The NCPPA’s Physical Fitness and Sports Month Promotion Campaign

Even for a beginner, organizing a “May is Physical Fitness and Sports Month” promotion is easy. This kit is being used effectively in hundreds of large and small communities all across the USA.

Eight types of promotional approaches are covered (television, special events, billboards, etc.). Just select those that seem most suited to your needs. If you're unfamiliar with media, you may want to scan each section before making your choices. That's all there is to it.

Step 1: Plan. Every promotion should begin with a plan. Maybe your plan is only a rough idea at the moment. But one idea will lead to others, and before long, a more detailed outline of what you want to achieve will come around. Be sure to talk with anyone who has been involved with past May promotions.

Step 2: Form a Committee. Bring together a cross-section of organizations and individuals who would benefit from a successful promotion. This will give you more workers and skills, and also added credibility and clout. Sometimes ad agencies, consultants, printers, and others assist causes such as this. Keep that in mind.

Step 3: Decide on Specific Goals. At some point your committee should decide on specific promotional goals. What exactly do you want the community to do in response to your promotion? Call a phone number? Attend an event? Write for a brochure? Stress the appropriate information in all your publicity.

Step 4: Use Promotional Tools Effectively. Alter anything in this section as you see fit. You are the professional on your community and its needs.

Step 5: Coordinate. Even with a ton of work, a committee would be ineffective if it didn't act in unison. Identify specific jobs. Assign specific responsibilities.

Step 6: Follow-up. After it's over, sit down with your committee and review the promotion. Make note of the more meaningful observations and file them for the following year. Thank all helpful parties, particularly the media. A short note of appreciation can lay the groundwork for greater cooperation next time around.

Step 7: Enter the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity Awards Program. It's easy and will provide important information on your community or state success to a national audience. Note that the deadline for entry is July 1, 1997.

This kit is loaded with ideas and options for an effective promotion of Physical Fitness and Sports Month. It lays out a comprehensive program of proven avenues for promotion and publicity. It does not, however, provide additional hours in a day or weeks in a month. It is important that you establish a realistic timetable for activities. Here are some general suggestions on establishing such a calendar for your campaign.

1. As soon as possible: Review the promotional kit. Identify the other individuals who will help. Establish your needs for materials that must be developed. If interested in a Physical Fitness and Sports Month billboard, contact a local outdoor advertising company to determine if the firm would cooperate and donate space.

2. Certain activities should be in motion, depending, of course, on what the committee has decided to do. The Mayor's or Governor's office should be contacted, since many stations require four weeks to insert new PSAs into their schedule.

3. Your committee should meet a second time, with reports being made on commitments or further work to be done.

4. You should be able to establish a schedule of confirmed activities — television, radio, the Mayor's office. The key now is to make sure that all necessary material has been or is being developed, and submitted, and that all appropriate parties are being contacted.

5. Everything is in motion. Materials have been delivered to radio and television stations and are airing. The Mayor and/or Governor should be prepared to proclaim May as “Physical Fitness and Sports Month.” The campaign should be on course for a month-long run.

6. By the first week of May, you may want to provide the radio and television stations with new public service announcements.

7. By the fourth week of May, you should be thanking all those who cooperated with the campaign. Your committee should meet once more to evaluate their part of the effort and to make recommendations for the following year. And you should prepare your entry for the award contest of the NCPPA Physical Fitness and Sports Month.

And thanks a million for an excellent job!

Television is the most competitive medium and reaches the largest number of people in your community.

1. Public Service Announcements (PSAs) – Many commercial stations carry PSAs, short (10 to 60 second) messages announcing coming events or addressing community issues. (Suggested ready-to-use PSAs are included below.)

2. Public Service Programs – Television stations produce talk shows geared to community service; call the Public Affairs Director at your location stations. Stress the need for public information about physical activity and describe your organization, and your “May” activities. Have a specific idea, but be flexible to their needs. (See “Newspaper” section on page 9 for suggestions.) If possible, use figures on the number of sedentary people in your state. (See the table from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on page 22.)

3. News Features – Each station has its own ideas about what is “news,” and what receives coverage. Obviously they look for the visual, and they tend to cover events involving prominent individuals or large numbers of people. (See “Newspaper” section for ideas on getting coverage.) Always present a “local” angle to your story. News people want to know how it will affect the local community.

