May Celebrates Fitness and Sports

by Valerie Demetros

May is National Physical Fitness & Sports Month, which means there is no better time to make it a personal goal to take care of physical fitness and health for yourself and your family.

Physical activity helps older adults maintain independence, and it increases your energy, boosts mood, helps you bond with your kids, sets a lifelong fitness lifestyle for your kids and even reduces stress during pregnancy.

Adding more physical activity or exercise into your everyday life can reduce the risk of developing several diseases like Type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

And it doesn’t take long.

Adding more physical activity can have immediate and long-term health benefits. Most importantly, regular activity can improve your quality of life.

Keep your kids off the couch and get your whole family moving with these summertime fitness ideas:

1. Get some household chores done, or walk while chatting on the phone. Make it a priority to talk with friends while you’re moving, whether that’s walking, working, cleaning or hiking.

2. If your family doesn’t have a favorite fitness activity, try a new activity once a week. This could be ice skating, rock climbing or just going on a hike in beautiful Northern Arizona. Mix it up and find something you all enjoy.

3. Go beyond swimming with fun water activities. This means canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, surfing, water skiing, wakeboarding or tubing, all of which are available throughout the state in inviting spaces.

4. Ask your children to help with yardwork. Raking leaves, planting and tending a garden all get your heart rate up while checking off items on your family’s to-do list.

5. Set up an obstacle course. Make it a challenging obstacle course — create stations in your backyard or at the park for exercises like lunges, squats, situps and pushups. If you’re near a jungle gym add pull-ups or other monkey-bar exercises.

6. Get wet. On warm summer days, water balloons, water guns, sprinklers and even a simple garden hose provide ample opportunities for exercise and fun. Create a game in which participants try NOT to get wet. You can even play tag or dodge balloon with water balloons.

7. Finally, go high-tech. There are countless apps to help you all get moving together. Whether you challenge each other using a social network-style app like MapMyRun or MyFitnessPal, or opt for something like Pokemon Go, the end result is that you’re moving! Take a look at YouTube five-and 10-minute workouts for kids. There are even superhero-themed workouts for the little ones.