Physical Activity & Exercise

Living Well in Louisiana offers fun, rewarding activities to help you get moving and make exercise a regular part of your routine. You don't need to do anything big to get the benefits of good health - simple things like taking a walk or using the stairs instead of the elevator can have a major payoff toward looking and feeling better.

What are Some Good Workout Tips?

NOTE: Before you begin any new exercise program, you should talk to your doctor.

In order to maximize your results, it's important to vary your workout routine Read more>>

It may often seem like there aren't enough hours in the day to complete your repsonsibilities and get to the gym, but with our fitness-on-the-go tips, we can show you how to incorporate a little physical activity into your routine. Read more>>

Are you bored with your exercise? If so, spice it up! Read more>>

Contrary to popular belief, your workouts starts long before exercising. Read more>>

Morning vs. Evening Workout Regimes. Read more>>

The U.S. National Physical Activity Plan is a comprehensive set of policies, programs and initiatives that aim to increase physical activity in all segments of the American population. The plan is the product of a private-public sector collaborative. Hundreds of organizations are working together to change our communities in ways that will enable every American to be sufficiently physically active. Read more >>

How Much Physical Activity Do Children/Youth Need?

  • Aerobic Activity

Aerobic activity should make up most of your child's 60 or more minutes of physical activity each day. This can include either moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, or vigorous-intensity activity, such as running. Be sure to include vigorous-intensity aerobic activity on at least 3 days per week.

  • Muscle Strengthening

Include muscle strengthening activities, such as gymnastics or push-ups, at least three days per week as part of your child's 60 or more minutes.

  • Bone Strengthening

Include bone strengthening activities, such as jumping rope or running, at least three days per week as part of your child's 60 or more minutes.

How do I know if my child's aerobic activity is moderate- or vigorous-intensity?

As a rule of thumb, on a scale of 0 to 10, where sitting is a 0 and the highest level of activity is a 10, moderate-intensity activity is a 5 or 6. When your son does moderate-intensity activity, his heart will beat faster than normal and he will breathe harder than normal. Vigorous-intensity activity is a level 7 or 8. When your son does vigorous-intensity activity, his heart will beat much faster than normal and he will breathe much harder than normal.

Another way to judge intensity is to think about the activity your child is doing and compare it to the average child. What amount of intensity would the average child use? For example, when your daughter walks to school with friends each morning, she's probably doing moderate-intensity aerobic activity. But while she is at school, when she runs or chases others by playing tag during recess, she's probably doing vigorous-intensity activity.

What do you mean by "age-appropriate" activities?

Some physical activity is better-suited for children than adolescents. For example, children do not usually need formal muscle-strengthening programs, such as lifting weights. Younger children usually strengthen their muscles when they do gymnastics, play on a jungle gym or climb trees. As children grow older and become adolescents, they may start structured weight programs. For example, they may do these types of programs along with their football or basketball team practice.

What can I do to get - and keep - my child active?

As a parent, you can help shape your child's attitudes and behaviors toward physical activity, and knowing these guidelines is a great place to start. Throughout their lives, encourage young people to be physically active for one hour or more each day, with activities ranging from informal, active play to organized sports. Here are some ways you can do this:

  • Set a positive example by leading an active lifestyle yourself.
  • Make physical activity part of your family's daily routine by taking family walks or playing active games together.
  • Give your children equipment that encourages physical activity.
  • Take young people to places where they can be active, such as public parks, community baseball fields or basketball courts.
  • Be positive about the physical activities in which your child participates and encourage them to be interested in new activities.
  • Make physical activity fun. Fun activities can be anything your child enjoys, either structured or non-structured. Activities can range from team sports or individual sports to recreational activities such as walking, running, skating, bicycling, swimming, playground activities or free-time play.
  • Instead of watching television after dinner, encourage your child to find fun activities to do on his own or with friends and family, such as walking, playing chase or riding bikes.
  • Be safe! Always provide protective equipment such as helmets, wrist pads or knee pads and ensure that activity is age-appropriate.

Workout Routine Videos: Compliments of Bally's Total Fitness

Workout Routine Videos: Compliments of Spectrum Fitness & Medical Wellness Centers