22 Ways to Move to a Healthier You in 2022

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Healthy You: Activity, Minds, Bodies, Habits

 

22 Ways to Move to a Healthier You

March 4, 2022 – Climbers who find happiness scaling walls. A photographer who clicks with nature. Seniors who keep their wheels rolling. A girl who twirls joyfully on skates. An aerialist. An artist. A boxer. A business owner. People of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. Maybe even you?

 

A group of people circle close with all hands in -- we're all in this together.

Meet Coach David Carey and his boxing students in our 22 Ways to Move series

 

These are some of the Alaskans we’ll be introducing this March, spotlighted in short videos and shared across social media in a series named 22 Ways to Move to a Healthier You in 2022. We’ll be looking for even more ideas about how Alaskans like to be physically active and then will feature select ones in a new poster that you can order or download. The goal is to inspire all Alaskans to keep moving in ways that are also fun — and sustainable over time.  

 

As we conclude the “Activity” quarter of our year-long Healthy You in 2022 campaign and move on in upcoming months to “Minds” (mental health), “Bodies” (nutrition and sleep), and “Habits” (daily actions to keep you healthy overall), we invite you to keep moving forward with positive, new choices you may have made or revived this year. If you haven’t jumped on board yet, it’s not too late to join in.

 

In this article:

How I move: keep a steady pace! Healthy You 2022

Meet seniors at Pioneer Homes staying active in our 22 Ways to Move series

Movement matters — here’s why

Daily physical movement improves your health and can even be lifesaving. It reduces the chances of developing numerous diseases and conditions including heart disease, some types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and serious outcomes from COVID-19. It helps you maintain a healthy weight. It helps you sleep at night, reduces stress and improves mood. It can also help increase focus at any age, improve a child’s ability to learn and provides a positive outlet for energy. Physical activity can also connect people and communities across generations. Plus, it’s fun (and fun matters, now more than ever).   

 

“The ‘fun factor’ is critical in our work. It’s the thing that keeps kids of all ages coming back for more,” said Harlow Robinson, Executive Director of Healthy Futures, a program of the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame, whose goal is empowering Alaska's youth to build that daily habit.

 

“That’s why we embrace the ongoing Play Every Day initiative as well as the annual Healthy Futures Challenge,” he continued. “Fun challenges and ongoing encouragement are our most effective way to meet The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.”

 

The Healthy Futures Challenge is a three-month interactive program that kicked off February 1 at more than 100 schools across Alaska. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, issued by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, recommends children and teens get an hour of physical activity a day.  Read a blog post about Play Every Day and Healthy Futures.

 

A young girl smiles as she gets ready to ice skate.

Meet Ruby Shyne Kim at her skating rink in our 22 Ways to Move series

 

The national physical activity guidelines also recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity plus two days of muscle-strengthening activity each week. According to the most recent Healthy Alaskans 2030 report, only slightly more than half (56%) of Alaska adults meet that guideline. The good news? A little bit of movement can make a big difference. Even adding short active breaks to your day can help you feel better.

 

A man takes photos with a camera on a beautiful snowy day.

Meet Nash Cotten on a winter photography walk in our 22 Ways to Move series

Every little bit counts

Movement can be as hardcore as Olympic-level performance sports (bravo to our hometown heroes!) or as simple as parking a little farther away from the supermarket to increase the steps you take. It can be time spent walking, snowshoeing, or riding a bike to relax or run errands. It can be shoveling snow, chopping wood or that hour a day you attend an online or in-person yoga or exercise class. It can be lifting soup cans as weights or dancing in the kitchen. It can be recess at school or using a standing desk at work. It can be whatever you find fun, affordable, and sustainable. It all counts. It all adds up to a healthier you in 2022. Looking for more ideas on how to fit more activity in your day? Check out the Move Your Way activity planner.

 

How I move: Like a bird! Healthy You 2022

Meet Bird Nelson rock climbing in our 22 Ways to Move series

 

As each of us strives for greater health, we make Alaska more resilient as well — and that’s important. We have big goals here in the Last Frontier. Our Healthy Alaskans 2030 State Health Improvement Plan is steered jointly by the State of Alaska Department of Health and Human Services (DHSS) and the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) and further advised by subject matter experts throughout the state. The plan outlines 30 health priorities with clearly defined objectives and strategies — as well as actions that community organizations and individuals can take to help achieve them. The plan issues periodic scorecards to track Alaska’s successes and continued challenges.

 

“Although it may sometimes feel challenging to know where to start when it comes to individual and community health, Healthy Alaskans provides a framework for how to address these challenges,” said Cheryl Dalena, the ANTHC co-chair of Healthy Alaskans 2030.

 

Dalena added: “Our combined plan considers the realities of health disparities, while recognizing aspects of Alaska Native life and culture that represent opportunities to improve health.”

 

An climber scales a wall of ice in the moonlight wearing a harness and climbing gear.

Meet Michelle Johannsen ice climbing in our 22 Ways to Move series

You are not alone

You’ll notice from the Healthy Alaskans scorecards that we have some room for improvement in not just our physical activity but also in our mental health, nutrition, and other aspects of public health. That’s why we are focusing on those areas in upcoming quarters as part of Healthy You in 2022. They’re all connected — as are we. You are not alone, and we are here to support you along your journey of improving or maintaining mental and physical health. We’ve already been sprinkling in social media posts about mental health, and you’ll see a more concerted focus starting in April.

 

Tune in: Healthy You 2022 - activities, minds, bodies, habits

 

“As a result of the impacts from COVID-19, more people are talking about and seeking support for mental health issues,” explained Heather Phelps, a mental health clinician with the Division of Behavioral Health within DHSS.

 

Tap in to our Healthy You in 2022 microsite, where you will find a wide range of resources. Follow us on social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Share your experiences and suggestions and be sure to catch the premiere of our 22 Ways to Move series on Instagram Reels throughout March. Then, let’s march on together toward a healthier you — and an even stronger, more resilient Alaska — in 2022, and beyond.