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Different Ways to Move

 In public health, we talk about health equity. Health equity is making health not equal, but equitable for all people. The concept may seem confusing, so let me think of a better way to illustrate it. Think back to the first bicycle or even tricycle you had. How big was it? How small was it? How big or small were the wheels? Could an adult ride on your tricycle or bicycle? Most likely not. The bicycle or tricycle was made for you at your age and your size and your skill level. The next bike you had maybe had training wheels. Why? You weren't quite ready to ride a regular-sized bike. Once you got the hang of riding your bike with training wheels, the training wheels came off, and you were riding around on your little bicycle all by yourself. As time went on, you graduated to bigger and bigger bikes. The bikes grew as you grew and were adjusted to fit your personal needs. As an adult, you may have finally settled into the kind of bicycle you liked. Whether it was a road racer, a dirt bike, or a mountain bike, it was designed to meet your interests and your needs. 

Image by LaterJay Photography from Pixabay 

The same concept can be applied to other healthcare initiatives, like the Keep It Moving Challenge that goes through National Public Health Week. The reason the name was changed from the Billion Steps Challenge to the Keep It Moving Challenge is to encourage and support individuals to move their way. This allows individuals to exercise in ways that suit their personal health needs and preferences. Every week, I have been trying to show different ways to move. My personal preference is walking. I like to walk outside and feel the fresh air on my face. I also like getting my work-out in and done all at once. I can walk for several hours, and I know I have all of my steps in for the day. Yesterday, for example, I spread my workout over the whole day, and I only had 7,000, steps which were less than what my daily goal is for the week, which is 8,800 steps. I didn't walk outside because it was snowing in the morning and raining in the afternoon. I had to find different ways to move.

Yesterday, I charged my smartwatch, put it on, and counted my steps throughout my day. I normally only wear my smartwatch when I am walking outside. The ways I moved my body yesterday were I went shopping, I walked my dog, I cleaned my kitchen, I cooked lunch and dinner, and I did chores around my house. I also walked in my living room while I watched my favorite television show for an hour. I was thinking about joining a gym yesterday. If I belonged to a gym, then I could go use the elliptical machine or stationary bike or a treadmill and get my steps in that way. 

In the springtime, or even now, I like to move my body gardening. I used to have several flowers in my yard, roses, tulips, marigolds, and flowering shrubberies. I spent time every week fertilizing, pruning, trimming, and weeding those flowers. Other days I would weed through mountains of paperwork in my home office or garage, but I was still moving my body. I've mentioned before that yoga is a good way to move your body, also. There are so many different ways that you can move your body and keep moving. If someone has had a stroke or has some other disability, walking to the end of the driveway may be challenging for them. You can check with their doctor or physical therapist, and they may be able to do arm and leg exercises while they are sitting in their favorite chair. Moving their body needs to be equitable to their health and fitness level. 



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