How to Celebrate National Exercise Day in Style

April 18th marks a special day for promoting active, healthy lifestyles. Known as National Exercise Day, this annual event serves as a powerful reminder of the many benefits that physical activity offers for wellness and disease prevention.

With sedentary time on the rise and rates of chronic illnesses like obesity and diabetes increasing globally, the need for more movement has never been greater. This day provides the perfect opportunity to spread awareness and help get people of all ages and abilities moving.

So get ready to embrace the life-changing power of exercise this April 18th!

The Origins and Purpose of National Exercise Day

national exercise day

National Exercise Day was founded in 2020 by Dr. Jeuse Bernard Saint-Fleur, a nurse practitioner with over 17 years of experience in the field of medicine. Unfortunately, Dr. Saint-Fleur passed away on January 30, 2021.

The inaugural day was celebrated on April 18, 2020. This date was likely chosen because April is National Minority Health Month.

The mission of National Exercise Day is to highlight the benefits of exercise and inspire people of all ages, genders, and abilities to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives. The day aims to raise awareness about the prevalence of physical inactivity and encourage people to get moving.

While the inaugural event did not promote specific family-oriented activities or free resources, the spirit of the day is to motivate everyone to find enjoyable ways to exercise, regardless of their current fitness level. There are many online resources available for individuals and families looking for ideas to get active on National Exercise Day.

Why Exercise Matters for Health

national exercise day

The ways in which regular physical activity enhances both physical and mental health are far-reaching. Here are just some of the top benefits that make exercise so vital:

  • Improved Heart Health: Active people have a 30% to 50% lower risk of developing high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Exercise strengthens the heart muscle, lowers blood pressure, and improves circulation.
  • Weight Management: Physical activity helps burn calories and can prevent excess weight gain or facilitate weight loss when combined with a healthy diet. Even light activities like taking the stairs instead of the elevator make a difference.
  • Reduced Cancer Risk: Being active is associated with lower risks for various cancers including colon, breast and lung cancer. Exercise may help prevent cancer by boosting the immune system.
  • Sharper Mind: Exercise stimulates the brain regions involved in memory, learning, and higher thinking. It can help delay cognitive decline and reduce the risk of dementia.
  • Stronger Bones and Muscles: Weight-bearing activities and resistance training build stronger bones and muscles while slowing age-related declines in muscle mass and bone density.
  • Improved Mood: Physical activity releases feel-good endorphins that boost mood and lower stress. Exercise can help alleviate anxiety and mild to moderate depression.
  • Better Sleep: Regular exercise helps initiate deeper sleep cycles that leave you feeling well-rested. Active people fall asleep faster and enjoy higher-quality sleep.

With all these benefits, it’s easy to see why incorporating more exercise should be a top health priority, especially on a day like National Exercise Day which brings awareness to physical activity.

Simple Ways to Add More Movement

national exercise day

Trying to fit exercise into an already-packed schedule can feel daunting. But small bursts of activity performed consistently throughout the day provide real health payoffs. Here are some easy ways to add more movement on National Exercise Day and beyond:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator for a quick burst of cardio.
  • Go for a 10-minute walk on your lunch break to refresh mentally and physically.
  • Set a phone alarm for every 30 minutes during work. When it goes off, do 10 jumping jacks or squats.
  • Walk in place or do calf raises during commercial breaks of your favorite show.
  • Park farther away from entrances to add extra steps.
  • Listen to music or a podcast while doing household chores to make them more lively.
  • Incorporate stretch breaks to relieve tension and stiffness from prolonged sitting.
  • Play backyard games like tag or frisbee with your kids after school.
  • Get off public transit a stop early and walk the rest of the way.

Small bouts of activity like these performed throughout the day can significantly boost calorie burn, improve cardiovascular health, and enhance well-being. With a little creativity, exercise can be integrated into even the busiest lifestyles.

Overcoming Barriers to Exercise

national exercise day

Of course, amidst the demands of work, family, and other responsibilities, making physical activity a consistent habit poses challenges for many people. Here are some common obstacles to exercise and tips for overcoming them:

Lack of Time

  • Wake up 30 minutes earlier and start your day with exercise. It will boost your energy and focus.
  • Schedule exercise sessions in your calendar to block off time and hold yourself accountable.
  • Opt for active transport like walking, biking or taking the stairs to seamlessly incorporate movement into your day.

Low Motivation

  • Choose activities you genuinely enjoy rather than forcing yourself into a routine you dislike. Dancing and gardening count!
  • Vary your workouts to prevent boredom. Take a Zumba class, go for a swim, try rock climbing.
  • Find an accountability partner to exercise with. You will be less likely to skip workouts.

Limited Mobility

  • Chair exercises, water aerobics and adaptive yoga provide options for staying active with mobility impairments.
  • Break exercise into smaller increments of time to avoid overexertion.
  • Use assistive equipment like braces or walking aids to enable movement safely.

Financial Constraints

  • Take free exercise classes at community centers, parks or local gyms.
  • Go for runs, hikes, bike rides or do bodyweight workouts that require no equipment.
  • Borrow exercise DVDs for free from your local library.

Lack of Facilities

  • Use online workout videos and apps that provide guided instruction in your own home.
  • Invest in basic equipment like resistance bands, dumbbells and an exercise mat for home use.
  • Explore exercises requiring minimal equipment like jogging, jumping jacks and lunges.
  • Consider a smart hula hoop like Infinity Hoop which provides an effective cardio workout using just one piece of equipment. These hoops are weighted to help burn calories and fat. Take advantage of these Infinity Hoop coupons to get the best deals on these popular smart fitness tools that can be used anytime at home.
  • Take advantage of space in your living room, garage or backyard to create a small home gym for cardio, strength training and stretching.
national exercise day

With some creativity and affordable equipment like resistance bands, yoga mats and weighted hula hoops, you can get a robust workout without ever leaving home, making it easy to participate in National Exercise Day.

Finding Enjoyment in Exercise

national exercise day

Exercise should not feel like punishment. Approaching physical activity with a sense of playfulness and curiosity helps make it a sustainable habit. Here are some ways to cultivate an uplifting exercise experience:

  • Vary Your Workouts: Prevent boredom by regularly trying new activities. Rotating between strength training, cardio, flexibility and balance workouts keeps things interesting.
  • Make It Social: Enjoyable conversation makes workouts fly by. Seek out group fitness classes, walking groups or an exercise buddy.
  • Add Music: Create uplifting playlists with your favorite high-energy tunes to make solo workouts more fun.
  • Take It Outside: Exercising in the beauty of nature boosts your mood. Try hiking, cycling, open water swimming or outdoor group fitness classes.
  • Track Accomplishments: Using a fitness tracker or journal helps you see progress which boosts motivation. Recording workouts also enables healthy competition with yourself.
  • Focus on How You Feel: Avoid negative thoughts about your appearance. Zero in on how exercise makes you feel stronger, energized and joyful.

By focusing on the positive feelings elicited by physical activity, you can transform exercise into an uplifting daily practice that you look forward to.

You might be interested: National Foster Care Day: Celebrating Families, Advocating for Change

Get Moving this National Exercise Day!

Hopefully, this overview has provided ample inspiration to lace up your sneakers and embrace physical activity on National Exercise Day, April 18th. Take a moment today to appreciate all that your body does for you, and commit to taking

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