It's National Physical Fitness and Sports Month and there has never been a better time to be active! Whether it's with family, friends or your coworkers, take advantage of the spring weather and get moving!
National Physical Fitness and Sports Month is an initiative of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition and encourages the promotion of physical activity in every facet of our lives. Regular exercise is key to improving or maintaining health and the most recent Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans give you the flexibility and freedom to choose different activities to help you reach your goals. Here are some ideas to help you make exercise a daily habit!
There are plenty of opportunities to be active at home no matter what time of year it is or what the weather is like. Some ideas include taking a walk after dinner or playing touch football in the backyard. Exercise videos, as well as interactive fitness video games, are also popular alternatives to gym visits. Exercising together as a family also provides the added benefit of spending quality time together.
Establishing good exercise habits in children is important to curtailing the growing trend in childhood obesity. While physical education requirements vary widely, it's important to encourage kids to be active each day. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend children participate in 60 minutes of physical activity each day, which can include both structured and unstructured activity. While this may sound like a lot, there are many ways you can help your kids meet that requirement. Just make sure the activities are varied and are age-appropriate.
The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation is taking steps to encourage more physical activity in our state's schools through funding of physical education equipment and curricula. Since 2005, the Foundation has invested more than $4.5 million dollars to support P.E. equipment and programs at 188 schools in the state. Learn more about the Foundation's efforts in building a healthy Mississippi.
Worksite wellness programs are becoming increasingly common as businesses look for opportunities to manage healthcare costs while encouraging employees to adopt healthy habits. If your business does not have a wellness program, consider starting your own exercise group. Gather a group of coworkers and go for a walk after lunch or meet before or after work at a recreation area near your workplace for an exercise session. Having an exercise group can help you stay motivated and accountable, and you can encourage each other as you work toward your goals. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi's Healthy Workplace initiative is helping businesses around the state better manage healthcare costs through worksite wellness. Learn more about Healthy Workplace and some of our success stories.
Regular physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your health. Just 30 minutes a day on most days of the week is a good rule of thumb for most people, however the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can provide even more detailed information about activity needs for your age and stage of life. And the good news is, you can even break the 30 minutes into three 10-minute or two 15-minute bouts of activity! The most important thing is to find an activity you enjoy and you'll be more likely to stick with it!