Make Time For Exercise

Physical fitness used to be essential to live. Hunting and gathering at first, then farming. Even preparing for war requires warriors to be in good shape. As human civilization continued to advance, the need for physical work and fitness levels has steadily decreased. However, as early as 250 B.C. in Ancient China, Confucius encouraged people to participate in regular physical activity to help prevent certain diseases.

Today, for many American adults, the word “exercise” usually brings up negative thoughts. “I can’t.” “It’s too hard.” “I’d rather be doing something fun.” “I don’t have any time.”

In fact, only about one in five American adults get the recommended amount of aerobic and strength training exercise each week. On average, we spend more time each day watching TV, shopping online or in person, eating and drinking, and playing games on our computers or smart phones than exercising.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it seems Confucius was right.

The benefits of regular exercise are many. The research indicates that exercise can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome. Regular exercise can also reduce the risk of some cancers, improve mental health and the ability to concentrate, as well as build strong bones and muscles. In short, physical activity can help us live longer, healthier lives.

It only takes 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity of aerobic activity, like brisk walking, to get the benefits. Thirty minutes five times week is all that’s needed. Don’t have 30 minutes? Break it up into three10 minute sessions each day. In addition, regular exercise — along with a balanced diet — can help maintain a healthy weight.

Individuals should always consult their physician before starting any fitness activity. There are more than 10,000 minutes in each week. Why not take just 150 minutes of them to improve your health and well-being?

Sheboygan County has been participating in National Employee Health and Fitness Day for more than 20 years now. Ask your manager or human resources representative about how you can get involved in this year’s challenge, “Let’s Get Physical Sheboygan County,” which will be held May 20.

Join us in recognizing National Employee Health and Fitness day by participating in at least 20 minutes of physical activity on this day and help your organization win! More information can be found on the Sheboygan County Activity and Nutrition’s website page located on

Sherri Samuels-Fuerst is a registered nurse and member of Sheboygan County Activity and Nutrition Coalition