Official Newsletter of the President's Challenge


Miami School Goes Outside and Get Creative with Activity Program

With the help of grant and community funds, a school in Miami-Dade County got creative with their active-living program. The school turned an old classroom into a wellness center where kids can work out in fun new ways such as rock climbing, rowing and dancing. Students are also outside on a regular basis, kayaking and sailing and learning just how much fun staying healthy can be.


Active Living Research provides the following suggestions and resources for keeping kids active during the school day:

Do Short Physical Activity Breaks in Classrooms Work?

Creating activity breaks at school, such as moving and stepping for up to 20 minutes at a time in the classroom during the school day, is a relatively new and innovative method for increasing physical activity among children. This brief summarizes the research on how programs that provide classroom physical activity breaks impact physical activity, on-task behavior, health, and related factors in children.

Increasing Physical Activity through Recess

Schools can provide excellent opportunities for children to be physically active through regular recess. This brief summarizes the growing body of research examining recess, which shows that providing recess during the school day is an effective and efficient way to increase physical activity and improve academic performance among children.

The Role of Schools in Promoting Physical Activity

This infographic highlights a few ways that schools can promote daily physical activity for kids. Comprehensive physical activity programs that offer PE, recess, and safe and active ways to get to schools not only offer children the skills to learn how to be physically active for a lifetime, but also provide physical and mental benefits which help them perform better in school.

Catch A Lift Helps Wounded Vets Back to the Gym

Cath a Lift Logo Catch a Lift (CAL) is a non-profit organization that assists wounded service members from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars start their healing process and maintain their mental and physical health through physical fitness. Over 48,000 veterans have been wounded post 9-11; research shows that early intervention through physical fitness results in successful rehabilitation for these wounded veterans. CAL provides gifted gym memberships or in-home gym equipment to wounded post 9-11 veterans anywhere in the United States. If a veteran needs assistance from a friend to help with rehabilitation, CAL will pay for his or her gym membership as well. The organization was started as a memorial to Cpl. Chris Coffland and founded on his lifelong philosophy that through physical fitness you can achieve your highest potential for a healthy mind and body. Everyday Coffland would say "I'm goin' catch a lift," his way of saying that he was off to the gym. He actively encouraged others to participate as well, so that they could lead a healthier and well balanced life.

The Catch a Lift website shares almost twenty pages of personal stories from vets with brain and back injuries, burns, and amputated arms and legs. Most veterans cannot afford gym memberships on their disability checks and express profound gratitude to the organization and donors for giving them the opportunity to make physical fitness an important part of their lives again. As soldiers, physical fitness was integral to their lives, well-being, and identities. In story after story, veterans tell how their in-home gym equipment or gym membership is helping them get back into shape after putting on weight from depression and disability. Being able to work out again is allowing them to play adaptive sports like handcycling or wheelchair basketball and providing tremendous stress relief, confidence, and motivation. These veterans are grateful not only for themselves, but for the opportunity to maintain their health for their children and spouses.

Cycling Your Way to A Healthy Heart

With spring in full effect and summer right around the corner, more and more physical activity can be done outside. Many individuals look at working out as a hassle; something they don't want to do or enjoy because it feels like a chore. With that being said, maintaining an active lifestyle is crucial for anyone who desires to be healthy. Instead of complaining about needing to run on the treadmill or do endless amounts of sit-ups and push-ups, you can turn your physical activity into something that you and your family would actually enjoy! Bicycling is a great way to stay fit while enjoying yourself. Whether it's cycling up and down mountain terrain or just going for a cruise around the neighborhood, bicycling is an excellent way to burn fat and gain muscle. On top of it being one of the easiest exercises possible, it also builds strength and muscle tone, improves cardio-vascular fitness, eats up calories and improves heart health. According to the British Medical Association, cycling just twenty miles a week can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by an incredible 50%!

Focusing on the Latin American community, a recent survey done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discovered that high blood pressure is a great concern. As is with every racial and ethnic group in America, Cardiovascular disease is the leading killer; therefore, it is crucial that this community maintain a healthy and balanced diet and lifestyle. Bicycling can serve as a promising way to lower the chances of falling victim to high blood pressure and Cardiovascular disease; on top of being extremely beneficial to your health, bicycling can also serve as a time to connect with others. Whether it be going out with your family or friends, essentially everyone knows how to ride a bicycle and enjoys doing so, so get on out and get pedaling. And of course, always wear a helmet!

Ir en Bicicleta para un Corazón Sano

Con el cambio de tiempo y el verano casi aquí, mucho mas gente ya están saliendo para hacer ejercicios físicos. Mucha gente ven el ejercicio como una molestia, algo que no puede divertirse haciendo. Con ese dicho, manteniendo una vida activa es esencial para alguien que desea ser saludable. En lugar de quejar sobre cuantos horas necesitas correr o cuantos flexiones de brazos necesitas cumplir para mantener algún peso, puede convertir el ejercicio en algo divertido y atractivo para toda la familia. Andar en bicicleta es una manera fantástico de mantener una vida saludable mientras disfrutar de ti mismo. No lo importa si esta andando en bicicleta por las montañas o si solo esta andando alrededor de tu barrio, andar en bicicleta es una manera excelente de quemar calorías y aumentar musculo. Además de ser facilísimo de hacer, también es una manera de aumentar fuerza y gimnasio cardiaco-vascular. Según la Asociación Medical Británico, ¡andar de bicicleta solo 20km a la semana puede reducir el riesgo de cardiopatía coronaria en un 50%!

Enfocando en la comunidad latinoamericana, una reciente encuesta hecho por Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades, encontraron que el presión arterial alta es algo muy común dentro de esta comunidad. Enfermedades cardiovasculares son la causa principal de muerte de todos los grupos raciales y étnicos en los Estados Unidos. Por eso, es crucial que esta comunidad hispano mantiene una vida saludable y una dieta equilibrada y andar en bicicleta puede servir como una manera de garantizar los dos. Además de ser beneficial a su salud también es una actividad que puede servir de conectar la gente. Si va con su familia o amigos, esencialmente todo el mundo sabe como andar en bicicleta y disfruta de hacerlo. Entonces, ¡debe salir y tratar de pedalear! Y por favor, siempre usar un caso.