May 2015: Physical Fitness and Sports

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Monthly Spotlight: Physical Fitness and Sports

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May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, designated in 1983 by the President's Council on Fitness to promote healthy lifestyles among all Americans and improve our quality of life.

Physical activity provides long-term health benefits for everyone! By being active, you will burn calories that you store from eating throughout the day and—it can be as easy as walking the dog or as rigorous as running a marathon.

Providing opportunities for children to be active early on puts them on a path to better physical and mental health. It's never too late to jumpstart a healthy lifestyle. Regular physical activity is good for everyone’s health, and people of all ages and body types can be physically active. National Physical Fitness and Sports Month is a great time to spread the word about the benefits of getting active. Here are just a few benefits of physical activity:

  • Children and adolescents — Physical activity can improve muscular fitness and bone and heart health.
  • Adults — Physical activity can lower risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.
  • Older adults — Physical activity can lower the risk of falls and improve cognitive functioning (like learning and judgment skills).


Make physical fitness a apart of your life

Physical activity is an essential part of a being health. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (PAG) recommends that adults get at least 2½ hours of moderately to vigorously intense physical activity each week. You can spread this activity out over easy 30-minute increments, five days a week. Or you can choose from many activities and can accumulate activities in bouts of 10 minutes. The HHS also advises doing muscle-strengthening exercises two or more days a week. The health benefits of regular physical activity can be remarkable.

Adding Activity

Cleaning the house, or walking the dog. Even 30 minutes a day, broken up into shorter increments of 10 or 15 minutes, can greatly improve your health.

Making Room for Sports

Sports can give a big boost to the amount of physical activity in your life. You can choose individual activities like: biking, running, swimming, or hiking. Or, you may want to celebrate your social—and perhaps more competitive—side by joining a team or a club. Whatever activity or sports that you choose, remember to check with your physician first, and take care to slowly warm up your muscles and joints before you start any strenuous activity.

Exercise trail

Be Active and Stay Active

Being active doesn't require joining a gym. Look for ways to increase your heart rate during your daily routine. Walk or cycle instead of taking the car or bus, or you can choose the stairs over the escalator or elevator. Try these ways to be active and start working towards your fitness goals to jumpstart or maintain a healthy lifestyle. There are many health benefits to being active for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, but you should consult your physician before starting a new activity program. If you haven't been active in a while, start slowly and build up. Do what you can; some physical activity is better than none. There are plenty of ways to get moving and some may even surprise you! It's time to be active, get healthy, and have some fun!