4. Editorial Comments – Many stations offer the public a chance to “speak out” on issues. Editorial spots are often around 60 seconds in length. (See the sample Newspaper Letter to the Editor on page 10 as an example of an approach.)

5. Commercial Talk Shows – These are locally produced and are not concerned with public service, although many shows interview representatives from health education causes.

Other Possibilities and Tips – Look for other chances at coverage. For example, “pitch” a story on worksite health promotion programs to business reporters. If a news station will not do a full feature story, suggest other types of broadcast coverage with the station (a “sidebar,” or short story that complements a larger news feature, etc.). Again, look for a local angle for a story. Know how the story affects your community.

A live PSA is a spot that is read “live” on the air by a station announcer. Often the station fills the screen with relevant copy while the message is being read. (For example, May is Physical Fitness and Sport Month. Take an active interest in your health.) Most live PSAs are short, 10 or 20 seconds in length.

Contact the Public Service Director or Public Affairs Director. Make an appointment and arrive fully prepared with as much information as possible about Physical Fitness and Sports Month. This will lend credibility to your campaign. Have a “fact sheet” on your organization to give the director.


  • Request that the station provide some time for your PSAs. Also, inquire as to the length required by the station.
  • Use the sample “spots” provided in this section or write your own, timing them to the length required by the station.
  • Make sure you know what will be shown on the screen while your message is being read. Note that the station can also provide a telephone number or similar information. Discuss this possibility with the director.
  • Deliver the materials to the station promptly.

The next section will provide you with sample scripts for PSAs. Adapt as you see fit. If you are writing your own copy:

  • Don't try to communicate too much information.
  • Always use short sentences and simple words.
  • Read your scripts repeatedly while timing yourself; read to others for clarity and make any changes.
  • Put in proper form and deliver to stations.

1. Double-space copy, using all capital letters and type “###” at the end of the PSA.
2. Send to News/Program Directors at your local television stations.
CONTACT: __________________
PHONE: ____________________

10 Seconds
May is physical fitness and sports month! Engage regularly in physical activity as if your health depends on it, because it does. A public service message from the (your state) Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity and this station.

20 Seconds
Don't Smoke. Watch your cholesterol and blood pressure. Engage in physical activity. Physical activity? Your health can benefit from many things. And people of all ages can benefit greatly from regular physical activity. Get started today. Call the (your state) Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity at (phone number) to find out how.

30 Seconds
We've got a fabulous offer for you. Lower your risk of premature death. Respond today, to lower risks of coronary heart disease, hypertension, colon cancer, and diabetes. But wait, there's more! We can improve mental health, and the health of muscles and bones. What will this cost you? Only 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity. People of all ages can benefit greatly from regular physical activity. It's a bargain you can't afford to miss. Make physical activity part of your life. Call the (your state) Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity at (phone number) to find out how.


Public service announcements are important to promotion because your message can be repeated throughout the month. There are two types — taped and “live.” A taped PSA has been put on film or videotape for broadcast. Most PSAs are 10, 20, or 30 seconds. Time and frequency of broadcast is set by the station.

If you want to tape your own PSA, you have to do a “selling” job with station personnel — talk to the Public Service Director.

1. Make an appointment and arrive fully prepared. Have a specific idea and script in hand. Have the name(s) of individuals who could appear in the spot.

2. If you have Physical Fitness and Sports Month promotional materials, bring them along! Do everything you can to impress the director that your campaign is organized and media conscious. Enthusiasm for your cause is vital. Be aware that to tape your spot is an extreme courtesy on the part of the station. Many will be unable or unwilling to do this.

3. If the station agrees to tape your spot, work with station personnel and your speaker to make sure that the delivery will be rehearsed, correctly timed, and professional. Ask station personnel for suggestions.

1. Get a prominent person to agree to be in the “spot” BEFORE you approach the stations. Then go to them with a proposal such as this: “Mayor Jones has agreed to do a PSA for us. Can you help?”

2. Come up with a unique, visually appealing idea for a PSA. One example is to have someone addressing the health risks of physical inactivity, while lying on a couch.

