from the office of the President's Challenge Physical Activity and Fitness
Awards Program! You have received the February 2010 issue of Fitness is Fun,
the official email distribution of the President's Challenge. These monthly
emails will keep you updated on our programs, activities of the President's
Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS) and other current information
pertaining to health and fitness.
Fitness Question of the Month for February:
What kinds of activities and exercises do you enjoy doing the most in pairs or
Please respond via E-mail to the President's Challenge at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll
include the most insightful responses in the March issue of Fitness is Fun. Be
sure to view the responses to the January Fitness Question near the end of this
Have you or someone else
motivated a group of children or adults to lead a healthier life? E-mail us
your story at email@example.com and it could be featured in next month's
Move Initiative Announced by the White House
Tuesday, February 9, 2010 President Barack Obama signed a Presidential
Memorandum establishing a task force on childhood obesity. The new task force is charged with developing
an interagency action plan to solve the problem of obesity among our Nation's
children as part of the First Lady's Let's Move campaign. For more information on the establishment of
this task force visit the white
will give parents the support they need, provide healthier food in schools,
help our kids to be more physically active, and make healthy, affordable food
available in every part of our country. One
of the goals of the Let's Move campaign is to double the number of children in
the 2010-2011 school year who earn a Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA)
from the President's Challenge by engaging in regular physical activity. For more information about the Let's Move
campaign visit their website at http://www.letsmove.gov.
|Featured Product of the Month
This month we highlight the President's Challenge Sit
and Reach Box.
The Sit and Reach box is an essential tool for measuring
flexibility as part of the physical fitness test. This item features a scale in both inches and
centimeters, the President's Challenge logo on each side, a foot plate to
prevent slipping and a maximum reach indicator.
It assembles easily with no tools required.
For information on how to order the sit and reach
box or any of our other helpful fitness products visit our online order center
|President's Challenge booklet now available|
In case you missed it, the annual President's
Challenge booklet is now available for download from our website. In order to reduce our impact on the
environment we printed only a limited quantity for 2009-10. These booklets are designed for use by
educators and other professionals administering any of our physical activity or
To download a pdf version of this booklet or to
order a printed copy visit http://brochure.presidentschallenge.org
Run For Something Better (RFSB) School Awards Program
ING is partnering with the National Association for
Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) to provide a grant opportunity for schools
across the nation. ING and NASPE recognize that physical activity is beneficial
to self-esteem, school performance and overall well-being and are seeking to
increase physical activity in students and help fight childhood obesity through
school-based running programs.
ING RFSB will provide a minimum of 50 $2,000 grants
to schools that want to establish a running program. Applications can be found
For more information and the application for ING
Visit with the President's Challenge staff at these conferences:
American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD)
WHERE: Indianapolis, IN
WHEN: March 16-20, 2010
WEBSITE: www.aahperd.orgNational Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP)
WHERE: Houston, TX
WHEN: April 8-11, 2010
Third International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health
WHERE: Toronto, Canada
WHEN: May 5 - 8, 2010
Any and everyone involved in promoting health and fitness will benefit from this conference. Topics ranging from physical activity and inactivity guidelines to health economics and physical inactivity will be addressed. Attendees will receive extensive knowledge about the role of health and wellness in the world and cutting edge approaches to increase physical activity and public health globally.
For more information, please visit http://www.cflri.ca/icpaph/en/index.php
National Physical Fitness and Sports Month
WHEN: Month of May 2010
For more information visit the President's Council
Web site at www.fitness.gov.
TOP 10 PC ACTIVITIES:
data compiled from the President's Challenge website, the following activities
(in order) are the most popular. To
provide information that is pertinent and useful to our subscribers, we are
developing this new section which will feature one of these activities each
10.Lawn Mowing / Gardening
is a great way to get outdoors, build strength and vary your training. It is efficient in burning
excess calories and improving
cardiovascular health. As a result of the motion of bicycling, this
exercise develops muscles and makes the body leaner and stronger. It also has a strong focus on the core region
of the body, which can improve balance
Visit the special bicycling
section of the President's Challenge website for more information about
this great activity.
on in your PC program by getting out and trying a new activity!
This section highlights President's Challenge participants who have benefited from the program. Check out their stories and get motivated!
"Skateboarding Twins", Nic and Tristan Pueshe of Shingle Springs, Calif., excel
in one of the most popular sports among kids. Here is their story told through
their father, Michael Pueshe.
Although they may be known as the
"Skateboarding Twins", they didn't start there. Nic and Tristan, 11, began
wakeboarding at 5 years old, and it wasn't until the local skatepark opened
that they took to the sport - first attempting jumps off two-foot blocks.
and Tristan competed in more than 60 contests from ages 6 to 9, but took a
break to avoid burning out and judging their ability only on their contest
results. Since then, the boys have spent their time focusing on new tricks and
filming skateboarding videos, which are some of the most-watched with more than
10 million views.
Tristan's focus remains on their hopes of becoming professional skateboarders
one day, and Michael attributes their success to getting involved with a sport
involved in sports can open the doors to completely different
things. Kids should participate in the sports they
enjoy. If they're unsure about what sports those would be, try them
all. Sports provide discipline, commitment, teamwork, winning, losing
and goal-setting ... all while having fun. These are certainly attributes
our kids can use in their adult lives."
& Tristan's skating skills recently gave them the opportunity to star in a
kids' adventure movie called "Nic & Tristan Go Mega
Dega", which will be coming out on DVD this June.
Q&A with Michael Puehse
What made skating their activity of
"Skateboarding provides them
adrenaline rushes and excitement. It also taps into their
creativity and allows them to even invent brand new tricks. There
are literally hundreds of tricks you can learn; combine all these tricks
with the hundreds of skateparks (all differently
designed) and skateboarding never
How long have they been following the
& Tristan have been aware of the President's Challenge (PC) for some time
now. At a very young age, they realized that nothing is better than good
physical exercise, especially when it involves doing activities you love, as
opposed to, exercising just to exercise. If you are doing something you enjoy,
it's really not exercise ... it's fun."
What is their favorite part of the PC and
and Tristan's favorite part of the PC is staying as active as possible. In
addition to skateboarding, they play soccer, tennis
and racquetball. They enjoy one or more of these activities each and
How do the twins stay motivated to keep
love learning new tricks and the satisfaction they get when they finally
land them. Nic & Tristan have also come to realize that patience is
probably the hardest thing ... They also enjoy traveling around the world to make
skate videos which they post on YouTube and their Web site. Another motivation
of theirs is knowing that each video must be better, which requires
learning bigger and better tricks."
How has PC motivated them to stay healthy
and improve their fitness?
boys are motivated to live a healthy lifestyle now so that it becomes
habit and carries on into their adulthood."
learn more about the "Skateboarding Twins" Nic and Tristan, visit www.skateboardingtwins.com, or check out one of
their videos at www.youtube.com/groms.
month Fitness is Fun features Lisa Lloyd, Physical Education teacher at
Esperanza Middle School in Lexington Park, Maryland. Check out her story!
Lloyd recently incorporated a whole new routine
into her P.E. classes this year. After finding an old record of the "Chicken
Fat" song, she created an activity her students can't get enough of.
"I found my old "Chicken Fat" record in my mom's
garage and really wanted to use it as a warm-up during my fitness club unit,"
she said. "I used the record when I was in elementary school because I
wanted to get rid of my 'chicken fat.'"
Lloyd wasn't sure at first how her students would
react; however, the 1960s record quickly became a requested activity among her
sixth and seventh graders.
"I told them I used the record when I was younger
and when I played it they liked it," she said. "They were laughing and smiling
and asked if they could do it again the next time. I also encouraged them
to make their own fitness routine to music that they like."
She focuses on the values and ideas set within the
President's Challenge program to build a fitness plan fit for her students.
"I use the President's Challenge Active Lifestyle Award
with my eighth graders to get them to develop and implement a personal fitness
plan," Lloyd said. "We are on week five now and many of my students will
be earning the certificate."
Aside from her "Chicken Fat" warm-up routine, Lloyd
uses various activities in her classes, such as rollerblading, archery, tennis,
flag football, bowling and Fitness Club - a combination of Pilates, strength
training and kick boxing, among others.
