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FOR RELEASE: June 2 2005
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

Health Officials Encourage Fitness Breaks

A lack of time is a common barrier for failure to be physically active. Setting aside 30 to 60 consecutive minutes each day for exercise is a good way to obtain physical activity. However, a “fitness break” is another option for those who don’t have long periods of time to exercise, according to Melissa Adair, a registered dietitian at the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH).

“Fitness breaks” are short spurts of activity that increase the heart rate. The OSDH and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend taking fitness breaks instead of cigarette or coffee breaks. Many employees incorporate fitness breaks into their workday to help them stay alert.

“I feel refreshed after taking a walk,” said Richard Woofter, an employee at the OSDH. “I have incorporated fitness breaks into my 15-minute work breaks and I also try to fit in a short walk during lunchtime.”

Physical activity is essential for health and fitness. Activity also contributes to a sense of well-being and maintenance of a healthy body weight. The new 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans supports these statements and the benefits of Woofter’s “fitness breaks” by saying that the accumulated total of physical activity is the most important component in overall health.

Many Oklahoma communities have walking groups, running clubs, and/or special interest activities that promote fitness. The CDC provides information about the importance of fitness at http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/physical/importance/index.htm.

To locate a fitness group in your area, contact Melissa Adair, OSDH - WIC relations and information specialist, at 405/271-4676 ext. 50027.

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