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May - National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

Quick Summary

  • Just engaging in one session of physical activity can improve mood, sharpen focus, reduce stress, and improve sleep!

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month! This month is about celebrating physical activity and sharing the benefits of being involved in sports. Physical activity is one of the most important tools in combating chronic health disease.

Just engaging in one session of physical activity can improve mood, sharpen focus, reduce stress, and improve sleep. It can also alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Physical activity is vital at every lifestage, promoting healthy growth and better health outcomes.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), it is recommended that adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and at least two days of muscle-strengthening activity per week. Moderate-intensity physical activity is any activity that gets you breathing hard but still allows you to keep a conversation. Vigorous-intensity activity is when you are breathing hard and can only say a few words between breaths.

You would be surprised by what day-to-day activities are classified as moderate-intensity. Doing basic chores around the house, like vacuuming or mopping the floors, are great ways to keep your body moving and heart beating faster. Other moderate-intensity activities include walking briskly, shooting a basketball, or riding a bike. Some muscle strengthening activities include lifting weights, working with resistance bands, or doing push-ups and sit-ups. It does not matter what activity you choose as long as your body is moving, your heart is beating fast, and you are having fun!

Better yet, if you would like to cut those 150 minutes of activity a week in half, you could engage in vigorous-intensity activities such as jogging, running, swimming laps, or riding a bike fast. Combine this75 minutes of vigorous activity with two days of muscle strengthening activities to set yourself up for a healthy lifestyle. You can start today even if it is just for ten minutes, it all adds up.

Eating and physical activity are connected and understanding what to eat can make a huge difference in your workouts. Your body needs energy and other nutrients to keep itself moving and to repair and restore itself after a workout.

Eat nutrient-packed foods such as whole grains, lean protein, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy products to optimize your performance. Utilize carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, cereals, or a banana for a quick source of energy before a workout. Eat these at least an hour before your workout. Portion size is important. Small meals or snacks are best if eaten one to two hours before a workout and larger meals are better if eaten three to four hours before to avoid feeling sluggish.

After your workout, repair your muscles with lean protein such as chicken, turkey, or lean cuts of beef. Combine or substitute animal protein with plant proteins such as rice and beans, soy products such as tofu or veggie burgers, or nuts and seeds. By no doubt, fruits and vegetables are great for your health because they are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients. They also have a high water content that can help you hydrate after a workout. Low-fat dairy products and fortified plant-based dairy alternatives like milk, cheese and yogurt are great sources of vitamins and minerals that can help build strong bones. Most importantly, rehydrate your body with plenty of water and try to avoid sugary beverages. Give your body what it needs!

Seasonal Foods and Recipes

Avocado Corn Salad

Avocados are in season! Toss this delightful, creamy vegetable (or fruit) together with some grilled corn for a fresh addition to your spring and summer meals. 

Zucchini Stir Fry With Tofu (Vegan)

Zucchini is in season! Try this Asian-inspired stir fry that combines zucchini, tofu, carrots, and bell peppers for a great post-workout meal. 

Authentic Mexican Shrimp Cocktail (Coctel de Camarones Estilo Mexicano)

Prepare this refreshing shrimp cocktail with fresh cucumber and avocado for when the summer days begin to warm. Serve with Mexican hot sauce such as Tapatio and enjoy with saltines. 

Pecan Pesto Salmon Recipe 

Salmon is a great source of protein and fats such as omega-3. Serve with your side of grains and plenty of vegetables after a great workout!


  1. The United States Government. (2021, April 30). A proclamation on National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, 2021. The White House. Retrieved April 20, 2023, from https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/04/30/a-proclamation-on-national-physical-fitness-and-sports-month-2021/
  2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, (2023, February 3). Move Your Way Community Resources: Materials For Adults. Retrieved April 20, 2023, from https://health.gov/our-work/nutrition-physical-activity/move-your-way-community-resources/campaign-materials/materials-adults
  3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2013, March). Healthy Lifestyle for an Acive Lifestyle. Retrieved April 20, 2023, from https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/fitness/pdfs/nnm_tipsheet.pdf

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