National Health and Fitness Day, June 1/21

June 1st was National Health and Fitness Day. The other 364 days of the year should be dedicated to the same topic. Every day should be Health and Fitness Day. Exercise and being active are very important during these pandemic days. Get outside, gets active, find the motivation to get you going. You benefit tremendously by remaining active. So find something you enjoy doing outside that gets you moving and reap the rewards.

I walk the dog nightly but am considering bumping it up both in pace and in frequency…need some motivation. Hey send me a ‘nudge’ or a verbal push…maybe it will motivate me to become more active.

Get outside and get active!

Physical activity comes with many benefits – not only does it contribute to our physical health and wellbeing, but it also can help to improve our mental health. The global pandemic has, without a doubt, had an impact on our health, but through movement and activity, we can discover new ways to feel good, both body and mind. By taking advantage of the great outdoors and all that nature has to offer, we can ensure physical activity is a regular part of our routine.

Nicer, warmer weather across the country makes doing the physical activity more enjoyable as we can use the outdoors to our benefit. Trees in urban and suburban areas are associated with several positive effects on the physical and mental health of people of all ages and can help with relaxation and stress reduction. Walking can improve heart health, reduce symptoms of depression, decrease pain, and improve physical function, to name a few. Whether you already have an exercise routine or are just getting started, harnessing what nature has to offer and reaping the positive effects of physical activity can be a powerful combination for your health.

In addition to walking, working outdoors in a yard or garden can help to maintain physical fitness, improve flexibility, coordination, and strength, enhance physiological and psychological relaxation, improve self-esteem and depression symptoms, and encourage creativity. For those who do not have access to a yard or garden, there are local community gardens in many cities and towns.

Another added benefit of getting more active for some of us is that we may get away from the fridge more often. Did you know being inactive stimulates the appetite? It does so because inactivity leads to boredom and boredom leads to snacking which in turn, leads to weight gain. Just another reason for becoming more active.

Gardening and walking are just two ways to stay active while enjoying all that nature has to offer during these warmer months. But don’t let your guard down, the pandemic is not over yet. It is important to maintain a safe distance (at least 2 meters away from those outside of your immediate household) while outdoors in public spaces, in accordance with public health guidelines.

Source: McMaster Optimal Aging Portal

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