May is celebrated as National Physical Fitness & Sports Month, which helps draw attention to the importance of moving our bodies in different ways to get physical activity into our daily lives. It is crucial to intentionally move our bodies throughout the day for our overall health and wellbeing. Our ability to move looks different for everyone and this month we urge you to move more, regardless of how that looks for you!
During the month of May, the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition encourages Americans to #MoveInMay to celebrate. They recommend the following:
• Be A Sport: Join a recreational sports league within your community.
• Join a Group: Have accountability by participating in a class with others. Group classes may encourage you to move more consistently and not give into excuses!
• Movement with Mom: If you are able, plan a Mother’s Day activity such as yoga, swimming, or walk in the park with your mother figure.
There are endless activities to participate in ranging from low to high intensity and it’s important to incorporate a mixture of these activities.
Examples of low intensity exercise include walking, folding laundry, and playing catch. Moderate activities might include brisk walking or bike riding, gardening, or dancing. High intensity activities include running, hiking with a backpack, jump rope, swimming, etc. Aim to get 20-30 minutes of exercise each day while maintaining proper hydration to ensure proper recovery.
It’s not uncommon to have trouble staying motivated in getting exercise each day, but there are several ways to stay engaged, which may help some people be more likely to participate in physical activities. This might include figuring out what activities a person truly enjoys doing as well as setting goals to work toward. It’s also important to figure out potential barriers, and finding ways to work around them in order to be successful. When meeting our goals for physical activity, our bodies will benefit and we may feel more accomplished!
Movement is beneficial for our physical health, and it can play a significant role in our mental and emotional health as well. There is evidence suggesting movement may improve ones overall mood and decrease feelings of anxiety for those suffering with anxiety or depression. These decreased feelings may occur due to the release of endorphins within the body. Physical activity can also serve as a health-promoting outlet to help process the way we might be feeling.
While the weather warms up we may find ourselves heading outdoors to participate in activities and enjoying the sunshine. It’s important to remember to protect our skin from the elements, especially this time of year, as our skin is the largest organ of our body and it can act as an indicator of potential underlying health issues.
Protecting our skin by using SPF sunscreen or sunblock and staying out of the sun while rays are most intense, from 10am-4pm, can lower our risk of developing skin cancer, which is the most common type of cancer within the U.S.
Take advantage of the beautiful spring weather by getting outside and being intentional about your movement. You may discover a new activity you love that makes your body feel good, too!