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backtotopFitness is Fun!August 2010

Greetings from the office of the President's Challenge Physical Activity and Fitness

Awards Program!


You have received the August 2010 issue of Fitness is Fun, the official e-mail distribution of the President's Challenge. These monthly e-mails will keep you updated on our programs, activities of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN) and other current information pertaining to health and fitness.

PresidentsChallengeNEWSPCFSN NEWS

Council Member Videos
Visit www.fitness.gov to see videos of our Council members in action.  From Co-Chair Drew Brees to Michelle Kwan, our Council members are active individuals.

PCFSN Physical Activity and Fitness Research Digest gets new design
Recently redesigned, the PCFSN Physical Activity and Fitness Research Digest just made the transition from print to portable document format (pdf) only.  As of June, all issues will now be published online.  

The Research Digest is a quarterly publication containing the latest scientific updates about staying active and healthy. The most recent issue focused on the role of exercise as medicine in the lives of older adults.  To view current and past issues or sign up for e-mail notifications about future publications, visit the Research Digest section of the PC website.

Let's Move! Updates
Introduction of new website corresponds with First Lady's live chat
First Lady Michelle Obama used the newly launched LetsMove.gov to answer questions about the “Let's Move” initiative during a live video chat July 13.

Besides the recording of the First Lady's live chat, the updated site features a variety of tips and tools to assist families, teachers, and communities with improving the health of children across America. Additionally, if people wish to share their ideas or opinions about the campaign, they can visit the Let's Move! Facebook page via the website link.

 August PCFSN News - letsmove

Read the blog to find out about the MLB getting involved
LetsMove.gov also includes a blog with frequent updates, such as details on the campaign's partnership with the Major League Baseball Players Association, initiated July 20.  Be on the lookout for a new public service campaign featuring 30 MLB players. Learn more.

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Exciting Changes arriving to the President's Challenge
The President's Challenge will be announcing many new and exciting changes in September.  Each new school year brings added excitement for both our school-based programs like the physical fitness test and our group/individual programs like the PALA and Presidential Champions.  Look for these announcements coming soon on the new and enhanced President's Challenge website in September.

Presidential Physical Fitness Test covered in Dick's Sporting Goods Publication
In the back to school issue of  “Game On”, Dick's Sporting Goods included a feature to help students ace the Presidential Physical Fitness Test.  Check out the article on page 43 of the online publication.

Featured Product of the Month:
Steplinq Pedometer
The easy-to-use Steplinq Pedometer is a simple, effective way to track walking and running activity.  A pedometer can be a great way to add a new dimension to an already established walking routine.
Steplinq Pedometer Price: $7.95

August PC News - pedometer

The Steplinq pedometer comes with a belt clip as well as a recessed reset button to protect from accidental resets.  Batteries and instructions are included.

For information on how to order the Steplinq Pedometer or any of our other helpful fitness products visit our online order center.

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Bikes Belong Grant Program
The Bikes Belong Grant Program strives toAugust Grants - Bikes Belong put more people on bicycles more often by funding important and influential projects that leverage federal funding and build momentum for bicycling in communities across the U.S. These projects include bike paths and rail trails, as well as mountain bike trails, bike parks, BMX facilities, and large-scale bicycle advocacy initiatives. Learn more.

up to $10,000

August 27 and November 30

CVS Caremark Community GrantsAugust Grants - CVS
The CVS Caremark Community Grants program awards funds to nonprofit organizations for programs targeting children with disabilities, programs focusing on health and rehabilitation services, public schools promoting greater inclusion in student activities and extracurricular programs, and initiatives that give greater access to physical movement and play.  Learn more.

up to $5,000
application process runs from January 1 through October 31

Do Something GrantsGrants - Do Something
Do Something targets teenagers and young people; only those 25 years old and younger may apply.  Grants are given out weekly.

Seed Grants help jump-start new ideas for community action projects and programs. Learn more.

Growth Grants are given to those who are looking for funds to help expand an already successful project. Learn more.

$500 for each grant

Grants Source: These grants were listed by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. Visit the NASPE Grant Opportunities Database to explore over 80 different community and research grant possibilities.


