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Keep Moving During Autumn

It’s important to keep active even when temperatures dip low, even if that means finding an indoor spot to walk, such as a mall or gym.

By Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist
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NDSU Extension Service
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I laced up my tennis shoes to go for a walk around our
neighborhood, and then I paused to check the temperature on
our indoor gauge. I nearly unlaced my tennis shoes and stayed
inside. Yes, autumn is here.

In a couple of months, the crisp outdoor temperatures of fall
will seem positively balmy. I resisted the temptation to stay
inside with a steaming cup of cocoa. Instead, my kids and I
put on our stocking hats and jackets and ventured outdoors. In
no time, we were quite warm with the exertion.

It's important to keep active even when temperatures dip low,
even if that means finding an indoor spot to walk, such as a
mall or gym. Unfortunately, many North Dakota kids and adults
do not meet physical activity recommendations.

According to a 2002 survey conducted by the North Dakota
Department of Health, 22 percent of North Dakota adults did
not participate in any physical activity in the previous
month. A 2001 survey of North Dakota students revealed that
just 19 percent of high school students participated in daily
physical education classes.

Keep your shoes and jacket ready and reap the benefits of
regular activity. Physical activity enhances flexibility and
posture. It reduces risk of heart disease, colon cancer and
type 2 diabetes and it reduces feelings of depression and
anxiety. All these benefits add up to a longer, healthier
life.

Physical activity helps relieve stress and helps with weight
maintenance. Activities such as autumn yard work burn
calories, too. A 150-pound person trimming hedges for 30
minutes burns 160 calories. The same person cleaning windows
for 30 minutes will burn about 112 calories. Raking leaves for
30 minutes will burn another 112 calories.

Looking ahead, the person will burn 292 calories when
shoveling snow for 30 minutes. Maybe we need to think of
shoveling as a benefit to our physical activity level, as well
as a necessity.

Experts recommend that we accumulate at least 30 minutes of
moderate physical activity in addition to our usual daily
activities. For example, take two 15-minute walks instead of
two coffee breaks during the day, or put a lid on your coffee
cup and carry it as you walk.

To help prevent weight gain as we age, experts recommend 60
minutes of activity per day. To lose weight, 90 minutes of
activity per day is recommended, but check with a doctor
before starting a physical activity program.

To help us eat healthfully and get enough activity, the USDA
released a new pyramid for kids as a counterpart to the one
for adults at www.mypyramid.gov. It includes an online game
and ideas such as these to keep families moving throughout the
seasons.

* Set up a home gym. Use items such as canned foods as
weights. Stairs can substitute for "stair machines."

* Instead of sitting through TV commercials, get up and move.
Walk while on the phone. Limit "screen time" for kids to less
than two hours daily.

* If you're shopping for the holiday season, give activity
gifts such as active games or sporting equipment.

Here's a warm, tasty snack to enjoy after a brisk walk.

**Cheesy Barbeque Bean Dip**

* 1/2 c. vegetarian baked beans
* 3 Tbsp. shredded cheddar cheese
* 2 Tbsp. regular or hickory-smoked barbeque sauce
* 2 large carrots cut into diagonal slices
* 1 medium red or green pepper, cut into chunks

Place beans in small microwaveable bowl and mash slightly with
fork. Stir in cheese and barbecue sauce. Cover with vented
plastic wrap. Microwave on high for one minute and then stir.
Microwave for 30 seconds or until hot. Serve with bell pepper
chunks, carrot slices and whole-grain crackers.

Makes four servings. Each serving has 80 calories, 13 grams of
carbohydrates, 2 grams of fat, 3 grams of fiber and 280
milligrams of sodium.

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NDSU Agriculture Communication

:Source: Julie Garden-Robinson, (701) 231-7187, jgardenr@ndsuext.nodak.edu
:Editor: Rich Mattern, (701) 231-6136, richard.mattern@ndsu.edu

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