"Everything we do in class is an activity that they can add to their
fitness plan," she said. "At the end of each class I remind them what component
of fitness we worked on, how many minutes of activity they have completed, and
how many more minutes of activity they need to meet the 60 minutes a day goal."
continues to implement new and different activities to keep her students active
and keep them on the President's Challenge program.
"By offering a variety of activities I hope to
encourage all of my students to explore fitness and find something they like to
do," she said. "If they like it they are more likely to keep doing it."
If you or your organization uses the President's
Challenge and has a new or inspiring accomplishment or advancement, e-mail us
News and Research:
Network's "Keep Gym in School: Physical Education Program Grants"
NFL Network is offering grants to improve physical education programs throughout the U.S. Ten grants of $1,000 will be given to middle schools
across the country for purchasing equipment, improving programs, funding
salaries and helping with facility improvements. "Keep Gym in School" is aimed
to provide 10 schools with the resources they need to establish quality
physical education programs for their students.
Individuals can make nominations now until 8 p.m. March 1.
To nominate a school near you, visit www.keepgyminschool.com/nominate-school.aspx.
For more information on this initiative and to see how you
or your organization can get involved, visit www.keepgyminschool.com.
Toolkit helps employers promote healthy child weight
University of South Carolina
Prevention Research Center Notes
The National Business Group on Health and the
Health Resources and Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau
collaborated on It's Everyone's Business,
a toolkit aimed at addressing childhood obesity. Resources target employers and
address the effects childhood obesity has on current and future health care
costs. The toolkit focuses on helping programs utilize community resources and
raise awareness about this issue. To access the toolkit, please visit www.businessgrouphealth.org/benefitstopics/et_chobesity.cfm.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS WITH MARJIE:
Marjie Gilliam is a Corporate Advocate and columnist for the President's Challenge. Marjie is an
internationally syndicated fitness columnist and freelance journalist, and has
authored thousands of articles devoted to health and wellness. Each month we
will be featuring one of her articles.
Ring in the new decade with new tips for your
daily exercise routine
Lack of time and motivation are often used as reasons
not to exercise. In truth, it's not as much about the number of minutes spent
exercising, it's about how hard you are working in the minutes you do have. A
properly designed fitness program involves getting maximum results in minimum
time, rather than spending countless hours where exertion levels are low. This
helps keep you motivated.
Here are my tips to help you keep your New Years
resolution, eliminate excuses and get more fitness and calorie burning benefit
for your buck:
Out With the Old ...
If you are doing the same activity at the same pace
for the same number of minutes, you can't expect a different result.
In With the New ...
If you enjoy the type of activity but not the results,
interval training takes your current cardio workout to the next level by
breaking it into pre-determined increments of time, during which you move at
different speeds. For example, instead of a 3-mph, 30-minute walk, choose a set
number of minutes per interval and continually rotate between a warm-up pace, a
moderately winded pace and a fast pace.
If you use a treadmill you can also increase the level
of incline at each interval, for a stationary bike, elliptical machine or
stair-stepper, you can increase tension. Healthy adults who are accustomed to
exercise might start with about 60 to 65 percent of their maximum heart rate
for the first interval (an easier warm-up pace), increase to 70 to 80 percent
of MHR (brisk walking pace) and finally to as much as 85 to 90 percent of MHR
(huffing and puffing pace). The idea is to alternate
between levels of intensity throughout the entire workout, reserving the
last few minutes as a cool down interval.
To be safe, if you have pre-existing medical
conditions or are just beginning an exercise program, check with your doctor
before altering your current training method. Once cleared, don't overdo it the
first few weeks out. Instead, gradually increase your endurance and stamina
Although not as accurate as some other more
complicated formulas, the age-predicted
formula is a commonly used method of figuring maximum heart rate. It involves subtracting your age from 220 for
males and 226 for females and then deciding at what percentage of that number
you wish to exercise. For example, for a 50-year-old male, MHR would be 170
(220 minus age); working at 70 percent of this number would be 119 beats per
Out With the Old ...
If your cardio workouts always involve the same type
of activity and you are ready for a change, try this.
In With the New ...
