May is National Fitness and Sports Month
The American Nurses Association (ANA) Year of the Health Nurse Campaign is focusing on Women’s Health and National Fitness and Sports Month for May 2017. It is a natural campaign focus as the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) already recognizes May as National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. For our nation’s 3.6 million registered nurses, the goal is to continue or begin to make physical activity a part of every day to encourage friends, family, and their patients to do the same.
Whether you prefer to walk, jog, run, cycle, or kick box, physical activity will help you keep your body fine-tuned for those long shifts at the hospital or clinic. And when you are going through one of those patches where getting to the gym or out for a jog is not fitting into your schedule, check out our recent post about a few exercises you can do on the job.
So while you are working on making fitness a more central part of your daily life, one of the goals of National Physical Fitness Month is to raise awareness about the benefits of physical activity. One way nurses can participate in raising that awareness is through the conversations they have with their patients and fellow nurses. A good place to start is to encourage others to begin by making small changes, to take a walk after dinner or go for a bike ride around the park. Emphasize that the small steps, in the beginning, can lead to realistic goals and accomplishments and even life-changing habits.
Another way you can encourage others to get moving is to organize a quick, but effective workout session for your unit. First, clear it with your supervisor, then lead a special mid-shift session throughout the month of May for you and your co-workers. You can start by trying these four simple moves:
- Raise The Roof. Have everyone march in place while pushing their hands toward the ceiling and back down to ear level. Keep marching and pushing for several minutes.
- Calf Raises. While standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, slowly raise your heels off the floor and slowly lower them. Start with five or ten, but ask everyone to try and increase the number throughout the month.
- Low Impact Jumping Jacks. Raise your right arm while tapping your left toe to the side. Be sure to keep your right foot steady and on the floor. Alternate sides and continue for a minute or two.
- Chair Squats. Starting in a seated position, slowly raise your bottom of the chair and hold for three seconds before sitting back down. Repeat several times.
There are many ways to participate in promoting National Fitness and Sports Month. Obviously, the most effective way is through the conversations you have with others. You can also utilize your social media activity to tweet out reminders about getting active or posting to your Facebook page.
We want to know how much you plan to get involved this month during National Fitness and Sports Month. Share your plans in the comment section below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.