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Happy National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

Posted 4/25/2016 by Ginger Fiscella, Exercise Physiologist for Healthy Kids

Happy National Physical Fitness & Sports Month. The summer months are approaching and we are finally starting to see a light at the end of the dark, wintery tunnel. When we think of summer we immediately start to think about all of the fun, outdoor activities that we can participate in, but did you know we actually tend to be less active in the summer?

Boredom. Boredom plays a huge part in the decrease in activity. We are so used to having someone tell us what to do, where to go and how to do it during the school year. We are out of our normal routine, we have less structured eating schedules, and have a habit of curling up on the couch in the air conditioning and catching up on all those shows we missed during the school year.

Now is the time to really start thinking about and planning your summer so that you don’t fall into the depths of the summer boredom blues. In January, you probably set a New Year’s resolution. But have you thought about setting a goal for the summer?

Begin with setting summer S.M.A.R.T. goals for yourself. Remember, S.M.A.R.T. goals are Specific, Measurable, Action-focused, Realistic and Time-oriented. Try setting at least three long-term goals for the summer – goals you can achieve in three months. Make sure these are goals you know you can achieve, and goals you will have to work towards, but are not impossible. Be sure to write them down and post it somewhere to remind you – planner, fridge, bathroom mirror or anywhere.

Some example of these goals would be:

  1. Run 1 mile non-stop by the 4th of July and 2 miles by Labor Day
  2. Run 2 miles non-stop by the 4th of July and a 5K by Labor Day
  3. Run a 5K by the 4th of July and a 10k by Labor Day
  4. Swim 2 laps in the pool, 3 days a week in June
  5. Swim 5 laps in the pool, 3 days a week in July
  6. Swim 10 laps in the pool, 3 days a week in August
  7. Bike around the block every day in June
  8. Bike to the park everyday (assuming its 15 minutes or farther) in July
  9. Bike the towpath and take the train back every weekend in August

Some other fun activity ideas to set goals around include hiking in the park, building a fort in the woods, meeting new friends who are interested in playing the same sports as you, create a fun fitness group with your friends and design workouts together, kayaking or obstacle courses.

There are an endless amount of things that you can do in the summer to help keep your body moving. Even on those really hot days where we are stuck in the house, you can turn your favorite game, show, or hobby into a “Get up and Move” session. During commercial breaks see how many times you can run up and down the stairs, try for one more time each break. During video games, if your player loses do 15 push-ups, crunches and squats. While walking around the neighborhood, race your friends to the fire hydrant and back. Remember each day is an opportunity for you to achieve your goals. By the end of the summer you will be a goal setting and achieving machine!

University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital is doing something about excess weight gain in children through comprehensive, results-driven community education. Healthy Kids is preventing childhood obesity, helping children lose weight and teaching at-risk families to make healthy lifestyle choices.

Learn more about Healthy Kids at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.

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