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May is National Physical Fitness and Sport Month

Posted By Regan Zambri & Long || 18-May-2015

According to the CDC, more than a third of adults in the U.S. are obese and another third are overweight; obesity also affects about 18 percent of kids from age 6 to 19, and an amazing 12 percent of kids aged just two to five years. Obesity has been associated with a whole host of serious medical issues, including type II diabetes, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, infertility, liver disease and even cancer.

The relationship between exercise and body weight control is more subtle than most people realize, however. For instance, the American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine recently admitted that "It is reasonable to assume that persons with relatively high daily energy expenditures would be less likely to gain weight over time, compared with those who have low energy expenditures. So far, data to support this hypothesis are not particularly compelling."

That said, for kids, being physically active important for building healthy bones and muscles, and it can also help them perform better in school.

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, and that means it’s the ideal time to make sure you’re getting the activity you need to thrive. Before you jump into an activity that’s unfamiliar to you, there are a few important steps you should take to avoid sports injuries that can keep you sidelined for a long time:

  • Have a physical to make sure your body is up to the activity you’re planning, especially if you’ve been leading a relatively sedentary lifestyle.
  • Always warm up before exercising to avoid straining your muscles. Walking can be a good way to get your muscles ready for action.
  • Stay hydrated. Even if it’s cool outside or you don’t work up a "big sweat," your muscles still need plenty of fluid to stay flexible.
  • Above all, start slowly and work up to higher levels of endurance to avoid strains and sprains.

Physical activity is good for your body and your brain. Make May the month you make a commitment to being more active and working toward better overall health.

What if you get hurt playing sports and need a hospital stay? See 10 Tips Patients Can Do to Make Your Hospital Stay Safer for insight.

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