We are a nation that is overweight and struggling with diseases related to obesity. As this epidemic continues, it’s important that individuals become aware of the important role that both a well-balanced diet and exercise play in achieving better health. Physical activity is not only important for weight loss but also for a healthy heart, lungs, and body.

According to a recent research by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, however, most Americans still fall into the “couch potato” category despite all the information about the need for activity throughout the day.

Only about 23 percent of Americans are meeting the minimum guidelines set forth by the government for physical activity. Also, there is a giant disparity that is regional when it comes to meeting health standards.

The good news is there is always time to turn things around. Not only is being active free, it can also be fun, lessen depression and has the greatest effect on those who previously were doing little to no movement throughout the day.

So get up off the couch, find a friend and pick something fun to do outdoors while the weather’s warm.

Here are some tips on how to get started and improve your wellbeing.

Buddy Up

Find a friend and set time in your day to catch up while playing a round of tennis or riding bikes, take your four-legged friend out for their much-needed walk. There’s really no excuse today you can even use the convenience of social networks and technology to join motivating challenges with others in the fitness community.

Work at Your Own Pace

Something is better than nothing. Even if you are older or have never really “worked out” taking even just 5 minutes a day to walk is a start. Over time you can increase how long you spend getting in activity and even increase the pace of physical movement as you feel more comfortable.

Make Exercise Practical and Fun

One of the biggest challenges with getting in physical activity each day is that people seem to think they have to join a pricey gym and hit the treadmill sprinting to marathon levels. This is far from reality. In fact, one of the best ways to keep a long-term fitness regimen is to make it a natural part of your everyday activities as possible. If you’re stuck in an office all day and getting to the gym is the only way you can make physical fitness happen, by all means, do that. But it’s also possible to get in a great workout while being practical about it. Get outside and mow the lawn, the resistance of pushing the mower and movement of your legs across the lawn is a workout itself.

Planning for better health is critical. So is having a health insurance plan that keeps you and your family protected.

Speak with a professional independent insurance agent at Petruzelo to learn more about medical insurance and your options.