Rise to the
President's Challenge...

Make physical activity
part of your life

The month of May has been designated National Physical Fitness and Sports Month to raise awareness of the importance of active living. Many organizations, communities, and schools have joined with the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS) to challenge Americans to get active and moving throughout the month of May, and for the rest of their lives.

Get Moving

Daily physical activity has significant health benefits, including substantially reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, obesity, osteoporosis, anxiety, and depression. Physical activity even lowers cholesterol and blood pressure. Melissa Johnson, the Executive Director of PCPFS, states, "Americans of all ages need to incorporate more movement into their daily lives. Adults need at least 30 minutes of activity 5 days each week. This can be done by choosing to bike or walk instead of driving; taking stairs instead of elevators; or pushing a lawnmower instead of riding one. Children need at least 60 minutes of daily active play. They need to run, climb, jump, and just get up and move around, away from their desks, the television, and computer games."

Adding Activity

Health benefits can be gained through simple everyday tasks, such as raking leaves, cleaning the house, or walking the dog. "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. Even 30 minutes a day, broken up into shorter increments of 10 or 15 minutes, can greatly improve your health," Johnson adds.

For more information, visit our Physical Activity pages.

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. Research your local community to find adult teams to join such as: soccer, baseball, basketball, hockey, football, tennis, or even Ultimate Frisbee.

You may also be able to catch a pick-up game at your local parks department or gym. You can find “meet-up” groups on the Internet for other sports enthusiast s in your area. There are also classes. This is a great way to introduce yourself to a new sport and skill set.

So, 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. Also, give yourself time to cool down and gently stretch when you’re finished. And, most of all, pick something you truly enjoy and do it regularly. Rise to the challenge!

older man kayaking in a lake.

10 Ideas to Stay Active

We know you're busy, but take it from us; you can still fit activity into your life. Here are some great ways to get started. Don't forget to join the Million PALA challenge and log your activity!