American leaders realized fitness was vital for our citizens as early as 1956, when President Eisenhower created the President's Council on Youth Fitness, renamed in the early 1960s by President Kennedy as the President's Council on Physical Fitness to include people of all ages.
As the President’s Council reminds us, every physical activity counts in your goal to become more fit. Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett reminds us that the time we devote to keeping our bodies moving will reward us tenfold in happiness with the extra energy, productivity and good health we’ll enjoy for the rest of our lives.
Here are some ways to get your body moving:
Be a Sport
Join a community sports league – softball, soccer, basketball, flag football or even Ultimate Frisbee. You will have a blast and get your exercise in at the same time.
Join a Group
Join a group fitness class such as Jazzercise. Working out with others keeps you on target. Your classmates will hold you accountable for attending each day and you’ll enjoy working up a sweat together.
Exercise with Mom
Mother’s Day is May 8 so take some time to help Mom feel great. Depending upon her fitness level, take her for a scenic drive followed by a healthy lunch and brief stroll, or if she’s able, show her some gentle yoga stretches or tai chi motions. If mom is really fit, she might take you for a walk!
Have a Ball with Your Children
Engage your kids in fitness and fun. Toss a football across the yard; kick a soccer ball through a park; or take turns swatting a baseball with a bat and running to get the ball. Return home for a healthy snack accompanied by water or unsweetened juice.
Remember Hula Hoops? Swirling a hoop around your swiveling hips is fabulous exercise for your abdominal muscles and your entire torso from the action and from all the laughing you’ll do. If you have children, have them join in; they might show you a thing or two.
Jack of All Trades
Jumping jacks can be done anywhere. All you need is your body and the desire to feel vital. Try variations such as half-jacks (raise your arms to shoulder height only); power jacks (finish each one with a squat) or scissors jacks (scissors your legs on each jump).
Whatever your fitness level, get moving in May and beyond. Your body will thank you.
Judi Sheppard Missett, who turned her love of jazz dance into a worldwide dance exercise phenomenon, founded the Jazzercise dance fitness program in 1969. She has advanced the business opportunities of women and men in the fitness industry by growing the program into an international franchise business that today, hosts a network of 7,800 instructors teaching more than 32,000 classes weekly in 32 countries.
The workout program, which offers a fusion of jazz dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, cardio box and Latin style movements, has positively affected millions of people worldwide. Benefits include increased cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility, as well as an overall "feel good" factor. Additional Jazzercise programs include Junior Jazzercise, Jazzercise Lite and Personal Touch. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.