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!
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
Guest post by Drew Brees and Dominique Dawes, Co-Chairs of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition
National Physical Fitness and Sports Month is the perfect time for children and families to get outside and play together! You don't have to do back flips in the Olympics or throw a football 40 yards down the field to be active and break a sweat. Whether you ride your bike to work or school, or chase after your dog in the park, physical activity can be fun - and it helps you feel good too.
President Barack Obama issues a proclamation during May National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. In that proclamation, he calls on all Americans to make daily physical activity, sports participation and good nutrition a priority in their lives.
You've probably heard that today in America, one third of all children and two-thirds of all adults are overweight or obese. We know that physical activity can help build lean muscle, reduce fat, and promote strong bone, muscle and joint development. So what are you waiting for? Through her Let's Move! initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama has formed a coalition of supporters including community and faith-based organizations, schools and childcare centers, local governments, and corporations to help end childhood obesity within a generation.
This time of year in most parts of the country, the weather makes it easy to explore America's great outdoors. So the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition is challenging everyone to pick up a new activity or sport, and help guide your loved ones and neighbors to better health!
Did you know that May is also Older Americans Month? It's never too early - or too late - to lead a healthy lifestyle. We want Americans of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to set new physical activity and healthy eating goals, and track your progress online while earning a Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA+). That's right - you can actually receive presidential recognition by improving your health. What more motivation do you need to get fit?
As the First Lady often says, we want to make the healthy choice the easy choice, and PALA+ is the easy choice to jumpstart or maintain a healthy lifestyle. It doesn't matter how old you are or where you live... anyone can participate in PALA+. The physical activity requirements are 60 minutes a day for kids (30 minutes a day for adults), five days a week for six weeks. You should also add a weekly health eating goal each week and build on those goals throughout the same six weeks.
So what are you waiting for? Earn your PALA+ today, and follow us on Twitter @FitnessGov for tips to stay motivated throughout the month!
Tags: Physical Fitness and Sports Month, health observance, play outside, PALA+
Active Advice | Building Healthy Communities | Playing Outside
Written by guest blogger, Jake Lynch, from Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.
In recent years Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) has seen trails evolve from being considered purely as recreational facilities to occupying a key role in the relationship between built environments and public health. But building the trails themselves is only half the battle. Longer-term work involves encouraging their use, investing residents and users with a sense of ownership, and making trails a natural, integral part of the community.
To facilitate this relationship, RTC staff must be creative, running programs that, at first glance, seem far removed from their trails mission. For example, RTC staff recently helped students at a D.C. school paint a colorful mural on a trailside wall, next to a vegetable garden. We brought along a fitness instructor who specialized in children’s activities, so the young artists took breaks from painting by running, stretching and racing along the trail. The event began a gradual process of familiarization that the trail is for them, that it connects to their school, and that it offers physical and personal freedom in an environment that can be restrictive.
In Pittsburgh, RTC sponsors students from low-income neighborhoods to join the annual Sojourn bicycle tour. As training, volunteers from Bike Pittsburgh lead rides along local trails. To warm up, they do yoga. It’s a wonderful sight: A group of young black students in the Lion’s Pose as cyclists and joggers cruise by. Bike Pittsburgh also operates a Free Ride Recycled Bike Shop. In areas where being able to afford a bike is a major obstacle, creative initiatives like these have a real impact on the number of people riding for regular trips.
In Spartanburg, S.C., an educational scavenger hunt on the Mary Black Trail is increasing trail usage among students and seniors. Small train sculptures are hidden along the trail; kiosks, signage and iPods transmit historical facts and scavenger hunt clues. Organizers hope to bring regular educational trails trips into the school syllabus.
Across America, rail-trail organizations stage fun runs and races. An underlying purpose of these events is to establish the local trail in the collective mind of the community as a free fitness and recreation facility open to all. Staging events for people who are already active runners does little to address broader health goals, so trail organizers are innovating and expanding their reach. An annual fitness day on the Hurley Trail in New York includes a cycle-spin workshop and Zumba sessions. ‘Trail Mix’ on the W&OD Trail combines biking, walking and the area's Civil War history, plus live entertainment and sports clinics. The Morgana Run hosts "Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound."
Trails are the backbone of programs that provide incentives for students to ride or walk to school, ostensibly to reduce vehicle congestion at drop-off and pick-up times. RTC hosts Compton BikeFest, encouraging riding among children in inner-city communities, a focus of anti-obesity efforts. For trails advocates, the key to increasing physical activity is often to make it about anything but the exercise, promoting the financial savings, convenience, accessibility, freedom, social interaction and environmental aspects of riding and biking.
Tags: creative programming, outdoor activities
Building Healthy Communities | Creative programming | Playing Outside | Recreation
This page last updated on: 11/04/2009
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