May is National Fitness and Sports Month! Health has always been an important part of Scouting since the first Handbook for Boys was released in 1911. Exercising regularly keeps you physically fit and prepared to take on whatever your Scouting adventures bring, whether that’s exploring a new hiking trail or competing in a friendly game of soccer.
In a recent Scouting magazine article, Jeff Csatari highlights fitness tips written by Dr. George J. Fisher in the very first handbook, and compares them to our modern medical knowledge.
In honor of Fitness and Sports Month, we’re featuring three of these time-tested fitness tips to stay physically strong:
1. Get Outside
Dr. Fisher says: “Each day should have its out-door exercises.”
Csatari cites a study by the University of California, San Diego which reports people who habitually exercise outside are active for about half an hour longer per week than those who exercise inside. Although not all days permit outdoor activity, head out when you can!
Maybe it’s the fresh air, the splendid sun, or the wide-open sky—whatever the reason, being outside can also have a positive effect on your mental health, according to Csatari.
2. Get Moving
Dr. Fisher says: “Walking is a splendid form of exercise.”
Not every day allows for a full, head-to-toe exercise routine, but there’s a very simple solution to stay active on days when you’re short on time: just walk!
You don’t have to be a track star to reap similar health benefits of runners. Csatari refers to a research study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which found that speedy strolling can help you stave off ailments like high blood pressure and diabetes just as much as running can.
3. Get Sleep
Dr. Fisher says: “Good, sound, and sufficient sleep is essential to growth, strength, and endurance.”
One of the best ways to start an active day is by getting quality sleep the night before. “Fisher is spot-on in the sleep department,” Csatari says. No matter your age, a reasonable bedtime is still crucial to overall health.
As you sleep, your body metabolizes, recovers physically and mentally, and builds your immune system. Don’t forget—a good night’s sleep puts you in a better mood! So for the sake of your health (and happiness) try to get between seven to eight-and-a-half hours of sleep every night.
You can learn more about Dr. Fisher’s advice and how it stacks up to medical science today by reading the full Scouting magazine article.
How will you get moving in May? Share your favorite Scouting fitness activity in the comments!