The Perspective
   
LATE WINTER 2014

And the Couch Potato Grew Legs…

Are you a couch potato? Are you hoping to ditch your sedentary lifestyle in 2014 but don’t know where to start? “The hardest part is breaking the ritual of coming home and plopping down on the couch,” says Mindy Meacham, Health Educator at the Southern Nevada Health District. “Just getting off the couch and moving is a good first step,” she adds.

A sedentary lifestyle is a type of lifestyle with no or irregular physical activity. Breaking your sedentary lifestyle does not mean you have to go out and run a marathon or join the local boot camp. It’s as simple as getting the minimum physical activity requirement recommended by doctors.

Doctors recommend 2.5 hours of moderate cardiovascular activity and strength training two days a week, which looks something like this: walking for 30 minutes 5 days a week and doing push-ups, planks, sit-ups, etc., twice a week.

Not only is it best to spread out your activity during the week, but you can break it up into smaller chunks, like three 10-minute segments throughout the day. Meacham suggests setting small goals, such as parking farther away from entrances or walking around while you’re on the phone to help you get moving.

The only thing you need to get started is a good pair of sneakers and the will to make a positive change in your life. If you have a treadmill, you don’t even need to leave your house!

Getting outdoors

 

 

 

 

But if you decide to leave your house, Clark County has A LOT of really great outdoor activities.

Springs Preserve is a perfect place to dip your toes in the active lifestyle. Take a 3.6 mile walk through the natural gardens or rent a bike and
explore 2.2 miles of the trail with the wind whipping through your hair. When you’re done, you can check out the Desert Living Center, Origen Museum and the Nevada State Museum. Movement is movement and it even counts when you’re simultaneously taking in your beautiful surroundings.

Neon to Nature is an online tool to help you find walking and bicycle trails throughout Southern Nevada. There are more than 1,000 miles of trails
in the Valley. Each listing includes trail information and photos, along
with detailed map descriptions of the trail’s location, length, and various amenities.

In Southern Nevada, your options for physical activity are endless –
explore a trail, go to a batting cage, play catch in a park, hit a bucket
of balls at the driving range, take the dog for a walk, go window shopping, clean the house, go to a museum, check out a community event, go dancing, attend the First Friday event downtown, climb a rock wall, play tennis, and the list goes on.

Fun run/walks are another popular way to have fun while getting physical activity too. Most organizations have a 5k run/walk and a 1-mile walk available. In recent years, Las Vegas has hosted The Color Run, The Zombie Run, Color in Motion, Fat Boy 5K, Awesome 80s Run and many more! Enter “fun run” into any Internet browser to find a list of events
being held in 2014.

When the weather heats up, summer is a great time to explore Mt. Charleston and Lee Canyon, go scuba diving at Lake Mead, swim at your local community pool and checkout some low-cost indoor classes at the YMCA or recreation center nearest you.

Meacham says, “The best type of physical activity is the physical activity you enjoy doing.” Mindy stays active by riding her bike at the park. “I like to have a pretty place to ride my bike and we have some really great parks in Clark County to enjoy!”

Now is the time for you to get off the couch, and discover a physical activity that you enjoy!

 

The Southern Nevada Health District has a wealth of information about increasing physically activity and ways to be active in Clark County. Visit the Get Moving webpage on the Get Healthy Clark County website.

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