May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month in America. Now that the weather is warm and we have extended hours of sunshine, it’s time to celebrate physical activity in our lives!
The importance of maintaining a strong body to harbor a strong mind didn’t begin with Jack LaLanne or even body builder legends, like Arnold Schwarzenegger (get to the chopper!). Staying fit has been part of the recipe for a healthful life and disease prevention for thousands of years dating back to Ancient China and Greece.
In American history, the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports originated in the 1950’s (after a study showed American children to be less fit than their European counterparts) and we’ve been celebrating exercise every May for over 30 years since Congress declared this month a time to emphasize fitness and sports.
To most people, exercise is freeing, meditative, calming and rejuvenating all in one -and while it’s hard to fit it into our busy lives, it’s crucial to do so. Whether it’s hitting the gym or joining a team sport with friends, we need to be moving.
There are just too many benefits to an active lifestyle to ignore. The main health benefits of exercise include: stress reduction/relaxation, improvement in energy levels and moods, maintenance of strong bones and joints, and prevention of high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
So what’s really important to know about exercise? Most people either aren’t sure “how” to exercise or they think it’s too much work. And a lot of people associate being fit with long, sweaty workouts at the local gym filled with a myriad of intimidating fitness equipment and being too self-conscious around already fit people to really let go and enjoy their workouts.
But exercise has no shame. Seriously. The moment you lace up your shoes and start your workout, you’re already a rock star as far as taking the first step. No one will judge you for making an effort.
What you need to do is focus on fitness methods to get the most out of your exercise and also to avoid injuries. Do some research online for tips and different workouts. A really easy weeks’ worth of circuit training is available at The Skinny on Low Cal.
So what are you waiting for? May the fitness be with you this month and beyond!