5 Ways to Celebrate National Physical Fitness and Sports Month


It’s National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, so let’s get moving!

Since 1983, every U.S. President has declared May as National Physical Fitness and Sports Month to highlight the benefits of staying healthy through exercise. Whether you’re young or old, everyone can find an activity to improve their physical well-being. The rewards of working out go beyond a healthier heart, flexible joints, and stronger muscles to also relieve stress and improve your mental health. Getting active is a win-win, all around. 

But how do you start? It’s easier than you think. There are a variety of ways to add physical activity into your everyday life that don’t involve an expensive gym membership or equipment. Choose one that you enjoy and will stick with, and soon, you’ll feel much better physically and mentally.

Five ways to get more exercise in your life 

Do you think working out is only five-mile runs or lifting weights? While those activities are certainly beneficial, there are lots of ways to get your body moving at your current skill level. Here are five suggestions to get you started on your fitness journey:

Take more walks

Walking is one of the best exercises you can do for your cardiovascular fitness. A brisk 30-minute walk in the park or around the block five times a week provides the recommended 150 minutes weekly of moderate exercise. You can fit in your daily stroll any time of day, and those daily walks with Fido count, too. The only equipment you need is a good pair of shoes. Look for comfortable footwear with a wide toe base and strong arch support. 

Dig in the garden 

Digging in your garden may seem like leisure time, and it is, but you’re also working out as you tend to your plants. Gardening exercises various key muscle groups such as the legs, buttocks, arms, shoulders, neck, back, and abdomen. Performing tasks that involve these muscles not only enhances strength but also helps burn calories.

As with any physical activity, following proper form is essential. Gardening means you’re bending down a lot, straining your back and knees. When you bend down to plant or weed, bend on one knee and keep your back in a neutral position to lessen the strain on your knees. If you do bend on both knees, place one hand on the ground and balance your weight forward as you keep your spine neutral. Wear knee pads to support your knees if needed. Using gardening tools with longer handles can also prevent you from straining your spine while bending down. 

Try playing a new sport

View this month as a time to pick up a new sport, especially if you like team activities. One to try is pickleball, which has soared in popularity in recent years with many towns establishing dedicated pickleball courts. A mix of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, Pickleball is fast-paced and fun. If you want to hop the Pickleball trend, be sure to take lessons first and always warm up before going on the court to prevent muscle strains and sprains. Buy the right paddle that feels comfortable in your hand and absorbs the force of hitting the ball.  

Dance to music 

Love to dance? Whether you join a dance class or swing to music in your own home, moving to the beat is a great workout and it’s enjoyable, too. But, dancing can be tough on your knees, ankles, and hips. To prevent dance-related injuries, work with an instructor or watch an instructional video to perfect your form. Before taking to the dance floor, stretch your muscles to warm up. 

Join a fitness class or group 

Maybe you want to exercise with a group of like-minded people. You have many options from which to choose — at all fitness and intensity levels. Looking for a more intense workout? CrossFit could be for you. It combines weight training, aerobics, running, and gymnastics. Before you start, work with an experienced trainer and go slowly at first. If you want a less fierce workout, join a yoga class. It stretches your muscles and improves posture. If you have lower back pain, try these yoga poses. 

National Physical Fitness and Sports Month aims to get you up and moving. It doesn’t matter what activity you pick, as long as you’re staying active. And while exercising is important, always rest if you’re tired or achy. Your body needs time to recover. If you are injured, see an orthopedist to keep you on the playing field or exercise mat.

Time to get moving

As a leading orthopedic and sports medicine center, New York Bone & Joint Specialists are dedicated to helping people lead active lives, whether they’re recovering from an injury or dealing with a chronic orthopedic issue. Our goal is to help every patient achieve a full life, free of pain and restriction. Contact us today for a consultation.

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