Radio is a more select broadcast medium than television. Although the audience is smaller, there are also more similarities among the audience. This may be important if you are trying to reach a particular group in your community.

If there are many stations in your area, basic information about the audiences would allow you to prioritize stations.

Local advertising agencies have figures indicating the station with the largest audience, the oldest, the wealthiest, etc.

1. Public Service Announcement: As with television, nearly all commercial radio stations carry PSAs. The majority of PSAs are “live” — an announcer reads copy provided by community organizations. (Sample PSAs are in this section.) Or, write your own using the guidelines for television PSAs. Many taped PSAs contain the voice of a prominent person and/or sound effects.

2. Public Service Programs: This format is similar to television. It usually is a talk show, and sometimes the audience can call in to ask questions and make comments.

3. News Features: These might be difficult to arrange unless you have a truly significant event. Refer to “Newspaper” section for items.

4. Commercial Talk Shows: These are similar to public service programs, except for commercial breaks.

Other possibilities: Look for other chances at coverage. For example, try to arrange to sit in for a few minutes with a popular “disc jockey” to promote an event.


(1) Double-space copy, using all capital letters and type “###” at the end of the PSA. (2) Send to News/Program Directors at your local radio stations.
CONTACT: __________________
PHONE: ____________________

10 Seconds
Millions of Americans are making themselves sick simply by doing nothing. Physical activity is important to everyone's health. Take an active interest in life. A public service message from the (your state) Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity and this station.

20 Seconds
Tired of couch potato jokes? So are we. Physical inactivity is no laughing matter. Millions of Americans die prematurely or suffer avoidable disease simply because they are not active enough. You don't have to become an athlete to change your life. Go for 30 minute walks. Just do something! The importance of physical activity to your health is no joke.

30 Seconds
We've got an important update on health care. Individuals in 1997 will now be able to dramatically improve their health. We will soon have lower risks of premature death, heart disease, high blood pressure, some cancers, and much more. But this breakthrough is not new legislation or a miracle drug. People of all ages can improve their health simply by increasing their level of physical activity. Get started today. Call the (your state) Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity at (phone number) to find out how.

(Refer to sample television public service announcements for other ideas. Also, refer to the fitness fact listed below.)

Newspapers are the oldest mass medium and offer you more in-depth and permanent coverage than broadcast. However, newspapers are under no legal obligation to provide “access” to community groups. Most do, and you should find several opportunities for coverage.

1. News Coverage: As with other media, newspapers have their own definition of what is “news.” The news release is the most effective way to distribute information to the media. Don't flood newsrooms with material. Try to ensure that each of your releases is worthy of air time and space. (A sample news release is in this section.)

2. Features: These are stories written by reporters on a variety of topics. Watch your newspaper for the bylines of reporters. Contact one and suggest an idea on physical activity.

3. Backgrounders: These provide background information on developments in your community (e.g., how a fitness facility has changed over time).

4. Photos: Both newspapers and television look for visual opportunities. Always think, “Where will the media aim their cameras?”

5. Ads: Some papers run public service ads; check with the community affairs desk.

6. Fillers: These fit into the small spaces left over after stories and ads.

7. Letters to the Editor: This often is an easy way to get information out. (A sample letter may be found below.)

8. Columns: Physical Fitness and Sports Month would be a good topic for a reporter who writes regularly on health issues.

Other Print Media: Magazines, small suburban newspapers and company newsletters all offer further opportunities for publicity.



1. Identify an appropriate person and mailing address at the newspaper.
2. Fill in the underlined areas with appropriate information and retype on your letterhead.
3. Include your name and phone number in a short cover note to the editor.

Dear Editor:

In 1964, a Surgeon General's Report began alerting the nation to the hazards of smoking. In 1996, a new Surgeon General's Report did the same about physical inactivity. The Report documented the large volume of scientific and medical evidence on the negative health consequences of physical inactivity. Unfortunately, not enough has changed.

It is estimated that as many as 250,000 deaths per year in the United States are attributable to a lack of regular physical activity, with millions more suffering from related chronic diseases. The health problem in (your state) is massive, with (insert corresponding percentage of insufficient level of activity from Table 1 on page 22) of the population involved in an insufficient amount of physical activity, defined as a combination of those individuals with no leisure time physical activity and those with irregular physical activity.

