Magazine article USA TODAY

Rewards of an Active Lifestyle. (Fitness)

Magazine article USA TODAY

Rewards of an Active Lifestyle. (Fitness)

Article excerpt

Ever wonder why you feel cranky, stressed, and sleepy? times, the cause is physical inactivity. Don't worry if you are marathon runner or aerobics isn't your thing. The slightest movements--even simple stretching--and applying variety, balance, and moderation to your food choices and physical activity habits help increase your stamina for your overall long-term good health.

"Regular physical activity is a powerful tool for weight management," indicates registered dietitian, nutrition education counselor, and American Dietetic Association spokesperson Roxanne Moore. "A physically active lifestyle offers many rewards--from heart health to strong bones to stress relief--plus many other benefits."

The American Dietetic Association offers a number of ways to improve and maintain your lifestyle for a lifetime:

* Get up 30 minutes earlier in the morning and take a brisk walk to start your day. Bring a neighbor or friend to make it more pleasant.

* Forget the drive-through car wash. Wash your car yourself. You will save money at the same time.

* Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Walking up stairs is a great heart exerciser and calorie burner.

* Park at the far end of a parking lot for a longer walk. Get off the bus a stop ahead then walk the rest of the way to your destination.

* If you are a computer user move your body at least five minutes for every hour of computer time.

* Walk around your building--outside or inside--during your coffee break. You'll burn energy rather than being tempted to nibble or snack,

* Before and after dinner walk--and talk--with your family. …

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