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Sandra Stringer: Start exercise, physical activity routines this summer
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Are you enjoying a more flexible schedule right now? Summertime can really open up spaces or time slots on a calendar and “doing nothing” can easily find a home in your daily routine. 

Studies show only about 1 in 5 adults in the United States meet physical activity guidelines for their age group, University of Georgia Extension reports.

What are the guidelines?

It’s 30 to 60 minutes of activity a day or 150-180 minutes a week for adults. Children typically need 60 minutes or more daily.

UGA Extension’s Walk Georgia reminds us there’s a difference between physical activity and exercise.

Physical activity refers to anything you do that gets your body moving. So, walking, gardening, cooking, cleaning, playing and dancing are some of the activities that fall into that category.

Exercise refers to a set routine of physical activity. This includes going to a gym to for a work out or running laps around a track.

Thank goodness we have a variety of activities and exercise options to help us get fit.

Here are some suggestions from UGA Extension:

* Enroll kids in a summer camp program.

* Visit a local or state park. If you live close enough, you can walk to the park and avoid a parking fee.

* Join an outdoor recreation club. Kayaking, hiking, climbing, fishing and other outdoor activities are really popular this time of year.

* Plan a day or two where you walk or bike to work instead of driving if possible. It’s a great way to incorporate activity into your day-to-day while saving money on gas.

* Check your local library for programs and events.

* Visit a community pool. Swimming and playing in the water burns lots of calories while helping you cool off and beat the summer heat.

* Find an activity you can do indoors. Racquetball, dancing or even workout videos or DVDs are great ways to be active.

Sandra Stringer is a nutrition educator with the UGA Cooperative Extension office in Hall County. Call her at 770-535-8290. Her column appears on www.gainesvilletimes.com/life.

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