Blog Material Written By: Corey Edmonds, Community Health Worker
When we think of May, we often think of the unofficial start of summer. Leaves are beginning to cover the trees, flowers are in full bloom, children are wrapping up their studies and are eager to begin summer vacation, and we all look forward to getting outside and being more active versions of ourselves. Something that we probably don’t think of, however, is that May represents National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition.
For many, the terms sports and physical fitness can be intimidating and lead one to miss out on a lot of really fun and physically beneficial activities because many may not view themselves as athletes or even as someone who is fit. The truth is, though, that you don’t need to be fit nor an athlete to participate in sports or to be physically active. Exercise and our overall health share what is known as a dose-response relationship. Quite simply, this means that some exercise is better than none at all and that every little bit, no matter how meaningless it may seem, can help one lead a healthier and more active lifestyle.
In May 2020, in an attempt to combat this sometimes toxic mindset that one must be fit or an athlete to be physically active, the DHHS mobilized the “Move Your Way” campaign. The “Move your Way” campaign aims to empower Americans to #MoveInMay in their way – whatever way is comfortable and fitting for their lifestyle or any physical or other limitations they may have. The campaign included tips for various different age demographics, public service announcements from an array of DHHS officials, informational web pages, a personal activity planning guide, and tools and resources on how to be active while maintaining appropriate social distancing – in the midst of a global pandemic, of course.
As we enter year two of the COVID-19 global pandemic, being physically active is as important as it has ever been. While physical activity guidelines recommend that adults complete a total of 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity per week with the addition of muscle-strengthening activity at least twice per week and the guidelines for children recommend a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate physical activity per day with the addition of muscle- and bone-strengthening activities, it is important not to get caught up in trying to meet these guidelines to perfection. If you can meet them, that’s awesome! If you can’t, it’s not the end of the world. Just remember that some is better than none and that every little bit counts. Now, get out there, #MoveInMay and do it your way!