May Awareness: Mental Health, Women’s Health and More

May is a busy month as far as awareness campaigns go. The month hosts Mental Health Month, National Women’s Health Week, Arthritis Awareness Month, National Bike Month, National Physical Fitness & Sports Month, among other celebrations.

Here in Maine, the month of May also brings warmer weather and beautiful flowers, a welcome sight after our typical cold, drab winters.

Bottom line, May is a great time to get back to being active and start focusing more on health. And when we’re healthy, we’re happy.

Along with these awareness campaigns comes some great tips for living well. Following are a few tips to consider as we head toward the summer months.

10 Proven Tools to help you feel stronger and more hopeful from the Live Your Life Well website (and who doesn’t need to feel stronger and more hopeful every now and then?):

  1. Connect with others
  2. Stay positive
  3. Get physically active
  4. Help others
  5. Get enough sleep
  6. Create joy and satisfaction
  7. Eat well
  8. Take care of your spirit
  9. Deal better with hard times
  10. Get professional help if you need it

Some physical activity facts from The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports:

  • Adults 18 and older need 30 minutes of physical activity on five or more days a week to be healthy; children and teens need 60 minutes of activity a day for their health.
  • Significant health benefits can be obtained by including a moderate amount of physical activity (e.g., 30 minutes of brisk walking or raking leaves, 15 minutes of running, 45 minutes of playing volleyball). Additional health benefits can be gained through greater amounts of physical activity.
  • Thirty to sixty minutes of activity broken into smaller segments of 10 or 15 minutes throughout the day has significant health benefits.
  • Moderate daily physical activity can reduce substantially the risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers, such as colon cancer. Daily physical activity helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, helps prevent or retard osteoporosis, and helps reduce obesity, symptoms of anxiety and depression, and symptoms of arthritis.

Some tips to help you get moving from

Fit it into a busy schedule

  • If you can’t set aside one block of time, do short activities throughout the day, such as three 10-minute walks.
  • Walk or bike to work or to the store.
  • Use stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
  • Walk while you talk, if you’re using a cellphone or cordless phone.
  • Doing yard work or household chores counts as physical activity. Turn on some upbeat music to help you do chores faster and speed up your heart rate.

Make it fun

  • Choose activities that you enjoy.
  • Vary your activities, so you don’t get bored. For instance, use different jogging, walking, or biking paths. Or bike one day, and jog the next.
  • If you have children, make time to play with them outside. Set a good example!

Make it social

  • Join a hiking or running club.
  • Go dancing with your partner or friends.

Overcome challenges

  • Don’t let cold weather keep you on the couch. You can find activities to do in the winter, such as indoor fitness classes or exercising to a workout video.

There are some really great tips, information and resources in the websites mentioned above. Please do check them out.

Stay well.

Photo Source: © Photographer Aaron Kohr | Agency: