Be Active Your Way Blog
May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month! This month, organizations, schools, worksites, and communities across the nation are celebrating the benefits of being physically active, and the strides we've all made to help Americans move more. During May, take some extra time to enjoy the fun and excitement of being physically active with your friends, coworkers, and family.
How are you or your organization recognizing National Physical Fitness and Sports Month? E-mail us at email@example.com if you would like to contribute a blog post!
Physical activity is important for all ages. Our Recommended Guidelines suggest 150 minutes of physical activity per week for adults, and 60 minutes per day for children. Inactivity resulting from increased screen time in this digital age is on the rise, so it is more important than ever to stay active.
Children are active by nature, but busy schedules and sedentary hobbies often make it difficult to engage in recommended activity. Families can help re-light the fire to play by participating in fun physical activities together. Here are a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing.
10 Activites for Families
What is your favorite family activity?
Childhood Obesity Awareness Month is just around the corner in September. Visit www.coam-month.org to find out what you can do to change the childhood obesity trend.
Stay Active on Campus
No college student wants to experience the "freshman 15" or the "four-year 40" - both terms for the weight gain that is all too common in the college years. In high school, many students are very physically active through sports and other activities, and they have access to more nutritious meals at home and at school. Learning how to make health and wellness a priority is an important lesson that should be taught during college. Every student should leave college with a lifelong plan for fitness.
Exercise is Medicine on Campus is bridging the gap between health care, fitness and the campus population (students, faculty, and employees) to integrate physical activity into their daily regimen and improve the quality of life on campus. The goal is for all college students to learn proper physical activity habits that they can continue throughout life. Sonoma State University used EIMC's guiding principles to create a video informing the students about campus opportunities to stay active.
Stay Active at the Office
Many adults spend most of their day sitting. A typical office worker will sit while commuting and working, during lunch and breaks, and in the evening upon returning home. In a world with an abundance of sitting opportunities, it is no wonder inactivity is on the rise.
It may be easier to become inactive on the job, but that does not mean there isn't ample opportunity to get moving in the office. So what can you do?
All of these activities are simple, inexpensive changes that create a healthier work environment. None is easier than increasing how often you walk. People who walk are three times more likely to reach the physical activity guidelines, even if only done 10 minutes at a time. You can easily measure your daily walking by wearing an inexpensive pedometer (often $5 or less). Aim for 8,000 to 10,000 steps per day.
For more information on the benefits of walking, check out Every Body Walk!. I challenge you to walk at least 30 minutes per day. How are you getting your activity in?
Tags: physical activity, creative programming, campus, office, families
Creative programming | Exercise is Medicine | Physical Activity and Employers
You can feel it all around you - in the office, at the store, in a restaurant, and at home; it's May, and it's time to get active! Warmer weather is upon us, and we feel rejuvenated with an abundance of energy. What better time than May for Exercise is Medicine (EIM) Month and National Physical Fitness and Sports Month? Let's use this gift of increased energy and warmer weather to be more physically active.
EIM Month was launched in 2008 to celebrate May as a time for health care providers, fitness professionals, the public, and supporting organizations and constituents to recognize, emphasize and celebrate the valuable health benefits of exercise on a national scale.
Over the past few years, almost all 50 states, many cities, organizations and even some military bases have celebrated health and fitness in May by hosting a variety of organized events requiring physical activity to get people moving. This year we hope to involve every state!
Exercise is Medicine Month Spotlight
Art Anderssen's Wet 'n' Dry Fitness 'n' Fun, located in Punta Gorda, Florida, kicked off their EIM Month activities early this year. Their Dragon Boat team, the Drippin' Dragons, supported Exercise is Medicine Month while the EIM Network logo was emblazoned on the front of their team shirts during the 2nd Annual Dragon Boat Festival held on April 14. Punta Gorda issued its EIM Month proclamation on May 2nd,following Charlotte County's proclamation on April 24th.
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Be Active in May
A lot of great information was shared at the Health & Fitness Summit & Exposition this year. Here's a glimpse of what participants learned from the many topics presented. You might want to consider trying some of these when planning physical activities this month and beyond.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Building a Fit Nation
Capping May as the month of both Physical Fitness and Sports Month and Exercise is Medicine Month, Dr. Sanjay Gupta will speak May 30 at the 59th ACSM Annual Meeting and 3rd World Congress on Exercise is Medicine. Dr. Gupta, CNN's multiple Emmy award-winning chief medical correspondent, will speak on "Using the Power of the Media to Help Build a Fit Nation."
How are you celebrating Exercise is Medicine Month? Share your story with us!
Tags: Exercise is Medicine Month, National health observance, physical activity
Active Advice | Exercise is Medicine | Playing Outside
Like a lively puppy that is thriving, joyously active and everywhere at once, Let's Move! has energized America with no sign of slowing down. In just a year, First Lady Michelle Obama's initiative has prompted families, individuals and organizations to take health into their own hands. Collectively, we're eating better and finding ways to be more physically active. It adds up to healthier lifestyles for a whole spectrum of people and reflects encouraging momentum in the fight against childhood obesity.
As more and more of us connect the dots - through Let's Move!, the National Physical Activity Plan, Exercise is Medicine (EIM) and countless other initiatives - we're helping the movement mature. Recounting success stories and lessons learned lets us share best practices. EIM on Campus connects colleges and universities with one another, but also with their local communities. Groups like the National Society of Physical Activity Practitioners in Public Health allow professionals to learn from one another and share resources.
We're learning not only from one another, but from new research about exercise, nutrition, physiology and motivation. This is essential to make sure our programs and policies will be effective. From molecular-level, basic science to studies of group interaction and epidemiology, new knowledge is providing a solid base of evidence to underpin our efforts.
Similarly, approaches to healthier lifestyles range from the granular to the global. We know that every bite we consume, every calorie expended, brings with it a health impact. Individual actions become habits, with immense effects on individuals over time. Family members influence one another, and whole communties can gain a collective consciousness or identity around healthy lifestyles (think Portland, Oregon, where bicycling is a shared passion).
A spectrum of solutions
Some of us emphasize physical activity and exercise, but we know that's just one factor in the health equation. Nutrition plays a huge role, as do tobacco and alcohol use, air quality and more. We've learned that all these elements must work together, and that healthy behaviors must become part of our everyday lives to be effective. And their adoption requires the kind of one-on-one modeling that happens in families, classrooms and circles of friends - but also the collective action that is reflected in organizational and community policies.
The vision reflects the range of benefits, from individual health and quality of life to societal gains in worker productivity and reduced health care costs. We're getting there, thanks to a growing foundation of research, immeasurable individual effort, and the unstoppable enthusiasm of initiatives like Let's Move.
How do your efforts complement the work of Let's Move!, the National Physical Activity Plan and other initiatives?
How can we activate more people to "think globally; act locally" to foster healthier lifestyles?
Tags: Let's Move, physical activity, childhood obesity, Physical Activity Plan
Building Healthy Communities | Exercise is Medicine | National Plan | Preventing Obesity
This page last updated on: 11/04/2009
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Office of Disease Prevention & Health Promotion, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.