Active living generally means adding some form of physical activity to a person’s routine each day. For some people, it can mean following a structured workout at a gym or at home, using weights, fitness equipment, or attending a group class. For other people, it can mean exercising outside, such as riding an outdoor bike, running, or swimming at the pool. Occasionally, a person will define it as simply doing activities that she likes to do, whether it is skiing, painting, fishing, or diving — as long as there is some movement involved. Very few people will include reading, knitting, or crossword puzzles in the category of active living.
Depending on the age of the person, the term active living can alter its meaning slightly. For example, it is entirely different for a person in her 80s compared to a person in her 20s. For a healthy 80-year-old person, water aerobics, walks outside, and even raking the fallen leaves may be consider to be part of an active lifestyle. A healthy 20-year-old person has an entirely different set of standards set for her. For example, an active lifestyle for a youthful person may include running, lifting weights, mountain biking, and skiing.
There is some research that has shown that people should begin to work toward an active lifestyle at a very young age. For example, children as young as one and two years old should be encouraged to play outside for about an hour. Simply playing in the park is a great way for young children to engage in active living. If they are old enough to walk, a stroll through the zoo is also a good way to become active.
The benefits to active living are quite numerous. For example, it can prevent obesity in both children and adults. It can also lessen the likelihood for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure in most people. Although a person dedicated to a strict workout regimen clearly lives an active lifestyle, a person who walks to work and climbs the stairs to her high-rise building may also consider herself to follow an active lifestyle.
Some groups believe that active living should be supported by the community. For example, those people believe that parks should be plentiful and should contain areas for both children and adults to exercise. They also believe that schools should improve the curriculum for physical education so that adolescents appreciate the importance of active living. In general, active living is beneficial for most people. Usually, it is up to the informed individual to take the steps to incorporate the physical activity into her day.