We all are concerned about health care costs. But clearly the most inexpensive and least traumatic way to reduce costs is simply to avoid diseases and injuries all together. We know about such things as smoking and wearing seat belts. Persons who are physically inactive are taking as much risk with their lives and health. Fortunately, it takes only small increases in physical activity to start gaining health benefits. May is Physical Fitness and Sports Month. I encourage everyone to look for ways to make physical activity an important part of their daily routine. Take the stairs. Join a health club. Find or renew an enjoyable sport. Walk the dog. Take an active interest in your health.


(Signature and Affiliation)


1. Unless you are writing solely for print media, label your item “news release” instead of “press release.” “News” refers to all media.

2. Include the five “W's” — who, what, why, when, where — early in the release.

3. Keep it brief, one to two pages.

4. Type the release like the sample on the next page. If you want the media to use it on receipt, add “For immediate release.” Always have a contact name and phone number listed.

5. Most media are listed in the telephone directory. Never rely on old information. Check to make sure names and addresses are current. Address it to “News Department,” “City Editor,” or “City Desk” for newspapers. Try to obtain the Assignment Editor's/City Desk Editor's name for prompt attention.

A different approach is to have the media come to you. Send out a very brief release describing the reason for the conference, who will attend, and the date, time and place. Approach this option with care. Don't attempt a conference unless you have some important news, a prominent person, etc.

Many newspaper offices have a wire service in the building. If you are holding a conference, ask the service to schedule it in the “Day Book.” An announcement of your event would go out on the wire to local media.

1. Fill in the underlined areas with appropriate information.

2. Be sure the contact person can respond well to questions.

3. Retype on your letterhead, with large margins double-spaced, on the front-side only.

4. If your release goes to two pages, type “-more-” centered at the bottom of the page, and at the end of the release, center and type “###.”

CONTACT: __________________
PHONE: ____________________

(Your City/State) _ Physical Fitness and Sports Month, a national health awareness campaign in May, is being staged due to the continuing high levels of physical inactivity in the United States and (your state). Agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released last year the first Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Health. The Report documented the large volume of scientific and medical evidence on the negative health consequences of physical inactivity. In 1964, a Surgeon General's Report began alerting the nation to the hazards of smoking. The 1996 Report is hoped eventually to do the same thing for physical inactivity.

It is estimated that as many as 250,000 deaths per year in the United States are attributable to a lack of regular physical activity, with millions more suffering from related chronic diseases. According to (fill in your first and last name or the first and last name of another leader with whom you are collaborating, plus title and affiliated organization), the health problem in (your state) is massive, with (insert corresponding percentage of insufficient level of activity from Table 1 on page 22) of the population involved in an insufficient amount of physical activity, defined as a combination of those individuals with no leisure time physical activity and those with irregular physical activity.

Regular physical activity has been widely recognized for years as an important part of a healthy lifestyle. The Report provided an unprecedented, comprehensive federal agency review of the health benefits of physical activity, and the health risks of an inactive lifestyle. According to (last name of local person above), the release of the Surgeon General's Report was only a start of an on-going national effort to make the public more aware of the health risks of physical inactivity, and to encourage everyone to adopt a more active, healthier lifestyle.

Various steps to promote physical activity in (your state) will occur through May and throughout the year. Says (last name), “Physical inactivity is a deadly serious health problem in (your state). But people who are inactive will be pleasantly surprised at the small change it takes to significantly reduce the risk of chronic disease. Simple, modest increases in daily physical activity will greatly improve the health of (your state). We intend to make physical activity as much a part of healthy living as avoiding tobacco or wearing a seat belt.”

The media follows the activities of prominent people; by having such people involved in your promotion, you gain publicity. Educate an official or celebrity about your cause and enlist his or her help in spreading your message.

Invite well-known individuals to be active in your promotion. Ask them to attend events, tape public service announcements, etc.

Ask the Mayor and/or Governor to sign a Physical Fitness and Sports Month proclamation. (A sample proclamation is shown below.)

