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The Arthritis Foundation says people who live sedentary lifestyles can benefit enormously from just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day.

This conclusion was reached recently by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine, according to the foundation."The activity can be anything from gardening or cleaning the house to fishing while standing," it noted. Even mowing the lawn with a walk-behind power mower would fill the bill.

"Each of these activities is equivalent to walking two miles briskly," the foundation reports, explaining that by "expending just 200 calories a day in this way, you can lower your chances for heart disease, and improve your strength, flexibility and coordination."

It cautioned that men age 40 and older, women age 50 and older, and people with chronic illnesses such as arthritis should consult a physician before increasing their activity level.