In its own right, physical inactivity significantly threatens your mental and physical well-being. Using cars to commute short distances and the widespread availability of handheld entertainment devices are culprits that lead to an unhealthy lifestyle.
The NCBI reports that long periods of inactivity increase the risk of several health problems like obesity, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, osteoporosis, depression, memory loss, and cancer. Worse, laziness is also known to be a cause of premature death.
As a healthy individual, you must promote an active lifestyle in your community for healthier outcomes. While every community is unique, there are a few ways of promoting health and fitness, catering to almost every situation.
1. Educate Yourself
Improving health and taking steps towards healthier outcomes should always be the primary goal for every community member.
At the same time, if you are a public health practitioner or aspiring to be one, you must pursue higher education. Why? To understand community problems and develop strategies that would help bring positivity.
This can be a challenging endeavor, but it isn’t impossible. You need experience and academic qualifications to understand how to deal with complex problems and educate community members. If you set an example, you will get the recognition you need to assume higher roles as a health practitioner and a role model for the younger generation.
Regarding education, most institutions offer online degrees, making it easier for candidates to study and work. A Master of Public Health Online Program will equip you with the knowledge and skills to understand and solve complex community problems.
You will also learn building strategies based on research and evidence and implement them knowing the results will be positive.
2. Promote Physical Activity in Kids
According to the World Health Organization, adults aged 18 to 64 should reduce sedentary time and replace it with at least 150 minutes of aerobic physical activity every week.
Similarly, school-going children and adolescents must engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily. As a parent, if your kids are lazy or shy away from physical activity, here are a few ways to help.
- Get them outdoors and participate in playground activities to encourage unstructured, free-time play.
- Include brisk walks, swimming, yoga, and vigorous sports like tag and basketball in your weekly family routine.
- Replace recreational screen time with fun activities like a game of catch, hula hoops, jumping ropes, or Zumba.
- Reward your kids when they are more active on a given day or learn a new skill.
- Register them for gymnastics or a physical fitness club.
While promoting physical activity is crucial for kids, ensure you take protective gear like goalie gloves, helmets, arm pads, padded pants, throat guards, and chest protectors to lower the risk of injuries while playing.
Remember, physical activities aren’t just limited to playing a game on a field. You can engage the children in simple household activities like doing the dishes, cleaning the house, walking the dog, or dancing.
These activities improve physical well-being, boost the immune system, increase muscle strength, prevent chronic illnesses, and improve brain health.
3. Promote physical fitness at work.
The HR department can help promote the importance of health and fitness in the workplace. If you have experience, talk to them and suggest ways of introducing engaging activities or wellness programs that encourage practicing habits at work.
According to this trustworthy dentist in Farmington, more often than not, companies would be happy to partner up with healthcare providers to create health programs for their employees.
The first step would be to rally your staff behind the initiative by highlighting the positive effects of exercise. Employees participating in health activities can be rewarded with gift cards or extra vacation time.
A health wellness program can benefit employee happiness, workplace morale, and productivity. If you cannot start a wellness program at work, you promote the idea of the employees joining a gym to motivate them. You can even suggest a free lunch or similar incentive for an employee who achieves 10,000 steps daily.
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4. Grow an organic community garden.
Gardening is an excellent way to improve one’s mental well-being. Creating an eco-friendly, organic garden allows you to grow plants with high nutrient content and promote healthy activity for people of all ages.
A community garden is a source of healthy, flavorful food and a spot for spending time outdoors, soaking in the warm sunshine and breathing fresh, clean air, both of which have proven to be great at elevating your mood and boosting your energy levels.
5. Spread knowledge regarding wellness
Spreading knowledge and helping community members understand the importance of healthy activities is crucial to your role as a health practitioner and a community member. Someone has to take charge sometime, and if you have earned a degree in this area, there’s no person better than you to take the reigns.
In the beginning, it may seem overwhelming, but with experience and knowledge needed to create strategies for promoting wellness. In that case, your community will progress, rid itself of diseases and work together to help those in need.
With the authorities, you can set up classes for kids and parents to understand the importance of hygiene and a healthy diet.
As community members, they will understand you better if you conduct regular classes where each individual must fulfill a task related to improving mental and physical well-being.
It could be something related to a new hobby, cleaning the area, reducing pollution, or helping someone achieve something.
But that’s not all; your ideas and strategies for promoting wellness could also be presented to community leaders, who have the authority to start development projects like parks, bike lanes, and trails.
You can also suggest ways for community members to reduce using their cars for shorter distances and opt for cycling or walking to grocery stores, schools, and workplaces.
But before you start suggesting, we suggest you map everything out, research, and develop a strategy that is advantageous for the community as a whole. For example, building a sidewalk along a main road will benefit all community members.
Children can use the sidewalk to go to school, and the elderly can use it to get groceries. That’s not all; you can also suggest easy ways of accessing public transport through a sidewalk. This way, community members will walk instead of using cars to cover short distances.
Less traffic congestion means less vehicle emission, which, in turn, implies reduced air pollution and improved overall health.
As a health practitioner, promoting health and fitness in your community is essential because everyone deserves a long and healthy life regardless of age, socioeconomic status, or origin.
If you are starting, it might be overwhelming, but with time you will understand because you are a part of the same community. These seemingly insignificant efforts will undoubtedly make a difference in the long run.