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Take little steps for big gains

Tying athletic shoesTracy Delaney, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, Lafayette County, University of Missouri Extension


During the month of April, the American Heart Association is encouraging Americans to move more as part of the Healthy for Good campaign. According to the 2017 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics, cardiovascular disease accounts for nearly 801,000 (about 1 of every 3) deaths in the US. The 2017 statistics also suggest that the prevalence of obesity is increasing, and 30 percent of American adults report no leisure time physical activity. Overweight/obesity and physical inactivity are two health factors that increase risk for heart disease and stroke.


As part of the Healthy for Good campaign, adults are encouraged to get at least 150 minutes of physical activity weekly, while children should strive to get 60 minutes of physical activity daily. Making small changes can lead to lasting health benefits. Try these tips to help you move more:


  • Park farther away from your destination
  • Choose the stairs instead of elevators
  • Get involved in local athletic teams or events
  • Dance
  • Incorporate movement into daily activities such as walking around while talking on the phone
  • Exercise while watching TV or during commercial breaks
  • Walk the dog
  • Set a timer to remind yourself to move
  • Set a physical activity goal and track your progress
  • Do what you love — find an activity or sport that you enjoy and can stick with


Getting involved in the Healthy for Good campaign can be easy and fun. Look for or consider hosting a walking day or a walking challenge in your community. To learn more about ways to get involved, visit


To learn more about heart health, physical activity or nutrition, contact Tracy Delaney at or 660-584-3659 or contact your local University of Missouri Extension Nutrition and Health Education Specialist.


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Last Updated 04/11/2017