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Take Time For Recess

March 10, 2011

By Becky Reid

My children love recess. At what age do we think we are too busy to take a physical activity break during our workday? I’d like to encourage you to reinstate recess.

It’s important that you find physical activities you enjoy and that fit into your lifestyle. The minimum recommendation for moderate physical activity is 150 minutes per week, which is equal to 30 minutes of activity at least five days a week. If you don’t have a block of 30 minutes, consider three sessions of 10 minutes of exercise.

Walk Kansas is March 13-May 7, and I’ll be enjoying a daily 10-minute session of recess during the eight-week program. Several free online resources are available, including a workplace-targeted activity break program called “Instant Recess,” developed by Dr. Toni Yancey. Visit www.cowley.ksu.edu for links to 10-minute exercise resources.

Recent research confirms that losing 10 pounds of excess body weight and getting 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise, such as walking, greatly reduce the risk of getting type 2 diabetes or at least postpone the risk.

Being more physically active enhances well-being. You might begin to walk during part of your lunch hour, or park a little farther away from your office and stores. Over time, you could increase the minutes per week spent in planned physical activity sessions, such as stretching, using light hand-held weights or bicycling.

Be aware that you don’t have to make lots of changes in food selections and physical activity all at once. That can lead to feeling overwhelmed. Instead, start by improving just one or two of your lifestyle choices. Nudge your food and physical activity habits toward better health. You can expect measurable benefits to your health and quality of life.

For more information, call K-State Research and Extension at 221-5450. If I’m at “recess,” I’ll call you back in 10 minutes.

Source: Kansas State University Research and Extension Nutrition News, March 2010

Becky Reid is the family and consumer sciences agent at K-State Research and Extension, Cowley County, located in the courthouse.