Did you know that May is National Physical Fitness and Sports month? It doesn’t appear to be a coincidence that with summer just around the corner that this is the month to kick off a more active lifestyle. The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition has recently revealed some startling facts about our current state of fitness:
- Less than 20% of adults meet the 30-minutes of recommended activity each day.
- Obesity has doubled among adults since the early 1970s.
- 1 in 3 children is overweight or obese.
- Only 1 in 3 children achieves the minimum amount of physical activity they need each day.
- 1 in 4 young children eat fast food on a typical day.
- On average, children now spend more than seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen.
- Fewer than 1 in 3 adults eat the recommended amount of vegetables each day.
One might argue that our country is facing an epidemic. However, unlike a typical epidemic that occurs due to the spread of an infectious disease, this epidemic is brought on by the individual decisions we make on a daily basis that either contribute to our wellness or undermine it. To stop this trend that only serves to decrease our quality of life, we need to question the decisions we make. For example, do we feed our family dinner through the fast food drive-thru or do we take the time to plan the week out with menus, recipes, and grocery shopping? Or after dinner, do we hunker down in front of the television with the family or do we head outside for a family walk or bike ride? What do we have as snacks? Can we substitute fruit for that bowl of ice cream at night? Every decision that we make can be a step in the right direction. And while it might take time to see and feel the difference, it will happen.
In honor of National Physical Fitness and Sports month, let’s make a positive change every day, even if it’s small. Those steps are the building blocks for a healthier tomorrow. Giving ourselves and our families the gift of a long life – one rich in good health – is something we all want and truly deserve.