Celebrating Family Health & Fitness Day USA


Fifteen years ago Family Health & Fitness Day USA was established in response to the sedentary lifestyle many Americans – especially children – have adopted. This year Family Health & Fitness Day will be celebrated on Saturday, September 24. The event is celebrated nationwide at local community sites, such as health clubs, YMCAs, state and county health departments, park districts, houses of worship, and schools. This year’s programs will include exercise demonstrations, health fairs, family walks, and more.

The U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health was first published in 1996. This landmark report highlighted that health benefits can be obtained from moderate physical activity on a regular basis. Additionally, the report stated that the majority of Americans, especially children ages 12 to 21, are not exercising nearly enough. Now 15 years later, the findings of that report are still applicable to many Americans.

Despite common knowledge that exercise is healthful, more than half of American adults are not regularly active. One of the biggest barriers to physical activity in this day and age is the technologies so many Americans have access to each day. From smart phones and computers to video games and tablets, there are far more distractions keeping Americans inside and not exercising than ever before.

To help you embark on a more active existence, here are some tips to overcome a sedentary lifestyle:

  • • Walk whenever possible: This includes parking farther away from the entrance to a store, taking the stairs instead of an elevator, and getting off one stop earlier and walking the remaining blocks to your destination.
  • • Choose active entertainment over passive entertainment: Instead of going to a movie, go play tennis with friends. Rather than playing regular video games, get active with a Wii game.
  • • Do your own yard work: Instead of paying someone else to keep your lawn maintained, break out the lawn mower and get some fresh air. Yard work can easily become a family pastime and one that kids can help out with.
  • • Choose active vacations: When planning vacations, choose something that involves walking or hiking. You can also explore a new city on foot and always be sure to make use of exercise facilities wherever you stay.
Over time, an active lifestyle will become natural to both you and your family.

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