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Active Living

Why is Physical Activity Important?

There is good news for all Washingtonians. Scientific evidence shows that physical activity at moderate intensity keeps you healthy. Even people who have been sedentary can improve their health and well-being with regular daily physical activity. We need to move more just to keep the health we have now. Physical activity benefits people of all ages and abilities.

People who are physically active live longer, have more energy, have less stress, burn calories, are stronger.

Is Physical Activity Different Than Physical Fitness?

Physical activity is bodily movement of any type, including daily activities such as walking to the store, taking the stairs, or raking the leaves. Physical activity may include recreational, fitness and sport activities such as jumping rope, playing soccer, or lifting.

Physical fitness is set of attributes that persons have or achieve that relates to the ability to perform physical activity. Components of fitness include agility, balance, coordination, power and speed.

What Kind of Physical Activity Should I Do?

  • Find something that you like to do, such as gardening, biking, walking, canoeing, swimming, hiking, running or dancing.
  • Visit our Trails guide to find places to walk, bike, canoe and kayak in Washington.
  • To stay healthy, it is important to be physically active at least 30 minutes, 5 times a week. This can include several short bouts of activity in a day.
  • If your goal is to lose weight, a combination of a healthy diet and moderate to vigorous activity 60 minutes a day, five times a week, will help you be successful.
  • Be active with a friend or as a family will help make it fun.
  • Be consistent and set a schedule.
  • If you have been inactive, always consult your healthcare provider before starting a physical activity program.