National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. This year, the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports challenges Americans to get moving for health, and to get active and fit in May.

Fitting exercise into a hectic schedule can be tricky. To make it easier on yourself, try short bursts of activity. Dedicating 10 or 15 minutes of your time to fitness throughout the day, totaling 30 to 60 minutes, has significant health benefits.

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Everyday Options

Bike or walk instead of driving, take stairs instead of elevators, go for a walk instead of a coffee break, park the car further away from the office or shopping mall, sweep the floor instead of vacuuming, or push a lawnmower instead of riding one. Children need to run, climb, jump, and just get up to move around, away from their desks, the television and computer games. So find different ways to add movement into your daily routine.

The Ultimate Magic Pill

"Americans of all ages need to incorporate more movement into their daily lives," says Melissa Johnson, executive director of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. "If there were a medication that conferred all of the health benefits of regular moderate physical activity, every doctor would prescribe it. Physical activity is the ultimate magic pill."

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Fitting in Fitness

Twenty minutes of vigorous physical activity three times a week, such as sports, aerobics, working out in the gym, and running, have added health benefits. Johnson says, "But it's important to understand that you don't need to sweat in a gym or run a marathon to reap the health benefits of daily physical activity."

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Everyone Counts

Teaching children that physical activity can be fun is important to ensure a happy, healthy life. People with disabilities need to be active, too. Older adults benefit from being physically active because it prevents depression and improves their ability to carry out daily living activities. 

No matter what your age, get active and celebrate National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Take the family on a hike or an after dinner stroll. Everyone will benefit from a breath of fresh air.

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About the Author

Judi Sheppard Missett

Judi Sheppard Missett, who turned her love of jazz dance into a worldwide dance exercise phenomenon, founded the Jazzercise dance fitness program in 1969. Today the program boasts more than 7,800 instructors teaching more than 32,000 classes weekly in all 50 states and 32 countries. The workout program, which offers a fusion of jazz dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga and cardio box movements, has positively affected millions of people. Benefits include increased cardiovascular endurance, strength and flexibility, as well as an overall "feel good" factor.  For more information go to jazzercise.com or call (800) FIT-IS-IT.

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