It’s National Physical Fitness and Sports Month! Through The Century Council’s Ask,Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix Program, we encourage our nation’s youth to make the right choices and say YES to a healthy lifestyle and NO to underage drinking, as well as enable them to remain physically active through our Ask Listen Learn Interactive Game. Our partners at the National Association for Sports and Physical Education also inspire our nation’s youth to stay active! You can learn more about their activities in the blog post below!
Keeping children and youth turned on to physical activity by helping them explore new opportunities and determine what activities they truly enjoy doing is a challenge facing parents. Almost half of young people aged 12-21 and more than a third of high school students do not participate in vigorous physical activity on a regular basis. This inactivity contributes to obesity over a lifetime. That is why this month, National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, gives parents the perfect opportunity to inspire kids to lead a more physically active, healthy lifestyle. The first week of May, National Physical Education and Sport Week, helps kick off this month long celebration of the value in physical education and physical activity.
The American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) is a co-partner of a new national initiative aimed to help do just that. Led by First Lady Michelle Obama, Let’s Move! Active Schools inspires everyone from parents to your child’s teachers, even members of your community to become school champions and create active environments to get kids moving before, during and after school.
Here are some key facts about physical education and physical activity in this country:
- Only six states require physical education in every grade
- Only 20 percent of school districts require daily recess
- Just one in three kids is active every day
We also know that being active not only positively impacts kids’ health and helps curb childhood obesity, but it also has other important outcomes like achieving:
- 40% higher test scores
- Increased concentration and attention
- Improved attendance and discipline
Parents can become their child’s biggest and most important advocate for living a healthy lifestyle by integrating physical activity into each day so that children can meet the nationally recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity. Check out AAHPERD’s special ‘May Week’ webpages dedicated to aspiring families to get moving, not only this month, but all year long!
Sinu A. Patel, M.A.
American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD)