Being healthy and active should be a priority for every family member. Everyone from parents and children should make a concerted effort to improve their health. Even the American government has recognized this fact. That is why the Health Information Resource Center created Family Health & Fitness Day USA in 1996. It is celebrated the last Saturday of every September, which means this year it falls on September 28th, 2019.
The day promotes family involvement in physical activity, which coincides with the goals of the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report of Physical Activity and Health. The purpose of this day is to encourage families all across the country to get physically active, break a sweat, and make their health a priority.
Several organizations across the country will be hosting events so that you and your family can join other families in your community in getting active. However, you don’t need an event hosted by an organization to celebrate this day! Family Health & Fitness Day USA encourages all families to take initiative and get outside, bask in the sun, and break a sweat!
The Importance of Family Health & Fitness Day USA
Many experts in the field of health and fitness see the real benefits of this day. Whether the members of your family are young or old, it holds benefits for all. Being healthy should be a priority for everyone as not only does it make life more enjoyable, but it also lengthens it!
The prevalence of disease is higher than ever before. Many health issues include:
- Heart problems
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
There are many more issues that are frequently related to inactivity. Unfortunately, roughly 80 million Americans are physically inactive, with only one in three children being physically active every day. Being physically inactive leads to one of the nation’s largest public health crisis’s: obesity.
There are several reasons why this day is so important. As we mentioned already, a staggering amount of people are inactive. Because of this high number, roughly $117 billion in healthcare costs are linked to this physical inactivity and the health risks linked to it.
Encouraging families to engage in physical activity is equally as important. Unfortunately, physical education is only legally required in just six states: Illinois, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New York, and Vermont. Unsurprisingly, three of these six rank in the top 10 when it comes to the lowest rates of obesity in the U.S.
What is Obesity?
Obesity is classified as a chronic disease, occurring when a person has an excessive amount of body fat that negatively impacts their health. Healthcare providers diagnose obesity by calculating their body mass index (BMI). When a person’s BMI is 30 or greater, they are diagnosed as obese.
Morbid obesity occurs when a person’s BMI is 40 or higher, but some doctors may classify you as morbidly obese if your BMI is 35, depending on other health conditions.
Several things can lead to obesity, such as:
- Taking in more calories than you burn
- Being inactive
- Eating too much fast food
- Overall poor diets
Unfortunately, obesity has been linked to several preventable health diseases and issues that can shorten your life span. Some of these include:
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Gallbladder Disease
- Sleep Apnea
- High Cholesterol
- And more.
Obesity does not discriminate either. It can happen in anyone, including children. As of 2016, the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics found that about 18.5% of children age 2 to 19 were obese. Being obese at a young age has been linked to the development of premature heart disease. In adults, obesity is greater. According to the CDC, nearly 40% of adults are obese. These numbers continue to grow.
How You Can Celebrate
Family Health & Fitness Day USA was founded with the hopes of inspiring those across the country to make being active and healthy a priority. By making physical activity a family event, you can help keep your children in shape, while also bonding and teaching them important information about exercise.
To celebrate, you can:
- Get active with the community
- Go for a walk or run with the family
- Join other families for a day of organized play
- Take group classes as a family
- Learn about healthy eating habits
If you are unsure of what to do, ask organizations in your community if they are celebrating this day. If not, organize your own event. It shouldn’t take much planning. All you need is a park or open field and your family and friends!
Stay Active Year-Round
Just because Family Health & Fitness Day USA comes to an end, doesn’t mean you can’t keep celebrating. There are several ways you can keep you and your family active all through the year.
Fitness Nation is here to help you get your family more active this year:
- Experiment with Organized Sports: One of the best ways to get your kids active and committed is through sports. Not only do they get to be active, but they get to be with their friends as well, building important social skills. However, change up the sports so that your child can find one they love and want to continue.
- Invite Friends: Research has shown that kids feel more comfortable trying new things such as certain physical activities if they are with a friend. Being active in a group setting increases the chances of commitment. If you play on celebrating this day, invite your children’s friends along for the day.
- Set a Good Example: As a parent, you are often your child’s first and strongest role model. Children learn by mimicking your behavior. Set a good example for them by staying physically active daily. Not only will this inspire your child, but it will also hold you more accountable in your own fitness.
- Go Somewhere New: Sometimes doing the same thing every time you exercise can get boring. Take your family somewhere new to spice up your physical activity routine! Take a trip to the mountains. They give you a great chance to take in all of nature’s beauty while staying active while hiking!
Fitness Nation is Here to Help
Family Health & Fitness Day USA is an incredibly important day. Its goal is to help combat physical inactivity and obesity, which continues to plague our country. Most states don’t require their schools to educate their students about physical fitness. That is why this day is so important. Not only does it encourage families to get active, but it helps spread information about fitness and being healthy. Fitness Nation is here to keep you and your family stay fit and active year-round. Give us a call to sign up.