Most governors and members of Congress have access to television and radio studios. Explore the possibility of an elected official making an audio or videotape for distribution to the local media. Contact the official's press secretary. Be sure to make this request as early as possible, since schedules are booked many months in advance.

Congressional representatives frequently make comments on local matters for inclusion in The Congressional Record. Explore this possibility if there is some special achievement in your area regarding physical activity, fitness, sports, and healthy lifestyles.

You or someone on your committee may know the official or a staff member. If not, use the formal approach:

Phone the official's office and explain to the secretary what you want. Some possibilities:

  • A proclamation for Physical Fitness and Sports Month.
  • Appearance in a radio or television “spot” (sample scripts in “Radio” and “Television” sections).
  • Attendance at an event.


  • The importance of the promotion.
  • The number of people and families in the area affected by physical inactivity.

Send the secretary a copy of any proclamation, script, or statement you want the official to use, along with a cover letter confirming your conversation and re-emphasizing the importance of your promotion.

Always present options — if the official cannot attend an event, can he do a “spot”?
Always thank the official for granting or considering your request.

Planning is crucial for a Mayor's or Governor's proclamation.
1. Make contacts and stage the event as a coordinated group.
2. After getting the official's agreement to participate, forward the proclamation to the official's office.
3. Inform the media and all appropriate parties of the date, time, and location of proclamation ceremony.
4. Make the proclamation stand out! Your event doesn't have to be routine. Strive for lots of photo opportunities for newspaper and television.

Whereas, physical inactivity is a serious, nationwide health problem; and

Whereas, people who are usually inactive can improve their health and well-being by becoming even moderately active on a regular basis; and

Whereas all people can select activities that they enjoy and that fit into their daily lifestyles, such as gardening, raking leaves, walking, dancing, swimming, bicycling, running, and stair walking; and

Whereas, regular physical activity improves health by:

  • reducing the risk of dying prematurely
  • reducing the risk of dying from heart disease
  • reducing the risk of developing diabetes
  • reducing the risk of developing high blood pressure
  • reducing the risk of developing colon cancer
  • reducing depression and anxiety
  • helping control weight
  • building and maintaining healthy bones, muscles, and joints; and

Whereas, leading national and state organizations concerned with physical activity and health have joined together in a common desire to promote public awareness and change health behaviors, and

Whereas, such an effort will help encourage and stimulate increasing levels of physical activity and improved health;

NOW, THEREFORE, I (name) the (title) of (city/state) do hereby proclaim the month of May as PHYSICAL FITNESS AND SPORTS MONTH. I urge all people of (city/state) to learn more about the importance of physical activity for their health, to incorporate physical activity in their daily lives, and to join in an effort to create a more enlightened public attitude and response.


Billboards are used for “name recognition” and work best in increasing public awareness of simple themes. A billboard would expose your campaign to a large number of people and reinforce that exposure daily.

You will probably need a donation of a billboard site and development of the poster itself. Have a committee member approach an outdoor advertising company and present the billboard ideas below or write your own.

Note that reference to the month of May probably should not be in the billboard copy so the company can put the board up before May and leave it up after May.


The Surgeon General has
Determined that Physical Activity
is Important to your Health!
Engage in Physical Activity As
If Your Health Depends on It.
It does!
Be Part of Physical Fitness
and Sports Month.
Physical Fitness and Sports Month


Promotional materials can add a lot to the effectiveness and professionalism of your campaign. Walking into the office of a Public Service Director with a fact sheet and other materials in hand will tell the director that your campaign is organized, media conscious, and worthy of consideration.

Surgeon General's Report: It would be excellent have the Report to show as well as summaries of the Report to leave behind.

Brochures: Committees must have some type of “fact sheet” when approaching the media. If your promotion is providing the public with a telephone number and/or address, you will need to respond with some information. Brochures related to physical activity can also be used in displays and exhibits.

Bumperstickers/Buttons: Such visible items often can be inexpensively produced and can be given in acknowledgment for a contribution or attendance at an event, or sold to supplement a fundraiser. If possible, distribute items to City Council members and the Mayor at proclamation time. Those materials are also effective during television appearances. Also distribute to local TV personalities for maximum exposure.

Posters: Posters need a high traffic area, such as store fronts, community bulletin boards, schools, health clubs, etc.