Weight Wise & Healthy Lifestyle Expo
October 2 - 3
Direct Energy Centre, Toronto

This event is open to anyone with an interest in healthy lifestyles, nutrition and weight management. The forum will include motivational seminars, educational workshops, demonstrations, one-on-one consultations, health screenings, and special guests Alexandra White and Antoine Dove, both successful contestants from reality show, “The Biggest Loser.”

Learn more.

Ride the Drive
August 29
Madison, Wisconsin

Ride DriveAn annual event demonstrating this community's commitment to promoting active, healthy lifestyles, Ride the Drive encourages participants to ditch their cars and travel through the city's most scenic streets using more physical modes of transportation. In addition to walking, biking and skating, this special day also includes other fun activities for all ages.

Learn more.

If you live too far away to attend Madison's Ride the Drive, consider working with your community to start an event like this in your area.

October 4 - 5
Overland Park, Kansas
Learn more.

October 17 - 21
Charleston, South Carolina
Learn more.

September 1-30

AOM has designated their fifth annual monthly campaign as “Steptember.”   See how you can participate and get involved with this month's PC Activity, walking, with these 100 ways to add 2,000 steps or approximately one mile, to your daily routine.
Learn more.

Family Health and Fitness Day
September 25
Learn more.


Top 10 PC Activities

Based on data compiled from the President's Challenge website, the following activities (in order) are the most popular. We feature one activity each month.

1.    Walking
2.    Running
3.    Bicycling
4.    Cardio machines
5.    Weight training
6.    Household tasks
7.    Swimming
8.    Martial arts
9.    Aerobics
10.  Lawn mowing / gardening

get active - walking

Continue with your PC program by getting out and trying a new activity!

Activity Profile: Walking
Whether alone or with company, walking is a low-impact, stress-relieving activity that can be enjoyed by people of almost every fitness level.

Walking Fun Fact
In a study of stroke survivors, walking programs, when compared to stretching alone, lead to improved mobility as well as increased activity of the cerebellum and midbrain. So, basically, walking is good for the both the mind and body!
Learn more.

Try this: the 10,000 Steps Challenge
Multiple health and wellness programs suggest attempting to take a total of 10,000 steps a day in order to meet the Surgeon General's guidelines for 30 minutes of activity most days of the week.

Using a pedometer, such as the one featured as Product of the Month, can help you keep track of every step taken, giving you extra motivation to keep walking and stay active.

Don't be discouraged if you do not meet the 10,000 steps goal at first.  Work up gradually, using a method such as the one suggested by the PBS America's Walking Program.  

Average calories expended during 30 minutes of brisk walking for people of various weights:

130 lbs.

160 lbs.

190 lbs.

220 lbs.



145 calories

173 calories

200 calories

Source:http://www.healthfinder.gov/docs/doc12322.htm, sponsored by the National Health Information Center

PCPFSDemonstration Center Schools

This new section of Fitness is Fun recognizes schools that excel at incorporating physical activity and fitness into their physical education programs.

With Summer Break coming to a close, it is about time for students to head back to school.  FIF will be going back as well, to Demonstration Center schools, that is.  Starting up again in September, FIF will feature a monthly Demonstration Center.

In acknowledgment of the vital role of schools in encouraging active lifestyles for students, the President's Council awards deserving schools with a certificate and pennant.  These Demonstration Centers function as models for other schools across the country wishing to improve their physical education programming. If you think you school deserves the Demonstration Center title, apply today!

Since 2005, the President's Council has partnered with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) for the Demonstration Center Program. ACSM is responsible for selecting State Demonstration Center coordinators to serve as liaisons between schools in the state and the PCFSN to facilitate recognition of model schools. Volunteering as a coordinator is one of the many ways ASCM members can work toward obtaining their ACSM Fellowship. Visit the PC website for a list of current coordinators.

Together, PCFSN and ACSM are in the process of revamping the requirements and parameters of the Demonstration Center Program as well as developing a new logo.  To read more about the current Demonstration Center Program and review the list of Demonstration Center schools, go the “Educators” section of the PC website. 


This section highlights President's Challenge participants who benefit from the program and inspire others to lead more healthy lives. Check out Arturas Medonis's story and get motivated!


Arturas Medonis
August PC All American - Arturas
Step-by-step recovery with the PC
Although basketball brings Los Angeles-resident Arturas Medonis much joy, it also occasionally brings pain.  Such was the case when he seriously injured his Achilles tendon a few months ago during a one-on-one game.“While playing basketball competitively I often had hurt ankles, but this was beyond any of my previous experiences,” he said.  

