running-woman-kidspeaceBy Denise Morganthall


Are you trying to lose weight or even fit into your summer clothes from last year? Have you felt tired lately and don’t know why? Are your children spending too much time in front of the TV and/or computer?


If you have answered yes to these questions, now is the time to get up and get moving! May is National Fitness Month, and you can make a change in your life starting today. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park your car far away from store entrances. Go for a walk once a day with your children, ride a bike, play Frisbee or even go fishing. Just making these small changes will play a large role in not only your physical well-being, but your mental health as well.


Research has shown that physical inactivity can lead to premature death, chronic disease and disability. Proper and adequate amounts of exercise boost brain activity affecting everything from the way we think to how we feel to what we do. Exercise can improve memory, not only in adults but in children as well. It makes it easier for kids to learn and boosts the brain’s capacity for knowledge. Exercise increases strength, flexibility and endurance. Research and statistics tell us that 20 percent of people have symptoms of mental impairment. By 2020, mental illness will be the highest cause of death and disability in the world. If those statistics are not enough to get you moving, I don’t know what is.


Don’t have time to go to the gym? Well you are not one does. But there are plenty of things you can do at home for exercise. Be creative in making exercise fun. Get your kids involved in sports, dance or even running with a dog, if you have one. If not, volunteer to walk the dogs at the local SPCA.


We can all use this month to raise awareness about the benefits of physical activity – both at home and work. Make a difference and spread the word about fun ways to get moving!