Health lessons from the Women’s World Cup

I watched the final game of the Women’s World Cup between Japan and the United States.  Tuning in a few minutes late I was stunned to see I  missed the first 2 goals! Believe me, I paid attention the rest of the game and was not disappointed. I admired the skill, talent and energy of both teams and with other Americans cheered the United States team’s victory  clinching the world champion title 5-2.

Besides enjoying the action I was more impressed by  the class and grace demonstrated by both teams as winners and as losers. That is the greatest lesson we can teach children and I hope parents used that as a “teachable moment”.

2015-07-06 08.02.56

I observed the superb fitness level of these and the other participants in the World Cup. Running up and down a field , kicking a ball and outmaneuvering opponents for 90 minutes is exhausting, but they made it look almost easy.  We can’t all be world class athletes  but we can be physically active in some way.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend 

  • moderate-intensive physical activity for 150 minutes or more per week

  • vigorous-intensity activity for at least 75 minutes per week

  • engaging in muscle strengthening activity at least twice per week.


Medical studies show that exercise can prevent or improve many chronic health conditions and lack of exercise contributes to many diseases.

  • Physical activity may reduce the risk of cancers of the breast, colon, uterus, prostate and pancreas.

  • Regular exercise may help prevent diabetes and heart disease.

  • Exercise can relieve joint and back pain due to arthritis.

  • Depression is treated with physical activity successfully


With proper guidance, anyone can perform some exercise or other physical activity regularly. I stay active with walking, bicycling, ballroom dancing, gardening and have recently tried yoga


ballroom dancing
dancing in a competition with my pro instructor

I have more energy and stamina when I am active regularly, and get sluggish if I don’t.

What do you do to stay active, fit and moving? please share and encourage someone else.

More information here

Physical Activity Basics from the CDC

Author: Aletha Cress Oglesby, M.D.

As a family physician, I explore the HEART of HEALTH in my work, recreation, community, and through writing. My blog, Watercress Words, informs and inspires us to live in health. I believe we can turn our health challenges into healthy opportunities. When we do, we can share the HEART of health with our families, communities, and the world. Come explore and share with me.

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