This past week the US Department of Health and Human Services announced that "less than a third of Americans, and only one in five teenagers, meet new physical fitness guidelines issued by the federal government."
The guidelines suggest "adults to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity and two sessions of muscle-strengthening activity each week. Children ages 6 through 17 should get at least 60 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per day and three sessions of muscle-strengthening per week."
We all know we should be doing better.
We should be doing better for our bodies and exercising on a daily basis. These guidelines are not outlandish. In fact, 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity works out to only 21 minutes per day.
The problem isn't only that Americans are skipping out on intentional physical fitness though. Rather the problem is that we're skipping out on movement altogether.
While the United States isn't the only country that makes it easy to go throughout the day with little to no movement, we are definitely paving the way for stationary living.
Whether it be the moving strips at the airport, groceries delivered to your door, or the typical American routine (bed to car to desk to car to couch to bed), we live in a society determined to make life easy and effortless.
But it doesn't have to be this way. We can choose to be active.
It starts with getting back to the basics, and it starts with walking.
Choose to walk at the airport and push your cart through the aisles at the grocery store. If you live close to your office, choose to bike or walk to your job. Even if you have to drive, take a walk on your lunch break to get the blood flowing and your body moving. Choose stairs over elevators. Walk your dog before work instead of hiring someone else to do it. Get outside on the weekends.
Through little choices, we can keep our bodies moving throughout the day and become healthier, more physically active people. Maybe then we can even reverse the alarming statistic that less than a third of us are meeting (low-bar) fitness guidelines. But we gotta start with moving.