There are many ways to be physically active. All kinds of active pastimes can help improve our physical and mental well-being, making physical activity one of the best ways to stay or get healthy. Some benefits can be achieved immediately – like improved blood pressure and reduced anxiety – while other benefits are the result of making physical activity a regular part of your routine.

Need a little motivation to get active this spring? Well, how about this: everyone’s doing it! May is Physical Fitness and Sports Month—a proclamation issued by U.S. presidents dating back to 1983. The theme is an acknowledgment of the mental and physical benefits of being active, and a call to action to get moving!

In honor of Physical Fitness and Sports Month, we pulled together a list of ideas to help bring more activity into your life.

  1. Try a virtual workout.Gone are the days when you had to go to the gym to get your sweat on. These days, there are an array of apps, podcasts, and streaming workouts to mix up your routine without leaving home.
  1. Make it a walking meeting. If you work at a computer, sitting through meeting after meeting after meeting can get tiresome. Mix it up and take your meeting for a walk, whether it’s in person or by phone. Who knows, perhaps the people you’re meeting with will also be looking for an excuse to be more active, and you’ll start a trend.
  2. Make it doubles. By that, we don’t mean a cocktail, we mean on the court—the pickleball court! Pickleball has been sweeping the nation as more people discover the racquet sport that combines parts of tennis, ping pong and racquetball. Rather than meeting up with friends for dinner or drinks, meet up for a game of pickleball, or some other activity that gets your heart pumping.
  3. Park the car and move your body. If you’re accustomed to driving everywhere, consider your alternatives. Could you walk or bike to the store? Is there a public transportation option that might make sense? Mix up your routine, and you’ll manage to sneak in some extra physical activity while also doing a solid for the environment.
  4. Commit to a race for charity. These days, just about every non-profit has some kind of walk, run, stair climb or ride—and many of them can be done independently via a virtual platform. Pick a charity or an event and enlist friends and family to train with you. In doing so, you’ll be helping yourself while doing a good deed at the same time.
  5. Multitask with movement. Think of all the time you’ve spent curled up on the couch, reading a book or watching television. What are some ways that you can mix relaxation with activity? For example, instead of reading, try walking or jogging while listening to an audiobook. And instead of lounging in front of the TV, hop on a treadmill, do some core exercise or bop around the house cleaning while your programs stream.
  6. Give yourself a step challenge. Our phones and smart watches make it so easy to track our activity these days. And when you challenge yourself to walk a certain number of steps each day, whether it’s 5,000 or 10,000 or another number, you’re helping yourself be accountable and active. If you’re a person who’s competitive, consider inviting friends and family to participate in the challenge, and see who sticks with it the whole month.
  7. Dance, dance, dance. Unleash your inner dancing queen (and king) and dance the night—and day—away! Dancing is fantastic exercise, and it’s good for the soul. Whether you prefer to sign up for dance lessons, participate in a virtual dance class or just dance to your own rhythm, turn up the music and express yourself!
  8. Consider a yoga challenge. Yoga is an excellent practice for improving your strength, flexibility, balance, and focus. It’s something that you can do socially, in a class, or privately, in your own home. This month, commit to doing yoga a certain number of times per week—from once a week to daily—and see how it makes you feel.
  9. Don’t opt for the easy way. Every day we’re presented with choices. We can park close to the office, or far away. We can take the elevator or the stairs. We can sleep in or get up early and workout. The easy way is easy, but are there benefits to the other option? Consider that this month and think about the choice you’re making and why.
  10. Find an active volunteer opportunity. Want to move more and feel good about why you’re doing it? Volunteering can check both boxes! The need for volunteers is limitless, with opportunities to build trails and remove invasive species in recreation areas, pick up trash in forests and parks, walk dogs at area shelters, help out as a team coach and the list goes on. Sign up and show up!
  11. Pick your own produce. Summer is prime time for picking berries at your local you-pick stand. Not only are you sneaking a workout in as you squat, pick, and carry your bounty, but you’re also getting healthy fruit for yourself and your family.
  12. Remember your why. Exercise routines are easier to stick with if you’ve defined why you’re doing them. Is it to improve your mental health? Your physical health? To relieve stress? To achieve or maintain a healthy weight? To improve your heart and brain health? Because exercise does all of those things, and more, when you stick with it. But if you don’t like your workout, or you don’t feel strongly committed to it, you could become frustrated and throw the towel in. Spend some time thinking about what motivates you. Consider what activities you like or find ways to modify activities you don’t like so they become more appealing. Then, keep at it so it becomes a habit, and not just an activity during the month of May.
  13. Ask the experts. With Physical Fitness and Sports Month here, May is a great time to push yourself a little more and see what you can do. But if you find that you’re struggling to get started when it comes to exercising and feeling good, know that you’re not alone. There are resources and experts who can help, including psychologists, personal trainers, therapists, and others. A good place to start is talking to your health care provider. Let them know if and how you’re struggling, and they may be able to help you put together an action plan, so that you can work towards feeling your best in May and every month ahead.

At Glen Oaks Community we offer many options to move. A heating swimming pool, hot tub, full size gymnasium to walk or play pickleball in, frisbee golf, gardening, walking paths, fitness equipment, exercise classes both in the water and from sitting positions and so much more. At Glen Oaks Community moving is part of our everyday! To learn more about Glen Oaks Community contact Kim Boyd at 641-355-1203 or email her at