Official Newsletter of the President's Challenge

DECEMBER 2013 - GET ACTIVE!

Own the Court This Winter – The Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Basketball

The cold months can steal your motivation. If you're a fan of college or professional basketball, you may find that watching the games in–person or on television gives you the urge to get out and play! Don't let the cold weather shake those urges! Gather up a group of your friends and head on over to an indoor court! If you don't have a membership at a local gym, many organizations offer day passes for $5 or less! You may even find local community organizations that have indoor facilities that may allow you to play for free.

Basketball is a great way to get fit and improve your overall physical and mental health. Just one hour of playing basketball can burn up to 700 calories, depending on how much and how hard you're running up and down the court. Don't forget that when you're trying to "school" your friend, those moves you're taking by dribbling, passing and shooting help to increase your calorie burn while also helping to improve your coordination – not to mention it helps to tone those ab, leg and arm muscles! Finally, the effort you put into participating in the sport allows your body to release endorphins in your brain which helps you to feel better emotionally (not to mention the other emotional and personal skills you're building, such as teamwork).

So don't fret the cold. Grab your pals and head over to an indoor court closest to you and get moving! For tips and information on basketball best practices, check out: http://www.livestrong.com/basketball/!

Give the Gift of Health & Fitness!

This holiday season, treat yourself to the gift of health and fitness! The President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition has teamed up with Litton's Weekend Adventure to make it easier than ever to make small, but significant improvements to your health and well–being. The Healthy Challenge Card is a simple way to begin integrating healthy habits into your everyday routine. The 10 "Be Active" and "Eat Well" challenges featured on the card encourage you to make incremental lifestyle changes to improve your health. Print the card, share it with a friend and work together to achieve each goal over the course of the week! Can you complete all 10 challenges?