Do Your Part to Establish a Fit Community

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By ACSM

Summertime brings people outside to enjoy the sunshine and blue skies. Unfortunately, just because people are outdoors more does not mean that they are being active. Many people get in their car, drive to a pool or beach, set out their towel and lie or sit for hours – only to get back in their car, drive home and relax. This leads to a day full of inactivity!

For some people, it is second nature to be active all year round. Others may need a push. How can you help your community participate in healthier activities? Here are some ideas…

Participate in fit activities in your community

Some people just need a nudge to be more active. Ask your friends, neighbors, or co-workers to join you for a jog or walk. Be an active role model for your peers. Leading by example can be the best remedy for inactivity.

Invite your family and friends to the local park for a day of fun in the sun playing games and activities that get the heart racing. Think tag, capture the flag, volleyball, or even water balloon tosses. Parks departments also have great resources for getting involved in intramural sports, health fairs, charity walks or runs, and pet-friendly activities.

Join and help promote local fitness groups. Many communities already have fitness-themed groups or clubs, which entail biking, fun runners, ultimate Frisbee, yoga in the park, etc. If they don’t have a group that suits your interests, create one!

Getting kids active and fit

Children are key to the success of our communities. Educating and teaching kids at an early age about the importance of health and fitness is a great investment in their continued health. The National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils is doing just this by installing brand new fitness centers in elementary and middle schools across the country.

This year, the following schools have already been selected for the fitness center award:

  • Capital City Public Charter School – Washington, DC
  • South Allegheny Middle School – Pittsburgh, PA
  • Troy Intermediate School – Troy, PA
  • Owatin Creek Elementary School – Reading, PA
  • Roberto Clemente Promise Academy – Philadelphia, PA

The National Foundation expects to gain five more fitness centers by the end of the year.

Another recent example of a community health-and-fitness activity brought NBA/WNBA FIT to YMCA in San Francisco during ACSM’s Annual Meeting. NBA/WNBA FIT Lead Clinician Frank Lopez got children up and moving via fun basketball fitness stations. The children then learned from Felicia Stoler, D.C.N., M.S., R.D., FACSM about proper nutrition.

What fitness activities does your community offer? What can you do to improve access to healthy activities for everyone?

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