Get Up & Move!

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports month. Here’s how you can start incorporating more physical activity into your daily life.

What is physical activity?

Physical activity is anything that requires movement of your body and increases your heart rate. According to the CDC, kids and teens should do 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day. Working out on a regular basis, will make you strong, increase your energy levels, and flexibility (Women’s Sports Foundation).

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Here is how you can get started!

  1. Make a fitness plan. Use the 3 steps and tips provided here to make a personal fitness plan that will work for you.
  2. Are you just getting started? Start small. Try getting off the bus or train earlier and walk a few extra blocks. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you drive, park your car further away and walk.
  3. Make physical activity fun. Physical activity doesn’t just mean walking and running. There are so many activities you can do! Try playing your favorite sport, dancing, or going to the park to toss around a Frisbee. What other ways can you think of to make physical activity more fun?  You can find more ideas here and here.
  4. Workout with your family or friends. Getting others involved will help you have fun and get your daily exercise in too. When you join active clubs or community activities, you may even make new friends.
  5. Fuel up! If you’re active, you need energy. Learn more here about foods and drinks you should have. Check out these great resources for tips and recipes:
    1. KidsHealth.org – Teen – Recipes
    2. NIDDK – NIH – Take charge of your health: a guide for teenagers
    3. USDA – 10 healthy tips for teen girls
  6. Stay safe. Check out these safety tips to learn basic ways you can stay safe while becoming more physically active.
  7. Take your time. Remember that it takes time to make changes in your lifestyle. Try changing one habit per week. Do you drink soda on a regular basis? Try switching it out for water. Do you eat enough fruits and vegetables? For the second week, add in those servings of fruits and vegetables.
  8. Get motivated and stay motivated! Check out these great ideas to overcome common obstacles here.

Why is physical activity important for your health? Being physically active has many benefits. It may help control your weight, increase flexibility and balance, and improve your mood. Regular physical activity can have a positive impact on your mental health by: reducing stress, improving sleep, boosting your energy levels, increasing your self-esteem, and reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Being active is great for your muscles, heart, and lungs. It helps you build strong bones, prevent diabetes and high blood pressure, fight certain types of cancer, along with so many other benefits.

How do you stay active? What types of activities do you enjoy to stay physically active? Tell us in the comments!

Stay healthy! 🙂

Sources:

  1. Girlshealth.gov – Foods and drinks for physical activity
  2. Girlshealth.gov – Physical activity safety tips for girls
  3. NIDDK – NIH
  4. Women’s Sports Foundation – Girls Get Active
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