Physical Activity in Rural Communities

By Jocinda Jackson-Jones, CDC Extension Associate

Now is the perfect time of the year to get out and get active. One way to do this is to commit 30 minutes of your day to walking, biking, jogging or doing any activity that gets you up and moving. Implementing physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day alongside a balanced diet provides you with more energy. Be sure to drink plenty of water and exercise in shady areas or during parts of the day when it is cooler, such as morning or late evening.

Exercise and a balanced diet both play a vital role in the overall wellbeing of communities, especially rural communities where resources are limited. With obesity becoming a more present factor in rural communities, exercise is essential and can be done right in your community or in your front yard. Listed below are a few ways to creatively implement exercise into your schedule.

  • Include your family and friends: Sometimes it can be difficult to stay consistent when it comes to making small life changes or setting goals. Inviting your friends and family to exercise with you establishes support, accountability and makes exercising fun!
  • Practice new habits: Working in the office can be a challenge, especially when you spend most of your day behind a desk. YouTube has a variety of quick exercise videos that you can watch and follow along with right in your office. Another way to add a few minutes of exercise into your day is parking your car further away when you make it to work or visit stores.
  • Implement home workouts: Some days will be busier than others, causing you to put off your usual activities. Creating a secondary plan for busy days is another way to hold yourself accountable on the days you have little to no time. YouTube is a great site to use for at-home workouts or you can create your own workout plan that consists of jumping jacks, sit-ups, or any of your favorite exercises.

All of the ideas above prove that there are several ways to practice healthier living beyond recreation facilities. Reach out to your community leaders to discover the physical activity opportunities in your area. Physical activity concerns can be addressed through the LSU AgCenter Healthy Communities program. Healthy Communities is a program that assists rural communities with different ways to become healthier. Visit the LSU AgCenter's Healthy Communities website at for more information.

If you are in the Morehouse or East Carroll Parish area and you are interested in expressing different ways you'd like to see your community achieve healthier living, contact Jocinda Jackson-Jones at or by telephone at 318-559-1459.

Membership and participation in activities and events are open to all citizens without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, veteran status or disability. If you have a disability that requires special accommodation for your participation, please contact us at 318-649-2663. The LSU AgCenter and LSU provide equal opportunities in programs and employment.

7/16/2021 2:47:47 PM
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