Americans, both young and old, need to be more physically active. Currently, only 1 in 3 children is physically active each day, about 15 percent of kids report getting no physical activity, and fewer than one-half of children are physically active for 60 minutes a day. There is also no federal law that requires physical education in American schools; instead it relies on grant programs from the Departments of Education and Transportation. Taking a broad look at numbers, about 80 million Americans are physically inactive. And for a country that is struggling with overweight and obesity, as well as with the chronic diseases associated with being overweight, we need to start taking action.
For anyone who isn’t already active, it may be difficult to figure out where to begin. If you try to do too much too quickly, it will be difficult to continue. Two campaigns offer great ways to become physically active without requiring you to put in a lot of time to get you started. These campaigns are #Commit2Ten and #GimmeFive.
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation launched #Commit2Ten to challenge the nation to commit to an additional 10 minutes of physical activity each day. So whether or not you are an active individual, adding in 10 minutes of physical activity isn’t a large commitment and can be the stepping stone to becoming increasingly active. Commit2Ten encourages parents, caregivers, teachers, coaches, and adults in the lives of children to be active role models that young people need in order to shape their own healthy lifestyles.
Commit2Ten offers great resources to get you started. You can download a toolkit to get resources and tips from its national content advisors to help you add those 10 minutes of activity to your day. It has also created a 30-day activity calendar, which you can customize, to make sure you have an activity every day to meet your goal.
The second campaign is Michelle Obama’s campaign to #GimmeFive. This campaign was launched to celebrate the five-year anniversary of her Let’s Move campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to share five reasons to be healthy or five ways you are being healthy. Once you have your five things, take a video and share on social media using #GimmeFive. Although this campaign doesn’t ask you specifically to be physically active, it forces you to think of ways you can be healthier and why you should be healthier. And again, this campaign can be a stepping stone for someone who is trying to get healthy. Have you been able to stick with five healthy habits? How about working on a sixth healthy habit? Or can you become a health communicator and share your success with others to help them to create healthy habits?