Vilas County Public Health - Community Health - Physical Activity


















Chronic Disease Prevention

Physical activity is one lifestyle choice that prevents chronic disease.  A chronic disease is one that lasts for at least three months. Chronic diseases generally cannot be prevented by vaccines or cured by medication, and do not just go away on their own. Most Americans over 65 years of age have at least one chronic health condition.

Unhealthy choices, such as lack of physical activity, poor eating habits and using tobacco, are major factors for the leading chronic diseases. The leading chronic diseases include (in alphabetical order):

  • Arthritis,
  • Cardiovascular disease (such as heart attacks and stroke),
  • Cancer (such as breast and colon cancer),
  • Diabetes,
  • Epilepsy and Seizures,
  • Obesity and
  • Oral health problems.

 For more information, visit the Center for Disease Control

How to prevent chronic diseases?

Physical activity is good for each of us! 

What kinds of activity should I do? To get all the health benefits of physical activity, do a combination of aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.

  • Aerobic (“air-OH-bik”) activities make you breathe harder and cause your heart to      beat faster. Walking fast is an example of aerobic activity.
  • Muscle-strengthening activities make your muscles stronger. Muscle-strengthening activities include lifting weights, using resistance bands, and doing push-ups.

If you are first starting, begin at a level you are comfortable with.  Once you get the hang of it, add a little more activity each time. Try to do at least 30 minutes every day.  If you are not able to, do what you can.  Any time can help!

For more information and tips: http://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/nutrition-and-physical-activity/physical-activity

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things that you can do for your health. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it can help:

  • Control your weight
  • Lower your chances of cardiovascular disease
  • Lower your chances for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
  • Lower your chances of some cancers
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles
  • Improve your mental health and mood
  • Improve your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls, if you're an older adult
  • Increase your chances of living longer

Activity Resources

  • ChooseMyPlate.gov (United States Department of Agriculture - USDA) - Provides information on why exercise is important and tips on how to increase physical activity.
  • Be Active Your Way: A Guide for Adults (.pdf, 4.25 MB) (U. S. Department of Health and Human Services) - Provides information on how to get started on an exercise program, or keep you motivated, within your interests and lifestyle.
  • Go4Life (National Institute on Aging) - Provides ideas for seniors who wish to learn more about becoming physically active.
  • Kids Health (Nemour) - Provides ideas on how to motivate your child to be physically active. You will also find healthy recipes, information on body mass index, and nutrients based on your child's stage of life.
  • Local Activities Chart (.pdf) - A great resource for the Northwoods! The chart provides activities offered in this area and and contact information for area businesses that provide instruction or equipment if needed.

Links