Wellness Wednesday: Regular Physical Activity, Health Screenings Can Improve Your Well-Being

Andrew R. Whalley / Source / CC BY-NC

According to the IDEA Health and Fitness Association, people of all ages can improve the quality of their lives and reduce the risks of developing coronary heart disease, hypertension, some cancers and type 2 diabetes with regular physical activity.

That’s why Mercy Health System would like to encourage you to care for yourself and your loved ones by reminding you of the importance of maintaining a consistent fitness routine and getting regular health screenings.

The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults participate in two types of physical activity, aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activity, each week to improve health.

Specifically, the Guidelines suggest two hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (like brisk walking) every week and muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week, focusing on working on all major muscle groups. According to the CDC, muscle-strengthening activities can include:

  • Lifting weights
  • Working with resistance bands
  • Doing movement that uses your body weight for resistance, such as push-ups and sit ups
  • Heavy gardening like digging and shoveling
  • Yoga

The CDC recommends spreading your activity out during the week and even breaking it up into smaller periods of time each day—that way 150 minutes may not seem so overwhelming. It all counts as long as you’re keeping a moderate or quick pace for at least a 10-minute session each time. If you have any concerns about starting a fitness program, remember to check with your doctor.
Another way various disorders, such as diabetes, depression and hypertension, can be identified early is by knowing and properly managing your biometric numbers—such as your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

The best way to find out if your numbers are within a healthy range for your gender, height and age is to have annual screenings.

Having a Primary Care Physician (PCP) who can coordinate your care is vital to your good health. A PCP typically specializes in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine or General Practice. If you don’t have a PCP, finding one is easy! Just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.

To find a Mercy Health physician, go to www.mercyhealth.org/find-a-doctor.

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