Resolve to get moving in 2018
The Ministry of Health is encouraging individuals to get moving in 2018, as it continues to push its Jamaica Moves initiative in an attempt to encourage Jamaicans to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Many persons have been delaying getting active, citing the lack of time to commit to an exercise programme, but determination and discipline can go a far way in the entire process.
According to Senior Health Education Officer at the Ministry of Health, Charmaine Plummer, there are a number of activities that even those who lead busy lifestyles can do.
"Putting on some lively music and dancing, engaging in chores such as sweeping the yard, cleaning furniture, washing the car and other such activities are some easy ways for us to stay active while at home," Plummer stated.
The key to staying motivated while engaging in any physical activity is to find ways to make it fun and enjoyable.
One may include other members of the family, turn activities into a game or race, incorporate music or even include rewards for completing tasks.
In order to increase physical activities, an individual may expand their routine to include brisk walks in the community or games such as football, netball, cricket or any other outdoor activity.
The health ministry recommends that adults engage in a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity at least five days per week.
Children are also being encouraged to become more active in order to avoid obesity, build physical strength as well as improve focus.
The recommended physical activity for children between the ages of six and 17 is at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous movement, at least five days per week.
It is also recommended that children do a combination of muscle and bone-strengthening activity, at least three days per week, as part of the daily 60-minute routine.
Physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. Some factors that promote physical inactivity include urbanisation, automation and increased access to technology and the media.
As a result of these changing social values and behavioural practices, individuals are forced to live in a highly paced stressful environment, which has contributed to a sedentary lifestyle.
TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
According to the World Health Organization, physical inactivity accounts for six per cent of deaths annually.
Inactivity is the main cause for approximately 21 to 25 per cent of breast and colon cancers, 27 per cent of diabetes and 30 per cent of ischaemic disease (restriction of blood supply to tissues and organs).
"It is important that we each take personal responsibility to do all we can to prevent chronic illnesses that result from inactivity as well as poor dietary choices. All Jamaicans are encouraged to increase physical activity to preserve their health and improve overall wellness," Plummer argued.
She also noted that it is important to remember that while individuals engage in their various forms of physical activity, they must ensure that they stay hydrated by drinking water before, during and after their routines.