Montpelier, VT – At the Vermont Corporate Cup and State Agency Race today, Governor Philip B. Scott will proclaim the month of May as Physical Fitness and Sports Month in Vermont. The proclamation was requested by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, sponsor of the annual race in Montpelier, to raise awareness about the benefits of physical activity. The race and proclamation promotes the council’s mission to encourage worksite wellness and support Exercise Is Medicine.
“Vermonters have a perfect setting to get outdoors and exercise, and May is a great time to start,” said Janet Franz, Council chair. “We can go outside for a hike, jog, paddle or ride and enjoy our beautiful environment. Doing this regularly helps us feel better, physically and mentally. Being active reduces risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, stiff backs, sore knees, depression, low energy and a host of other ailments, reducing the need for medicine and medical care. Exercise is medicine.”
In Vermont, 28% of adults and 13% of youth are overweight or obese, according to the state Department of Health, which cites lack of physical activity as the reason. More than three quarters (77%) of Vermont’s youth do not participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day, and 20% of Vermont adults participate in no leisure time physical activity. The department estimates that medical expenses attributable to adult obesity and chronic disease in Vermont total $271 billion annually.
The health department recommends that adults aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. Moderate activity includes walking briskly, bicycling, dancing and swimming. Children should participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day, including walking to school, playing in the yard or playground, climbing trees, riding bikes and participating in sports.
The Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports promotes health and wellness through physical activity for people of all fitness and ability levels. It encourages older Vermonters to participate in fitness and sports through the Vermont Senior Games and Move for Wellbeing, families to be active outdoors with Vermont Parks Prescriptions, and working Vermonters to walk and run with co-workers at the annual Corporate Cup Challenge & State Agency Race on May 16 in Montpelier.