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Physical Activity Provides Big Body Benefits

Regular physical activity is an important component in living a healthful life. You may think that physical activity means exercise, a gym membership and expensive equipment. On the contrary, physical activity encompasses a wide range of activities, from gardening to running. Being active – even in small amounts – can give you many health benefits.

Best of all, it can help give you energy to tackle your day!

Getting active can have a number of positive effects on your body. It can assist you with your weight management goals – incorporating physical activity into your routine can help you drop unwanted pounds. This happens because the more active you are, the more calories you use or burn on a daily basis. If you burn more calories than you take in, weight loss can occur over time.  Regular physical activity can lead to better health, and consequently help lower your risk for chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, metabolic syndrome and colon and breast cancers. When paired with a sensible, balanced diet, physical activity can also help with weight loss.

And don't miss the extra helpful tips to the right.

Be Active Your Way

The U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans highlights a variety of ways to be physically active.  Having an active, healthy lifestyle includes the following important components; click the links below for more information and helpful tips for incorporating activity into your daily life.


I would like to know how physically fit I am before I start exercising. Is there an easy test to measure my fitness level? Yes there is – the President’s Challenge Program has a do-it-yourself Adult Fitness Test that measures your aerobic fitness, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and body composition. NOTE: If you are new to exercise or frequent physical activity, consult your doctor before you begin.

My whole family would benefit from increasing their level of physical activity. Are there good ways to get active as a family? Yes— There are many activities you can do as a family to get everyone moving, and to have some fun. If you are interested in making fitness a family affair, click here.  For more information on healthful eating and the importance of regular physical activity, for the whole family, visit the Healthy Kids and Families section for helpful tips and resources.

Return to the main Healthy Eating, Active Living page.

10 Tips for Getting Active

  1. Pick an activity that is fun for you.
  2. Do muscle-strengthening exercises like abdominal crunches and squats during the commercials of your favorite TV shows.
  3. Keep whatever you need for physical activity (yoga mat, sneakers, etc.) in your car, at your office or by the back door.
  4. Form a walking, running or exercise club with friends or co-workers.
  5. Move to music when your cleaning the house and doing yard work.
  6. Try a new activity like yoga, pilates or tai chi.
  7. Park at the far end of the parking lot; take the stairs; aim for 10,000 steps a day.
  8. Make your lunch break your walk break.
  9. Have regular walks and bike rides with your family.
  10. Set a goal, such as running a 5K race, and go for it!

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IFIC Foundation Taste Test Challenge

To celebrate National Nutrition Month and the theme, "Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right," the IFIC Foundation filmed our very own taste test challenge. Take a look, think you would have passed?