A few weeks prior, Medonis joined the President's Challenge, and instead of getting discouraged by his injury, he used the PC to get back on his feet.

“During this tough period only the PC system was here for me 24/7,” he said. “It motivated me to do as many small things as possible and to register them.” In this way, he was able to stay true to his commitment to exercise regularly while simultaneously improving his tendon.  He has come far in his recovery, and as of July 21, he was able to walk to his local park and register a “solid 100 minutes of moderate activity.”

Taking it to the streets
Despite only joining the PC Program about two months ago, in addition to using it for himself Medonis already wants to share it with others in the Santa Monica area.  Hoping to partner with Santa Monica Pacific Park, a family amusement park on the Santa Monica Pier, Medonis is in the process of creating “Fitness Hour,” which would feature a live fitness instructor to guide participants through a fun 60-minute workout.  He is also working on starting a “Hoop Shootout,” to inspire people to get active through friendly basketball competition.

Far-reaching goalsarturas info
Highly ambitious, Medonis also has goals encouraging the President's Challenge even beyond his community. Originally from Lithuania, Medonis is inspired by Frank Lubin, the son of Lithuanian immigrants who became a 1936 Olympic U.S. basketball champion before going on to popularize basketball in Lithuania.  In honor of Lubin, Medonis hopes to find a way to promote the PC in Europe.

To learn more about Medonis and his current projects, visit his website.

Have an inspiring story? E-mail preschal@indiana.edu!


Back to basics with diet and exercise

Marjie Gilliam

Many myths and misconceptions still exist when it comes to diet and exercise and how they relate to weight loss.  To help separate fact from fiction, here are some guidelines:

Spot reducing with exercise is impossible!
An example here would be trying to eliminate belly fat by performing crunches to target the abdominal area.  Resistance exercise, whether for the abdominals or any other muscle group, is for the purpose of maintaining or building muscle tissue, keeping your body strong. 

Losing body fat, and more importantly, keeping it off long-term, requires three components:
  1. Adherence to a strength-training program that includes all major muscle groups.
  2. Adherence to regular cardiovascular workouts.
  3. Adherence to a daily calorie-controlled eating plan.
The idea is to gradually change your overall body composition, i.e., to gain muscle tissue while losing body fat, and do it in a way that is safe and manageable.  Because body fat is lost from head to toe and not just in one area, be patient as inches are lost.  As body fat decreases and your level of fitness increases, and as your goals change, remember to adjust your diet and physical activity accordingly.

Just as you can't spot reduce with exercise, you cannot spot reduce by dieting.
If the number of calories you consume is consistently less than the amount needed for daily activity, you will lose overall body fat. If caloric intake is equal to energy needs, you will maintain your weight, and if calories consumed are more than you need, you will gain fat.  

Know that cutting back on the amount of food you eat without regular exercise is never the best way to go.
You'll only risk losing calorie-burning muscle in the process, ultimately slowing down your metabolism.  Body fat uses about 2 calories per pound, while muscle uses about 6 calories per pound.  Far better to gradually increase activity levels while gradually reducing calorie intake.  This is not only more manageable on a day to day basis, but it is healthier, and makes it much easier to keep the weight off once you have reached your goal.  

Find an appropriate way to monitor your progress
Some people are more motivated to exercise and eat right when they keep track of their weight every day, while for others, stepping on the scale creates needless anxiety and worry.  Regardless of how often you weigh yourself, use it as only one indicator of progress, because the number on the scale reflects total body weight and does not tell you how much body fat is being lost.  A better indicator would be to take regular measurements to keep track of inches lost.  Place the tape measure around the thickest part of the waist, hips, arms and thighs and record your starting numbers.  Repeat and compare once every 3 to 4 weeks.

Marjie Gilliam is an internationally syndicated fitness columnist and freelance journalist, and has authored thousands of articles devoted to health and wellness. Each month we feature one of her articles.

Department of Defense “Leap Into Fall” Fitness Challenge
Using the President's Challenge, the Department of Defense (DoD) is looking to register 2,000,000 hours of physical between August 1 and October 31.  The “Leap into Fall” Fitness Challenge invites members of the DoD to get in on the cause either as individuals or as groups.

