Give yourself – and your kids – a minute to get active

Work. Meetings. School. With our hectic schedules these days, it might seem as though getting the required amount of recommended weekly activity is almost impossible.

But as it turns out, it might be easier than you think.

A new study published by the American Journal of Health Promotion suggests that every single minute of movement actually counts towards the requisite minutes of activity recommended — 60 minutes per day for kids, and 150 minutes per week for adults — especially if it’s brisk activity.

Researchers at the University of Utah have discovered that even brief periods of intense physical activity can have enormous health benefits for controlling body mass and weight. But the benefits of vigorous activity don’t stop there.

For kids, it helps promote cardiovascular, bone, and muscle fitness. Adults, meanwhile, receive all those same benefits, plus many others, including decreased likelihood of developing diabetes or cancer. Intense physical exercise has even been shown to chase away the blues, no matter your age.

The key finding of the new study is that the intensity of the activity actually matters more than the duration. ‘Intense’ means moving with a little pep, enough to get your heart rate going. “The idea here,” according to Jessie X. Fan, professor of family and consumer studies at the University of Utah, “is you can do a minute at a time and that’s not a problem.”

That sounds like something we can all manage. So whether you’ve only got 1 minute, or 10, we’ve come up with a list of creative ways to help your kids stay active throughout the day!

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