Clean your home, wash your car or work in your garden.
  • Walk the dog, or go for short walks with your spouse, friends or children.
  • Stretch or do calisthenics during commercial breaks while watching TV.

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