May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month: fitting for the warming temperatures where everyone is finally able to break their cabin fever from the winter and get outside. The President’s Council on Fitness gave this designation in 1983 as a way to promote healthy lifestyles among all American and improve our quality of life. Regular physical activity is good for everyone’s physical, mental, and emotional health regardless of age, gender, or physical ability, and it’s important to make sure to set aside regular times to be active every day.
As the President’s Council reminds us, every physical activity counts in your goal to become more fit. Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement that requires energy expenditure. This means you don’t necessarily have to hit the gym everyday or work up a sweat just to be active. There are plenty of ways to integrate activity into your daily routine, even if you work a desk job, especially with summer right around the corner.
Here are some ways to get your body moving:
Walk or Bike to Work
Use an alternative method of commuting to work one or two days a week. Rather than sit in traffic while driving, pack a bag with extra clothes and walk or bike to work. Not only does this get you outside, but even if it takes you a little extra time getting to and from work, it will cut out your need to go to the gym that day. Plus you won’t have the stress of traffic and it will cut down on the frequency of needing to go to the pump (aka extra dollars in your pocket).
Be a Sport
Get your friends together and join a community sports league. Park districts always have something fun like softball, soccer, basketball, flag football, or ultimate frisbee. It’s a great way to hang out with friends, get your exercise in, and beats going to the bar and night of the week.
It’s always fun to get your hands dirty while making your lawn look good. You can an added benefit to gardening when you plant edibles like a vegetable garden or berry bushes.
Take a Hike
Engage the whole family in a fun day on the trail. It’s a fun way to see the natural areas around your home and getting kids outdoors is extremely beneficial for them.
Have a Ball with Your Children
Toss a football across the yard, kick a soccer ball at the park, or take turns hitting a baseball to each other. It’s a great way to bond and get everyone running around.
Join a Group
Working out with others keep you on target to stay active. Your classmates will hold you accountable for attending each day and you’ll enjoy working up a sweat together.
However you choose to stay active, make it your goal to be active this May and throughout the summer.