Those who are able to log 30 hours of physical activity over the three month period will receive certificates of achievement.  And for a bit of friendly competition, the three individuals and groups logging the most hours will get special recognition on the DoD Worklife/Wellness website.

Although the date has already passed for Group Leaders and individuals to submit their registration information, members can still join already-existing groups.

If you are interested in joining a group or participating as an individual, register on the President's Challenge website. Fill in the following information if you wish to join a group:
1. Group ID Number: [GROUP ID]
2. Group Member ID/Name: [*Type a name that will 
    appear as your profile name*]

If you don't have the Group ID Number or the Group Member Name, but you know that a group has been started for your Command/ Organization, go to the “Your Groups” tab on the top of your individual account, and click on the “Find a group” link. Fill the required information to locate the group and add/join your group.

Up and coming Putnam County project encourages citizens to get “Up and Moving”
In 2006, West Virginia exceeded the national average incidence rates for cancer of the lungs, colon and rectum, urinary bladder, kidney and pelvis, oral cavity and pharynx, and pancreas as well as lymphoma and leukemia, according to the National Program of Cancer Registries.  That same year, members of the Putnam on Wellness Coalition of Putnam County, West Virginia got the idea to start working toward getting county residents more active, keeping them healthier, and, consequently, helping to reduce their risk of cancer.  

Putnam County, West Virginia
West Virginia
What started out as merely an idea began to take shape when coalition member Michelle Baranaskas saw an article about the President's Challenge a year later.

“I had heard of the President's Physical Fitness Challenge in schools, but did not know that it had been expanded,” she said.  “Our Putnam on Wellness Coalition decided to seek funding that would support promotion of the President's Challenge in the community at large.”  

This decision led to the formation of “Putnam Up and Moving,” a project intended to promote physical activity and decrease sedentary behaviors throughout Putnam County and West Virginia as a whole.  

“Putnam Up and Moving,” officially took off in April of this year.  They received a $1,250 grant from the Mountains of Hope West Virginia Cancer Coalition Prevention Subcommittee, as well as several other sponsorships.  With funding secured, the group can now turn its focus toward gaining more members, with hopes of reaching at least 500.

“We would love to see more people sign up and participate in the President's Challenge under the name of our project, 'Putnam Up & Moving,'” Baranaskas said.

Those interested in joining Putnam Up and Moving are asked to register online by entering the group ID number 90054 and the name Putnam Up and Moving in the boxes provided.

Be part of our special feature for next month
Have you or someone else motivated a group of children or adults to lead a healthier life? E-mail us your story at preschal@indiana.edu and it could be featured in next month's newsletter!
HealthandWellnessNEWS AND RESEARCH

New Report Gives America an “F” for Fat
Once again, a new report gives America a failing grade when it comes to obesity.  With 28 states showing an increase in adult obesity rates, the concern over America's weight problem remains legitimate.  The “F as in Fat” report, issued by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Trust for America's Health, presents data on obesity rates in each state.

In addition to providing data, the report also gives recommendations at the individual and policy levels to make improvements.  Suggestions range from breast-feeding (to improve infant nutrition and increase caloric expenditure in mothers) to bike lanes (to make active lifestyles more safe and accessible).

F as in FatListed below are the top five states for adult obesity rates:
          1. Mississippi 33.8%
          2. Alabama 31.6%
          3. Tennessee 31.6%
          4. West Virginia 31.3% 
          5. Louisiana 31.2%
Read the full article or check out the actual report, “F as in Fat.”

Lack of athletic opportunities for disabled students addressed
Although athletic involvement has increased for those with disabilities since the passage of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, participation in athletics is still significantly lower among students with disabilities compared to students without disabilities, according to a July 2010 report from the Government Accounting Office (GAO).

The GAO called on the Department of Education to provide resources to assist states and schools in serving students with disabilities in physical activity settings and to produce guidance to clarify schools' responsibilities. The Alliance in Support of Athletics Equity for Students with Disabilities (ASAESD), organized by the Women's Sports Foundation, is working on a multi-prong policy agenda that will ensure that students with disabilities are provided opportunities to participate in and receive benefits from sports and physical education.  Read the full press release.

