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Happy National Physical Fitness and Sports Month!

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May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month! There’s no better time to get up, get moving, and reap the benefits of physical activity. Regular exercise increases your chances of living a longer, healthier life and reduces your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and some types of cancer. Plus, it pumps up your brain’s production of endorphins, “natural painkillers” that reduce stress and increase feelings of well-being.

 Despite the overwhelming rewards of exercising, national statistics remain startling: Only 1 in 5 adults get the recommended amount of weekly physical activity set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. And only 3 in 10 high school students get their recommended amount (at least 60 minutes of activity a day). Our busy lives often make finding time to exercise a challenge. Fitness Magazine has some great tips for sneaking workouts into your packed schedule, including exercising while watching TV, waiting in long lines, or working at an office desk.

The same goes for kids—it can be difficult to schedule fitness time, especially if their school has little physical education or recess. Get them away from the desk, TV, or videogame console by signing them up for an afterschool physical activity they enjoy. Or find time on weekends to move around as a family. That doesn’t necessarily mean sports—even walking vigorously through a shopping center can help get everyone’s blood pumping.

If your child does take to sports, invest in a mouthguard, along with other protective gear like helmets and face shields. Recent surveys say that 84% of children don’t wear mouthguards while playing organized sports, mainly because of lack of requirement. Don’t risk it—the financial and physical costs of mouth injuries can be severe!