Health Department

Staying Active in the Winter

Staying Active in the Winter

Article by Larry D. Jones, MPH

January 1, 2013

Here we are in the coldest time of the year. The skies are cloudy, the wind is cold, it’s dark when you wake up in the morning…and it’s dark when you get home at night. But even in these cold months, it is important that we all stay physically active every day. In order to be physically active, all you have to do is get your body moving.

According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, we need to do two types of physical activity each week to improve your health, both aerobic and muscle-strengthening. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that adults get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity each week, along with muscle strengthening exercises at least 2 days a week. This may include a brisk walk, water aerobics or riding a bike on level ground paired with lifting weights, yoga or using resistance bands 2 days a week. You are probably thinking, 2 hours and 30 minutes? That is a lot to squeeze into many of our busy schedules, but you don’t have to do it all at once. Not only is it best to spread your activity out during the week, but you can break it up into smaller chunks of time during the day. As long as you're doing your activity at a moderate or vigorous effort for at least 10 minutes at a time.

As a City, Independence has many great parks and programs for citizens to utilize in order to stay physically active. The Roger T. Sermon Center and Truman Memorial Building both offer a variety of fitness classes for both youth and adults. For our citizens age 50 or over The Palmer Center is an excellent facility that offers fitness programs, health programs and much more. For more information on these programs, please call 816-325-7843.

As part of the Building a Healthier Independence grant initiative, the City’s Health Department has teamed up with Parks and Recreation and KC Running Company to sponsor The 2nd Annual Independence Park Trot 5K Run/Walk. This is a certified 5K and can be chip-timed. The Run/Walk will take place on Saturday, May 4, 2013 at Waterfall Park, south of Bass Pro Shop. This race aims to promote increased use and access of the City's parks and trails. Registration for this year’s race is now open at

We hope by offering this FREE event, families will enjoy the event and want to spend more time visiting the many parks and trails Independence has to offer!

Information provided by:,