Alaska’s free Fresh Start programs help you move more: Adding just 10 minutes of daily activity increases chances of living longer

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Fresh Start – Free Programs for Better Health

Alaska’s free Fresh Start programs help you move more: Adding just 10 minutes of daily activity increases chances of living longer


JANUARY 10, 2023 — We often hear the recommendations for physical activity: Adults, aim for at least 150 minutes of activity a week. Kids, get out and play 60 minutes every day.


Those are great goals to aim for because they give you the best chances for the best health. But the benefits of physical activity kick in even after short active breaks.


Daily activity can help you feel better right away, cutting stress and improving sleep. A recent study showed that adding just 10 minutes of daily activity to your day — no matter where you’re starting — can increase your chances of living a longer, healthier life. If American adults added those 10 active minutes each day, they could prevent an estimated 110,000 deaths per year across the country.


Start with 10 minutes today

That’s the main message shared in Alaska’s Fresh Start video: 10 minutes a day adds up to so much more. Alaska’s new Fresh Start campaign at offers free programs for better health that support increasing daily activity to help lose weight or maintain a healthy weight; lower blood sugar; lower blood pressure; and stop smoking, chewing tobacco, or vaping. Since Fresh Start launched in late December 2022, hundreds of Alaskans have filled out enrollment forms to join one of these flexible health programs that offer free bathroom scales and blood pressure cuffs, match you with a coach and other health specialists, and provide long-term support to meet health goals.


There are many ways to add short amounts of activity to your day and any amount counts, says the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Choose the activity you enjoy: a 10-minute walk after lunch, a quick game of basketball with your kids, lifting weights during TV commercials, climbing stairs, or something else. Chores count, too, like shoveling the driveway or cleaning the house.


Bruce of Anchorage wanted to lose weight and have more energy to play with his kids. He knew moving more during the day would help. Now he heads outside instead of sitting in his office during lunch.


“I take my lunch hour and walk. I get a black coffee and enjoy the cold weather,” Bruce said.



A man sits on a park bench with his son on his lap on a snowy day.

Bruce and his son catch snowflakes on their tongues. Bruce of Anchorage takes a daily walk during his lunch break at work.


10 minutes to feel better now and later

Bruce talked about his goal of losing weight in a short video that shares Alaska’s Fresh Start free programs for better health, found at Being active and improving what he eats and drinks has helped Bruce lose weight.


The national physical activity guidelines state that being active can lead to immediate benefits:


Immediate benefits:

  • Sleep better
  • Feel less stressed
  • Lower your blood pressure


Over time, that activity results in even more benefits.


Long-term benefits:

  • Help you lose weight or stay at a healthy weight
  • Lower your chances for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and many types of cancer
  • Prevent developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease
  • Lower chances of depression and reduce symptoms of anxiety
  • Help prevent falling and injuries from falls
  • Reduce pain and improve your quality of life
  • Improve your chances of living a longer, healthier life


Add short active breaks to the day

Allen of North Pole joined one of Alaska’s free Fresh Start programs to lose weight and lower his blood sugar. He lost almost 60 pounds with the phone-based program. Now 76, Allen started wearing a tracker on his wrist to count his daily steps. His goal is to walk thousands of steps each day, but he doesn’t walk them all at once. He adds up steps throughout the day. He uses trekking poles to walk short routes around his neighborhood.


“I'll eat my breakfast, and I'll go for a walk,” Allen said. “I'll eat my lunch. I'll go for a walk.”


A man works out in his front room.

Allen of North Pole grabs a pair of dumbbells in his living room. He joined one of Alaska’s free Fresh Start programs and lost almost 60 pounds and lowered his blood sugar.


Allen has dumbbells in his living room that he can grab and do sets of squats. He’ll get up and walk in his living room during TV commercials. When shopping, he parks in the back of the lot and walks around it before going into the store.


“You can get in all kinds of miles and steps without even worrying about it, because you just change your way of doing things,” Allen said.


Looking for support to add activity to your day? Visit Alaska’s Fresh Start website to find a free program that supports activity to lose weight, prevent or manage diabetes, and lower blood pressure.


Fresh Start – Free Programs for Better Health

Ready for change? Visit to find free programs for better health.


Thousands of Alaskans have joined. Are you ready? Contact with questions about the campaign and to request materials.