1. Send letter of need or concern about the health impact of physical activity and the need for community awareness to elected officials (opinion-makers, etc.) in your community. 2. Disseminate information about the impact and prevalence of health problems related to physical inactivity.

1. Some postage meters can be fitted with a dye so a special physical fitness and sports message can be imprinted at the time postage is affixed.

2. Have your organization print special “May is Physical Fitness and Sports Month” labels and place them on your outgoing mail.

3. For a broader impact, businesses and public utilities can include a flyer about your state with their regular “May” mailings. This “billstuffer” could provide information on Physical Fitness and Sports Month.

Here are a few more ideas to help you promote Physical Fitness and Sports Month. If you have something else that works, let us know so we can share it with others.

Telephone Hot-Lines: Determine a phone number (maybe a health club), recruit knowledgeable individuals to answer questions, and publicize through the media.

Speakers Bureaus: Recruit volunteers, train them, and publicize to the community that the bureau exists. Mail to groups, schools, etc.

Display/Exhibits: These can be surprisingly effective, particularly if you are set up in a highly visible area with a lot of walk-through traffic, such as libraries and shopping malls, etc.

Grocery Bags: Have a local grocery chain print bags with Physical Fitness and Sports Month for use during May.

Theater Marquees: Ask a local theater to display Physical Fitness and Sports Month on its marquee during the month of May.

Postal Meter Slugs: Order a Physical Fitness and Sports Month slug for use on all your campaign mail.


Find out who is in charge of news assignments at the largest radio station, as well as who the main beat reporters are. That list is the target group you want to get to know better.

That is often the most vital step in getting publicity. Make an appointment with key personnel. Or better yet, arrange a luncheon, inviting media representatives. However you do it, try to set up a face-to-face meeting.

Sure, you're going to tell them about Physical Fitness and Sports Month. But ask questions also. What are the deadlines? In what length are public service announcements preferred? Get specific answers.

Hard news is something specific happening now. (e.g., “A petition was filed today by members of a local service club to stop the dropping of area high school physical education classes.”) Soft news is something that is happening on a continuing basis. (e.g., “The health of millions of Americans is impaired by inadequate physical activity.”) Know the difference. Hard news belongs in the news room. Soft news will get more play in public service departments.

Every year new books are published on how to gain publicity. The purpose of this kit is to allow you to hit the ground running with Physical Fitness and Sports Month, not to require you to devote hours of reading. However, if you want to know more about publicity, there are many excellent books on sale and in libraries, including, but not limited to David R. Yale's The Publicity Handbook (available in paperback from Bantam Books) and Gebbie Press All-In-One directory.



Entry Form for State and Local Awards
The National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity would like to recognize the outstanding May activities in our Awards program for state and local campaigns. Overall NCPPA winners will receive a plaque, special recognition by the Coalition and will be featured in publications.

To participate:

  • Complete the entry and mail to the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity, Attention: Jim Whitehead, P.O. Box 1440, Indianapolis, IN 46206-1440. For 1997, entry must be postmarked by July 1, 1997.
  • Answer the questions about your Physical Fitness and Sports Month campaign and supply supporting materials where appropriate.

NAME/TITLE: ___________________________________________________ORGANIZATION: ________________________________________________

ADDRESS: _____________________________________________________

CITY: _______________________STATE: _______________ZIP: _________

PHONE: __________________________________

Please submit no more than one paragraph for each question.

1. Goals and basic campaign: State the objectives.

2. First-time effort: To your knowledge, did you initiate your state or community's Physical Fitness and Sports Month involvement or build upon previous effort?

3. Involvement: How many people were involved in helping you plan and implement your campaign? How many people would you estimate heard, saw or read something related to your effrots? Name any local or national celebrities or public officials directyl involved in your activities.

4. Highlight: What was the single most successful aspect of your effort??

5. Community impact: How was your sate or community affected by your activities?

6. Media response: How did the media respond to your efforts? Supply documentation where possible, such as newspaper clippings, news releases, etc.

7. How did/will you evaluate your effort?

8. Suggestions and comments: Do you have any suggestions or comments with regard to this initiative in 1998 ?

Thank you for your leadership and dedication during Physical Fitness and Sports Month. We look forward to receiving your submission.

