Each May, America celebrates National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Since 1983, this monthly observance promotes healthy lifestyles among all Americans with the goal of improving their quality of life.
Physical activity is one of the best tools we have to help combat chronic diseases experienced by over half of all Americans. Even 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity can boost your mood, sharpen your focus, reduce your stress, and improve your sleep. Physical activity on a regular basis can contribute to a reduced risk of depression, heart disease, several types of cancer, dementia, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
Let’s all take this as a cue to move this month, and challenge ourselves to do a little more than the last. Let’s also support this movement by supporting your friends, family, neighbors, and fellow gym members to do the same!
Here are a few ideas to get you moving…
- Take advantage of the nicer weather – go outside and PLAY! Really play. Grab some hula hoops at the local dollar store and twist away! Take a basketball to a nearby court and shoot hoops. Toss a frisbee with a friend!
- Commit to taking a 1-mile walk five days a week for the month.
- Turn on your favorite music and just dance for 20 or 30 minutes!
- Do this quick total body workout in your living room, at the park or wherever you can grab a little open space … 10 jumping jacks, 9 tricep dips off of a bench or the curb or your couch, 8 lunges, 7 squats, 6 pushups, 5 front kicks, 4 side lunges, 3 burpees, 2 back lunges, 1 more burpee!
- Here comes Mother’s Day … and what better way to spend it than MOVING with mom? Take a long walk together, go for a bike ride, or even bring mom to the gym for a class, followed by a celebratory post-workout wind down at Aura Spa!
- Try a new class! Typically take yoga? Try Mat Pilates. Never tried BodyPump? Give it a whirl. Take this month as your opportunity to push yourself outside the box. Grab a friend and bring someone new to class with you!
Small movement “snacks” throughout the day are a great way to sneak in extra exercise and also give your mind and body a refresh. Try the following:
- Do 10 pushups off the counter while you heat up your lunch.
- Do a lap of walking lunges around your house or apartment for a work break.
- Stand up and walk outside every two hours – if you work in an office grab a co-worker to go with you.
- Take a stretch break mid-morning and mid-afternoon.
There are so many ways to work movement into your day. Get creative and have fun with it. Maybe a few of the extra activities you try out this month will become great new habits. Whatever you do, enjoy this beautiful month and just move!