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Public Health - Seattle & King County

Why is physical activity important?

Elders performing Tai Chi exercises
Performing Tai Chi exercises
Physical activity is good for every body and is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. The benefits of physical activity are well-documented:
  • Stronger bones
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Better balance
  • Better sleep
  • Better mood
  • Fewer aches and pains
  • More energy
  • Healthier heart and lungs
  • Reduce the risk for diabetes and some types of cancer

Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity a day on most days of the week. Your activity can be spread out through the day. Try for 10 minutes at a time, but even a few minutes counts.

Woman lifting weights
Woman lifting weights
Bodies are made to move and when they don't move enough, health can suffer. Health problems related to not getting enough physical activity:
  • Stiff joints
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Weight gain
  • Low energy
  • Depression

These are just a few problems related to inactivity. If you are not getting any physical activity now, even a few minutes a day could make a big difference in the way you feel.

What kind of activity counts?

Kids swimming in lake
Kids swimming in lake
There are many different ways to get the physical activity your body needs. It doesn't have to be strenuous to be good for you: swimming, gardening, biking, dancing, yoga, walking, skating, mowing the lawn, doing housework or playing catch - they all count!

The important thing is that you find something you like to do and get started today.


*Image of elders participating in Tai-Chi exercises and African American woman lifting weights courtesy of the University of Washington Health Promotion Research Center