Do you think about your health very often? When you feel good, it's easy to take your health for granted. But when you get sick, you quickly remember how much you prefer being healthy!

Staying healthy is not always easy. You have to make good decisions every day. Things like eating the right foods and washing your hands regularly are daily choices you make that definitely affect your health.

One of the other important daily choices you have involves exercise. Did you realize that exercise is just as important for staying healthy as eating right and avoiding germs?

It's true! A well-rounded, healthy life should include regular, daily physical activity. Exercise has many health benefits. It builds strength and helps your bones and muscles work the way they should.

Exercise also helps you maintain a healthy weight. It can even reduce the risk of many health problems, like heart disease.

Exercise benefits your overall health in other ways, too. If you get plenty of exercise each day, you'll tend to sleep better at night. You'll also notice that exercising helps to reduce feelings of stress.

Despite how important exercise is, experts agree that most children do not get enough exercise daily. Many children spend too much time watching television, playing video games, or engaging in other sedentary (nonactive) activities.

More than one-third of the children in America are overweight. These children face a greater risk of health problems in the future, including heart disease, diabetes, asthma, and certain types of cancer.

Studies by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommend that children should be getting at least 30 to 60 minutes of daily exercise. Exactly what type of activity children do to get exercise isn't as important as making sure that they're getting exercise on a regular basis.

So, what is your favorite way to exercise? Do you enjoy a brisk walk around your neighborhood? Or is running more your style? Is kick ball up your alley? Or maybe jumping jacks and push-ups are more your speed? Regardless of the activity, you'll know you're getting good exercise when your heart starts beating a bit faster and your lungs start breathing faster as well.

Exercise is often one of those things that's easy to put off. It sometimes takes a back seat to other deadlines and activities. Doctors will tell you, though, that — just like eating right — you need to create good exercise habits when you're young.

The habits you create as a child will usually carry over into your adult life, so get active now and it'll be easier to keep it up in the future!

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