Get Moving!!!

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month—a good time for parents and students to work together to learn more about the importance of physical activity.  In combination with healthy eating, keeping active can help prevent a range of chronic diseases and lead to a healthy lifestyle.  Physical activity helps to control weight; builds lean muscle; reduces fat; promotes strong bone, muscle and joint development; and decreases the risk of obesity. Children (6 – 17 years) need 60 minutes of play with moderate to vigorous activity every day to grow up to a healthy weight.

If this sounds like a lot, consider that 8 to 18 year olds spend an average of 7.5 hours a day using entertainment media including TV, computers, and video games in a typical day. Reducing the use of electronic media and increasing physical activity is worth the investment—physically active students tend to do better in school, have fewer absences from school, and feel better about themselves than students who are not active.

Getting active is easy!  A child’s 60 minutes of daily physical activity could include physical education and recess at school, afterschool sports, and family activities such as taking a walk after dinner or spending the afternoon at a park.  During the month of May, and throughout the year, parents are encouraged to teach their children about healthy lifestyles, which will help them to grow up and lead healthy lives.

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