National Physical Fitness and Sports month was created to spread the word about the benefits of leading a more active lifestyle and encouraging everyone to make it a priority in their family. That means May is the perfect time to focus on fitness by moving more and setting a goal to be more active every day of the year!
We can all breathe a sigh of relief because the warmer days of summer are almost here. (This, however, is Colorado where Mother Nature has been known to bless us with a June snow, so there are no guarantees!)
We Are a Sedentary Society
A sedentary lifestyle has become the norm. Desk jobs and technology use exacerbates the problem. The average American sits for 13-15 hours each day!
This can have negative health effects. It is estimated, for instance, that over 35 diseases including cancer, back pain, obesity, and depression are linked to having a sedentary lifestyle.
The Importance of Moving More
Children who are more active perform better in school and increase their grades by 10-15 percent, according to Dr. James Levine, Director of Obesity Solutions at the Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University. Dr. Levine also suggests that in the workplace, employees who are more physically active become 11-15 percent more productive.
There are many other reasons why it is important to incorporate more movement into your life. And doing this can be as simple as setting an alarm every hour that reminds you to get up and move.
Quick Tips on Being More Active
Enjoying a television show marathon, video game, or engaging in social media are important stress relievers or indulgences at times. However, it’s beneficial to perform some sort of exercise rather than remaining seated for extended amounts of time. Sitting for too long is detrimental to your heart health.
You can also limit your children’s screen time by setting an alarm every 30 minutes or hour. Ask them to do something active or play outside before they can continue to veg out in front of screens.
At work, make it a goal to walk around or stretch once an hour, or take a short walk on breaks, rather than remaining at your desk all day.
Small changes in your daily routine can add up to a big difference in your overall heath.
In Our Community
In this region, there are many organizations dedicated to encouraging fitness and wellness and to promoting sports. Here are just a few:
The City of Colorado Springs Sports and Recreation Department
This city department offers youth and adult sports, manages natural areas, open spaces, and community parks, as well as community centers, Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site and the Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center. They offer many fabulous opportunities to explore our community, to be more active, and to participate in monthly special events.
Here is an event that is happening this month: National Take Your Kids to the Park Day.
This day is a nationwide celebration of the great outdoors and is designed to connect kids and families with their parks and public lands. Locally it will be held on Saturday, May 19th from 10-2pm at Meadows Park Community Center, 1990 South El Paso Avenue, and will feature hands-on activities, a bounce house and healthy snacks. This event is free to the public.
There are plenty of volunteer opportunities here if you would like to give back to the community.
A great national and local non-profit organization that started in 1844 is the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Organization). Since that time, the YMCA has expanded to serve men, women, and children of more than 10,000 neighborhoods with the goal of helping people and communities to learn, grow and thrive.
To promote health and well-being, the Y offers many terrific opportunities for all ages. Before and after school programs. Youth day camps and over night adventures. Parents’ night outs. Youth sports and other classes. Tween and Teen Programs. Adult and Senior Programs, too.
Colorado Springs Sports Corporation
The Colorado Springs Sports Corporation launched in 1978 to help relocate the United States Olympic Committee from New York City to Colorado Springs. This organization hosts many fun, high-profile events through out the year. It has a powerful impact on supporting local athletes, sports teams and coaches, as well as the nation’s premier sporting organizations, including the United States Olympic Committee.
There also offer many fun volunteer opportunities to help assist at the various local events.
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