RENO, NV – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently released the second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, outlining the amounts and types of physical activity needed to maintain and improve overall health. Physical activity offers numerous benefits to people of all ages and can make people feel better, function better, and sleep better, while reducing the risk of various chronic diseases such heart disease, diabetes and asthma. New guidelines include:
- Additional health benefits related to brain health;
- Immediate and longer term benefits for how people feel, function, and sleep;
- Risks of sedentary behavior and their relationships with physical activity;
- Guidance for preschool-aged children three to five years old;
- Tested strategies for promoting physical activity; and,
- Eliminating the recommendation that adult physical activity occurs in bouts of at least 10 minutes – every little bit counts!
“Increasing physical activity in our community is a priority for the Washoe County Health District and community partners,” said Washoe County District Board of Health Chair Kitty Jung. “The Health District’s 2018-2020 Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) provides an action plan for community partners to improve the health and well-being for residents in Washoe County,” Jung said.
The CHIP has identified three focus areas as the highest areas of need for our community. They include housing, behavioral health, and nutrition/physical activity. Nutrition and physical activity were selected as focus areas for the CHIP because they play a critical role in preventing a wide array of chronic diseases. To increase physical activity and improve nutrition among adults and youth, the CHIP is using the 5210 Let’s Go! program to improve the health of our community.
According to Jung and other health advocates, 5210 Let’s Go! resonates with youth and promotes four recommendations for healthy eating and physical activity each day: Eat 5 or more servings of fruit and vegetables; Limit of 2 hours or less of recreational screen time; Engage in 1 hour or more of physical activity; and, Drink 0 Sugary beverages, drink more water instead.
In addition to the CHIP recommendation, the Health District’s Chronic Disease Prevention Program also provides the community opportunities to engage and participate in physical activity through programs such as the Wolf Pack Coaches Challenge - a four week elementary school program educating students about healthy eating and physical activity; Park Utilization – promoting local park usage for physical activities; and, Truckee Meadows Bicycle Alliance Bike Month - the annual May event encouraging people to curb the car and bike instead.
Any amount of physical activity has health benefits and the Washoe County Health District encourages everyone to be active every day. To learn more visit https://www.washoecounty.us/health/.
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