National Fitness and Sports Month: The Importance of Physical Activity
May is National Fitness and Sports Month. It’s the perfect time for Americans to find a new passion for sports or begin an exercise routine.
If you’re thinking about getting fit, you need to make sure that you know the main benefits of staying fit, but also the risks.
Keeping yourself safe to avoid injury is crucial when you start working your body in new ways. Otherwise, you may be hurting more than you’re helping.
Keep reading to learn more about this month-long event, how to get started, and more.
What Is National Fitness and Sports Month?
This annual event began in 1983 when a healthy lifestyle among American citizens was promoted across the country through sports and different physical activities.
For 2021, the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition is working with the ODPHP for this event. Because of the pandemic, they have teamed up to promote safe and effective exercise while practicing social distancing at the same time.
There are easy ways to get some extra activity in. These could include vacuuming around the home or simply taking a walk outside, but if you’re interested in getting into a new exercise routine, this is the month to do it.
What Are the Main Benefits of Exercise?
People of all ages can benefit from exercise, but the specific benefits that you’ll get will depend on the type of exercise you do.
For example, someone that decides to take up running is going to benefit differently than someone that decides to start lifting weights.
Regardless of the type of exercise you prefer, some of the general advantages of getting in a good workout include:
- Weight management
- Improved cognition and critical thinking
- Reduced risk of osteoporosis
- Reduced cardiovascular risk
- Reduced cancer risk (for certain types)
- Stronger muscles
- Improved quality of life
- Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
- Reduced anxious or depressive symptoms
- Overall better physical function in daily life
As you can see, physical activity and exercise are good for both the body and the mind.
How to Prevent Exercise-Related Injuries
To get your muscles ready, warm-up by exercising at a slower pace than you plan for your workout. After the workout, cool down by doing the same thing to bring your heart rate back down.
Make sure you know the right form and function of the workouts you plan to do, especially if it’s your first time trying them out.
Before you begin your workout, stretch your muscles for 15-30 seconds. Instead of stretching cold muscles, stretch them right after your warm-up.
Some simple safety precautions during exercise include using the right equipment and knowing your limits. If you’re new to exercise, low-intensity workouts may be a better option for you to start with to prevent risk.
Signs of Exercise-Related Injuries
If you have muscle pain or joint pain that lasts for a long time, you may want to get in touch with the providers at Physicians Premier.
Other signs that you have an injury include:
- “Pins and needles” sensation
- Excessive tiredness
If you have chest pains, a broken bone, or any serious injuries, always seek emergency medical attention.
When You Should Visit Physicians Premier
If you have exercise-related injuries, it may be time to see a professional for additional care.
National Fitness and Sports Month is the perfect time to get in better shape, but make sure you do so safely. Take our suggested precautions and pay attention to how your body feels.
Do you need some help with a medical concern? If so, be sure to visit our ER in Corpus Christi and let us give you the care you deserve.
Edwards, M. K., & Loprinzi, P. D. (2018). Experimental effects of brief, single bouts of walking and meditation on mood profile in young adults. Health promotion perspectives, 8(3), 171–178. https://doi.org/10.15171/hpp.2018.23
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2020, November 20). About ODPHP. https://health.gov/about-odphp Warburton, D. E., Nicol, C. W., & Bredin, S. S. (2006). Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association journal = journal de l’Association medicale canadienne, 174(6), 801–809. https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.051351