Maybe you need to blow off some steam from a stressful day or need to get better sleep. Regular exercise can help you achieve this and more. The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore, and they are available to everyone, regardless of age, sex or physical ability. Another fantastic thing about exercise – it’s fun!

Walk Kansas is a team-based health initiative. It begins March 18 and concludes May 12. Walk Kansas is based on Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans which recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week, and strengthening exercises at least two days per week. Walk Kansas also promotes a warm-up and cool-down time and stretching to improve flexibility.

The Walk Kansas program is based on the Physical Activity Guidelines which promote moderate and vigorous intensity activities. Here are the types of activity you can report as Walk Kansas minutes. 

- Moderate exercise/activity at a level where you can carry on a conversation, but not sing; activity must be done for at least 10 consecutive minutes; report actual minutes of activity; activities could include walking briskly, water exercise, bicycling slower than 10 miles per hour, tennis (doubles), ballroom dancing, general gardening

- Vigorous exercise/activity at a level where you can talk but not have a conversation; activity must be done for at least 10 consecutive minutes; vigorous activities could include race walking, jogging or running, swimming laps, tennis (singles), aerobic dancing, bicycling 10 miles per hour or faster, jumping rope, heavy gardening, hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack 

- Combination of moderate and vigorous exercise where you add short bursts of vigorous activity or intervals; example: add several 30-second bursts of running or fast walking to your moderate walking pace; report actual minutes of activity

If you are interested in getting involved, pull your co-workers, friends or family members together to participate and register today. Registration is now open. Visit www.walkkansas.org or the K-State Research and Extension-Leavenworth County website, www.leavenworth.ksu.edu, to get involved. Stop by our office at 613 Holiday Plaza in Lansing or call Chelsi Myer at 913-364-5700 for more information on this topic or others. The weather is starting to warm up, so set new goals and get active.

Chelsi Myer is a family and consumer sciences agent for K-State Research and Extension – Leavenworth County.