National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

Explore ideas for celebrating National Physical Fitness and Sports Month during May.

With less than a month of school left for most of us in Virginia, it’s a perfect time to talk to our students about getting consistent exercise throughout the summer months. As a high school librarian, I always emphasize reading as a way to prevent a mental “summer slide.” But what can students do to avoid a physical summer slide?

When looking for information on physical activities for children and teenagers, a good place to start is at, hosted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. There you will find ODPHP’s “Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans” and information on the accompanying “Move Your Way” promotional campaign. The Move Your Way microsite provides fact sheets, tools, and videos on physical fitness and physical activities. According to Move Your Way, children and teenagers need to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. 

Does eMediaVA have anything to offer in terms of physical fitness activities and resources? You bet! If you search for “physical fitness” in the eMediaVA search engine and refine your search with the current Virginia SOLs for Physical Education, you will find 312 resources, including documents, quizzes, lesson plans, activities, and videos. Some resources, like Jumping Math, combine physical fitness with an academic subject. With this lesson plan, teachers in grades K-5 can use physical activity to teach counting sequences. Powering Your Body with Exercise is an interactive lesson designed for grades 3-8 that enhances literacy skills while learning about the positive effects of exercise and physical activity on health. Resources focused on grades 9-12 include interactive lessons on developing personal fitness plans, physical fitness assessment exercises, and a self-paced lesson for students to learn about power, strength, and endurance.

If you work with teenagers every day like I do, you learn quickly that, if you are going to “talk the talk,” you have to “walk the walk.” Don’t just tell students (including your own children) to make physical fitness a priority this summer. Set an example and do it yourself! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend adults get 150 minutes of “moderate-intensity physical activity” and two days of muscle strengthening every week. If that seems like a lot, then check out these tips from the CDC on how to get started on your fitness journey. 

Happy National Physical Fitness and Sports Month!

Dale Harter is an eMediaVA Ambassador and a librarian in Chesterfield County Public Schools.

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