Help shape the future of physical education: PE2020PE2020
“What should physical education look like in the year 2020 and beyond?” Anyone who wishes to answer this question is invited to do so online via the PE2020 Forum created by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, NASPE.  As part of the initial phase of a two-year initiative to revise physical education, NAPSE is looking to the public for ideas on how programming should look in the future.

Individuals or those entering submissions on behalf of a classroom have a chance to win prizes for their innovative suggestions. Visit the PE2020 online forum to share your opinions or view others' suggestions.


With school out for the summer, what are some suggestions you have for combining being active with spending time with the children in your life?

“I'm a principal/teacher at a parochial school in the Sacramento area. I have two young children who are four and two. One of our favorite summer activities is going to the zoo. We have a membership, so it's easy for us to stop by anytime. The zoo is a great activity for young children because not only do they absolutely love all the animals, they get exercise as they walk from exhibit to exhibit. A leisurely walk through the zoo for my wife and I is a rigorous workout for our little people with shorter legs.”
Matthew T.

“My friends and I like to go swimming and play tennis. It's really fun, and without feeling like you are exercising, you're getting in a really good workout.“
B.J. O.

“When I was a little girl, my mother loved to garden.  We had beautiful flowers, but we also had a huge vegetable garden.  Not only did it require constant attention, it also made me appreciate the wonderful tastes of freshly grown vegetables.  It was a great way to learn, work out, and spend time with my family during those lovely Alaskan summers.”
Friederike C.

This morning I witnessed in my local recreation park [a] father shooting hoops with his two kids. He was not in a role of the coach, but just helped his kids to be in the flow of simple workout, occasionally rebounding and shooting the hoop himself. The whole activity was very natural and had a great vibe. Similarly, parents may engage in helping kids to kick the ball from the penalty or dribble it on one foot. Bring [a] stopwatch and let [your] kids run [a] short distance (from this bench / tree to that) to improve their own running time. You may run as well and improve your own time. Kids are always excited to do it together if adults join the feast.
Arturas M., August PC All American

Question for Next Month's Issue:
Since stretching is an important component to any fitness routine, how do you incorporate stretching into your active lifestyle?

Please respond via e-mail to the President's Challenge at preschal@indiana.edu. We'll include the most insightful responses in the September issue of Fitness is Fun.


We would like to extend a special thanks to all of the President's Challenge Advocates. Please visit the Advocates section to see how companies, organizations and groups are making a difference with the President's Challenge.

NFL PLAY 60 Rush Back to Football Fridayback to football
Back to Football Friday
is a national celebration of NFL team pride on Friday, September 10.  Schools are encouraged to be unique in demonstrating their support for their favorite team. 34 schools (one in each NFL market and two out of market) will be selected as winners based on the originality of their event, level of NFL passion, and relevance to the theme of health and wellness.  
The winners will be named NFL PLAY 60 Super Schools and receive the following prizes:
  • $10,000 NFL PLAY 60 Health and Wellness grant (presented in the form of a check to the winning school).
  • Visit from an NFL player that will include an assembly and gym class component
So start planning your Back to Football Friday celebration, and when the big day comes, don't forget to capture the moment! Take some great pictures of your class or school in action so you can submit them online.  

Upload your photos and tell us about your Back to Football Friday celebration at:

Online registration runs from July 1 through September 17.  The celebrations should take place September 10.  Actual entries including photos must be submitted from September 11 through September 17.  To register or get additional information about Back to Football Friday, visit http://www.NFLRUSH.com/backtofootball.

NFL PLAY 60 also teamed up with United Way for the general-public portion of the contest.  Fans of all ages are encouraged to show their NFL team pride at work and in school on September 10 in celebration of the start of the NFL season and to join in the effort to end childhood obesity. One lucky participant will win a trip for two to Super Bowl XLV in north Texas. Visit http://www.UnitedWay.org/backtofootball to learn more.


We would like to hear from you. If you have any topics that you would like to see addressed in Fitness is Fun or any questions or comments regarding current content, please let us know. Inspiring stories are also appreciated and could become features for our next issue. E-mail us at preschal@indiana.edu.

Past Issues
To view past issues of Fitness is Fun visit our archives.
In This Issue
Grant Opportunities
Upcoming Events
Get Active!
Demonstration Center Schools
PC All-American
Health and Wellness with Marjie
Special Features
News and Research
Fitness Question of the Month
Spotlight on Advocates

Your It Get Fit