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Move Your Way This May

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Good morning, this is your Wellness Wake Up Call with Kristin Bogdonas, nutrition and wellness educator with University of Illinois Extension.

April showers bring May flowers. Enjoy the month of May as we emerge from winter and primarily indoor activity, to the outdoors. Step into Spring with some new ideas for physical activity.

Living an active lifestyle is a personal goal. To help define that goal, we ask, "What is your why?" Do you want to be healthier, have more energy, be a role model for your family, or age well? Daily activity is recommended; even with the busiest schedules, it's crucial to devote time to your physical health. No matter where you live or work, you can find something that works for you. The month of May brings warmer days which means we can be more active outside in the fresh air. Daily activities like working in the yard, mowing, and walking the dog are all great examples of moderate intensity activities. Step it up a notch by dancing, jogging, and playing a sport for more weight-bearing benefits. All these activities get your heart beating faster and increase your strength and endurance.


Physical activity has essential health benefits including:

  • Better bone strength and balance which we talked about in last week’s episode.
  • Improved sleep.
  • Increased cognitive focus.
  • Reduced stress.
  • And a boosted mood!

Being active is important, and we talk about it because it helps prevent chronic disease and promotes longevity. So, in other words, by moving more and sitting less, you can add years to your life and life to your years.


Move Your Way Guidelines:

The Move Your Way campaign sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (health.gov) recommend the following guidelines for staying fit. Each week, ensure you include both aerobic and muscle strengthening activities.


  1. With aerobic activity, you should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week. Remember, with moderate activities, you are breathing harder but can still carry on a conversation. If you can't say more than a few words without gasping for breath, you're exercising at a vigorous intensity.
  2. Your weekly routine should also include at least two days of muscle strengthening activities. This includes activities that make your muscles work harder than usual. You can achieve this by lifting weights or heavy objects around the house and even by using your own body weight and resistance bands.

So, how do you get started? 

  • Define what works for you. Do you enjoy doing activities alone, with friends, in a class setting, or with a virtual instructor? Are you mostly indoors, at home, or outside when active? Follow what works best for you and do it more often.
  • This week, try setting SMART goals and outline your plan with specific and measurable outcomes. Also, remember to keep track of your “why”. An example goal might sound like this, I will take a 30-minute walk during my lunch five days a week and track my progress on my calendar during the next month. I am setting this goal to help me reduce my risk for type 2 diabetes. If necessary, work with your healthcare provider if getting back into an exercise routine or have mobility concerns.

Being more active doesn’t have to be time-consuming. There are lots of ways to increase daily activity. You could park further from the store, take extra laps around the block, or walk in place during commercials. Many communities also offer free exercise programs which might take place at a park, community center, or library.


Making a plan and setting goals will improve your chances of success. To get started, use the Move Your Way website at health.gov for some free resources, videos, and tools to track your progress. This week identify your Move More goals and your “why” and start moving more during the month of May.

Thank you for listening! I hope you have a happy and healthy day ahead. Content for this episode was provided by Susan Glassman, nutrition and wellness educator with University of Illinois Extension.

Related resources:

· https://health.gov/moveyourway

· https://health.gov/sites/default/files/2021-07/PAG_MYW_FactSheet_OlderAdults_07-08_508c.pdf

Kristin Bogdonas believes that everyone deserves access to fresh, affordable food and is committed to helping people improve their health literacy. In this digital age it can be difficult to decipher what nutrition information is accurate and what is hype. Connecting people with factual information and evidenced-based programs will help people build the skills and attain the knowledge necessary for positive behavior change. Although nutrition is important for a long and healthy life, one should not overlook the other dimensions of health required for overall wellbeing; physical, mental, emotional, vocational, spiritual, environmental and social. Each dimension impacting the next.