Official Newsletter of the President's Challenge


Drink Up – Increase Your Total Water Intake

Water makes up over 60% of your total body weight. Every system in your body depends on the use of water so it's important to nourish it with a substantial amount each day. The Institute of Medicine notes that an adequate amount for men is about 13 cups while for women it's nine. The Mayo Clinic notes to drink at least eight, eight–ounce glasses a day.

In last month's issue of Fitness is Fun, we briefly discussed Michelle Obama's new initiative, "Drink Up". Promoting the increased intake of water, "Drink Up" helps to inspire people of all ages to build healthy lives. As mentioned, drinking water is one of the easiest ways to improve overall health and well-being. Drinking water helps you to:

  • Lose weight
  • Build muscle
  • Increase energy
  • Improve focus
  • Increase cognitive functions
  • Flush out toxins
  • And much more!

Help inspire your students to drink more water and fuel healthy functions with the "Drink Up" campaign and learn more about the initiative at

Recess in Schools – The Banning of Balls and Injury–Producing Equipment

"Recess is at the heart of a vigorous debate over the role of schools in promoting the optimal development of the whole child...important is the fact that safe and well-supervised recess offers cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefits that may not be fully appreciated when a decision is made to diminish it."The American Academy of Pediatrics: December 31, 2012

In an effort to find more time teaching academics, there has been a growing trend in the US to shorten or eliminate recess. While there are differing opinions on the matter, the American Academy of Pediatrics indicates that recess helps to promote healthy development among children while also helping to improve classroom behavior and academic performance. In addition, recess also provides students with time to "rest, play, imagine, think, move, and socialize."

A recent news story published regarding the ban of balls and recess equipment at one Long Island, New York school has many people talking about the validity of such a decision. The decision to ban such items has come after a recent increase in the number of playground injuries at the school – a number that has been growing nationwide for the past decade, according to researchers at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
According to CBS News who reports on the story, Superintendent, Dr. Kathleen Maloney of Port Washington Schools said that "Some of these injuries can unintentionally become very serious so we want to make sure our children have fun, but are also protected."

Weber Middle School in Port Washington, NY has banned the following:

  • Footballs
  • Baseballs
  • Soccer balls
  • Lacrosse balls
  • And other equipment that might cause harm
  • As a replacement, nerf balls will be acceptable for play

Other activities such as tag and cartwheels will require supervision from one of the school's coaches. To read the full story, please visit:

Share Your Thoughts
What do you think of this ban? Do you agree? Disagree? Do you think that the school could have come up with a better solution? If so, please send us those ideas!

How do you engage your students in fun and safe physical activity at recess?

Send your comments to!