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Being active isn’t just about getting thin. In fact, many thin people are at risk for a long list of health issues because they aren’t active.

Activity is necessary for our brains to function. Exercise is key to improving our mental health, preventing chronic illnesses and cancer. It also has a pretty great side effect of making you feel and look good!

Being active isn’t about pain and suffering. Exercise isn’t a punishment. It’s about celebrating the amazing things our bodies can do. And the more we do, the better we’ll feel. We don’t need to join expensive gyms and go through grueling workouts, though, to celebrate. With a recommended 30 minutes of exercise 5 days/week for adults and 60 minutes for kids, it’s time we start to steal time from our sedentary days and #MoveInMay.

Here are 7 easy ways to get active EVERY SINGLE DAY!

  • Every step counts: Walk the dog. Park the car in the farthest parking spot in the lot. Take the stairs. If it’s within a mile, walk it. When your kids are playing a sport, walk up and down the field. Track your steps with free apps to download like STEPZ and Walker.
  • Make fitness a family affair: Childhood obesity has tripled in the United States in the past 30 years. Forming positive exercise habits at home with kids is a critical first step toward battling obesity. Plant a family garden. Walk to the park after dinner. Wash the car. Rake leaves. Have jump rope contests. Set a family goal to run a color run, turkey trot, jingle jog or any other interesting, fun event. Make an “every step count” family goal with the prize being a trip to a nearby national park. The prize to getting fit should be something that celebrates fitness!
  • Turn caffeine therapy to walking therapy: We’re so accustomed to meeting at a café and catching up. Why not catch up … walking? Get toned and save calories on that mocha latte you were craving. Then, take the last ten minutes to indulge in your favorite coffee.
  • Buckle under peer pressure: Start an exercise plan with friends or coworkers. Getting up at 5:00 am is brutal. But knowing when you don’t, you’ll leave someone waiting …  well, that’s worse. Almost. So buckle under peer pressure and join an exotic or pole dance group with friends, yoga or Pilates classes, a country western dance group, or start your noon walking club with coworkers. It’s easier to keep up habits when others are counting on you.
  • No luddites allowed: Who says techno-geeks can’t get into exercise? Geocaching and Pokemon Go! have proven us all wrong. So get techy and get moving using billion-dollar technology to find plastic bits in bins in the mountains.
  • Join a group: So many people lament they can’t meet people anymore. It’s not easy. But there is a great way to meet interesting people in a safe environment: join hiking or cycling clubs! In New York there are some great clubs that offer everything from beginner to advanced athletes places to exercise, discover, and enjoy like the New York Ramblers and the NYCC (New York City Cycling Club). What a phenomenal way to step out of the box and try something new in a safe group.
  • Groupons and Daily Deals: Sign up for fitness daily deals. You might be surprised what pops up in your inbox.

Every step counts. And when you’re taking steps to get more active and bring movement into your life, you’re giving yourself an amazing gift – celebrating what your body can do.

So, make May your fitness New Year and #MoveInMay to celebrate National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, taking advantage of it to start new, healthier habits to last a lifetime!