Now that Cinco de Mayo is out of your system, it’s time to concentrate on the world beyond tacos and tequila. May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, and the hashtag #moveinmay is part of a countrywide initiative to get kids, teens and adults of all ages to take an active role in their health.
The annual campaign isn’t just about wellness and it’s certainly not about weight loss; #moveinmay is purely about the fact that, in the words of the President’s Council on Health and Fitness, active kids do better.
The council’s activity guidelines for children and adolescents include 60 minutes of exercise daily, most of which should come in the form of moderate to vigorous aerobic work; vigorous aerobic work should be engaged in at least three days each week, the council says.
You may notice that today’s exercise guidelines seem a bit more stringent than those you grew up with. Why? There is simply more data reflecting the positive effects exercise may have on children’s abilities to learn and mental acuity than there used to be.
A 2013 report from the Institute of Medicine notes, “children who are more active show greater attention, have faster cognitive processing speed, and perform better on standardized academic tests than children who are less active.”
Tough to argue with those findings.
Studies show, time and again, that students who regularly engage in physical activity perform better on tests and are able to concentrate for longer periods of time than their less active counterparts.
The #moveinmay initiative comes at the perfect time of year. As the weather improves and the temperatures rise, kids and parents will have an easier time getting fulfilling the daily recommended amount of exercise.
Looking for ways to keep your kids active? Check out this infographic from the Institute of Medicine for ideas on getting in the recommended daily hour of activity. Tag your social posts with #moveinmay to join the conversation!