Physical inactivity is a risk factor for heart disease. The NCPPA recommends that people accumulate a total of at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week to maintain cardiovascular health. Moderate levels of daily physical activity are also beneficial.

Benefits of physical activity include lowering high blood pressure, increasing HDL (good)cholesterol, losing excess weight, strengthening the cardiovascular system and looking and feeling better, says the NCPPA.

Physical activity does your heart good! Need some good ideas? The NCPPA suggests walking, hiking, swimming, bicycling, jogging, stair climbing, running, rowing or endurance activities. Even housework, gardening and dancing offer health benefits. The most important thing is to start being more physically active and then stay with it. Just move!

Any activity that gets you moving around, even if it's done for just a few minutes a day, is better than none at all. The trick is to get started. One great way is to take a stroll for 10-15 minutes during your lunch break. Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or even parking farther away than normal to ensure a nice walk.

Evidence shows that even low- to moderate-intensity activities can have both short- and long-term benefits. If done daily, they may help lower your risk of heart disease. Such activities include pleasure walking, stair climbing, gardening, yardwork, moderate to heavy housework, dancing and home exercise. The key is just do something!

You don't have to train like a marathon runner or an athlete to become more physically fit! Most physical activities do not require any special athletic skills. In fact, many people who've found group sports difficult have discovered other activities that are easy and enjoyable to do. A perfect example is walking — an activity that requires no special talent, athletic ability, or equipment.

Build up slowly. If you've been inactive for a long while, remember it will take time to get in shape. Start with low- to moderate-level activities for at least several minutes each day. You can slowly increase your time or pace as you become more fit. And you will feel more fit, after a few weeks, than when you first started.

It's a family affair! If you have family, encourage them to take part in exercise programs and recreational activities they can either share with you or do on their own. It is best to build healthy habits when children are young. When parents are active, children are more likely to be active and stay active after they become adults.

About 25% of American adults do not engage in any leisure time physical activity. Women are more physically inactive than men, African Americans and Hispanics tend to be less active than non-Hispanic whites. Physical inactivity increases with age, and decreases with higher levels of education and income.

What's in it for me? How about feeling less stress at the end of the day? What if your clothes fit a little looser? Want to feel less anxious, less tired and have a better outlook on life? Sound good? Physical activity can definitely affect your quality of life and benefit you in ways only you can imagine.

336. What does this number mean to you? There are 336 thirty minute periods available in a week! And all you need is three of them to be on your way to becoming physically fit. Folks who complain about not having enough time for physical activity may want to rethink that.

A central theme in promoting physical activity is to encourage people to exercise because it's fun; however, many indivi-duals are unaware of the important health benefits associated with an active lifestyle. Some of the following information may be useful to you and your coalition members as part of your promotional efforts.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about 75% of the adult population does not engage in adequate amounts of physical activity to reap the cardiovascular benefits.

About 25% of adults lead basically sedentary lives. These adult couch potatoes are the group most likely to benefit from doing moderately intense activities such as walking, cycling, dancing, and even daily lifestyle activities like gardening and vacuuming.

Over 250,000 deaths per year can be attributed, at least in part, to the lack of regular physical activity.

The American Heart Association, the American College of Sports Medicine and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as other leading medical authorities recognize that physical inactivity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, the nation's number one cause of death.

Leading medical authorities rank the public health benefits of physical activity similar to those associated with the prevention of cigarette smoking, lowering blood cholesterol, and reducing high blood pressure.

Health benefits of physical activity also include weight control, improved glucose regulation, which is critical to the control and prevention of diabetes, and reduced risk of bone fractures associated with increased bone density.

Psychological benefits such as a sense of having more energy, a more positive attitude, improved sense of well-being and self-esteem and less depression and anxiety are also important.


For more information, contact the NCPPA at (317) 637-0349 or e-mail

Kai Sommer ist ein etablierter Fachmann in den Branchen Gesundheit, Fitness und Medizin. Er schreibt bereits - neben anderen Tätigkeiten in diesen Bereichen - seit über 7 Jahren für unseren Gesundheitsblog und beweist dabei immer wieder seinen einmaligen Expertenstatus.


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