Cross training is a great way to increase
calorie burning and spice up your workouts. With this method, you choose
between different activities - performed
within the same workout or alternated workout to workout. Cross training is an
ideal way to alleviate boredom and avoid
plateaus in your training because it provides a constant challenge both
mentally and physically. An example of a cross-training workout would be to
start with 10 minutes of walking, followed by 10 minutes of light jogging,
followed by 10 minutes of stair climbing or biking; whatever activities you
enjoy can be implemented with this method.
Other options include alternating between strength training exercise and aerobic exercise
within the same workout. Doing a different type of activity each day of the
week is an excellent way to increase intensity and prevent boredom. For
example, you might walk on Monday, do upper-body weight training on Tuesday,
jog on Wednesday, do lower-body weight training on Thursday and take a yoga or
Pilates class on Friday. Cross training gives you the opportunity to work all
of your major muscle groups, and provides you with a continual well-rounded fitness plan.
With the Old ...
If the weight lifting routine that once gave you such
great results is no longer working, you've hit a plateau.
In With the New ...
Doing the same exercise machines, reps, sets and
weight loads is boring and predictable and bound to cause burnout
eventually. Why not work on your endurance, stamina and strength at the same
time? On your next weight lifting day, try circuit
Circuit training involves choosing eight to 10
strength-training exercises, alternated with a short period of cardio. Add
variety to your workout by continually
changing the amount of lifted weight and reps from week-to-week or
workout-to-workout. By choosing exercises that work more than one muscle group such as squats, lunges, pushups and
pull ups, you will make the most of your time and raise significantly
tips to maximize your workouts coming up!
If you have medical conditions you should talk
with your healthcare provider before you begin an exercise program. Carry
identification with you and take along any medications that you may
|FITNESS QUESTION OF THE MONTH:
responses from the month of January: It's the start of a new decade ... What New
Year(s) resolutions have you made to stay healthy and fit?
met with three other teachers at my school and planned a school-wide exercise
program for our middle school staff. Participants in the program will
set a daily exercise goal (based on the PAL program). In addition
to exercising, participants will also focus on one weekly healthy eating
goal. Finally, we created a "buddy/mentor" component to help
stay on track and meet personal fitness goals."
have made a New Year Resolution to break out of my comfort zones. I am
exploring new classes yoga, spinning and I am going to do a half-marathon walk."
was in an accident last year and found that Yoga helped in more than one
way. My goal is to do yoga everyday ... so far so good!"
have one resolution this year that covers all areas of my life - professional,
physical, spiritual, personal relationships, etc. And that resolution is
to stop procrastinating. Stop saying I'm going to exercise and do it. Stop
saying I'm going to stop eating candy and do it ... And the list goes on
"Even if I do not have the allotted time to do an exercise
regimen due to traveling or long day of work, I take at least 10 to 15 minutes (if
even in a hotel room or just before bedtime) to do a bit of jogging in place,
leg lifts, push-ups and a few sit ups. I change up the exercise to offer
variety and to keep myself interested in the benefit health and exercise."
have been working diligently to both lose weight and develop a program I can
stick with. One thing I have done is move the treadmill to a place where I can
see and use it easier. It's in my bedroom, so still out of site to visitors,
but I can't 'forget' to do that morning workout. It has been working so far, and
I'm not tired of the routine yet."
received Wii fit for Christmas and have been training for 40 minutes to an hour
six days a week. I also walk a mile five to seven days a week and follow Weight
Watchers but do not belong to a group. So far I have lost 13lbs."
resolution was to not only continue to keep my body fit but also my mind. No
matter how much you work on your body, if your mind is not healthy then your
body will not be healthy. Your mind is your world."
Valentine's Day nears, my husband and I decided to give each other something
better than candy or flowers. We purchased a new scale and agreed to give
each other the gift of better health. Together, we hope to exercise more, cook
and eat healthier and support each other as we work toward a healthier
to work saves money, provides exercise and ends up taking no more time than
driving. When I get home I am always glad that I don't have to go to the
gym - I've already completed my hour of exercise for the day."
We would like to extend a special thanks to all of the President's Challenge Advocates. Please visit the Advocates area on the http://www.presidentschallenge.org/ web site to see how companies, organizations and groups are making a difference with the President's Challenge.
|SPOTLIGHT ON PRESIDENT'S
Exploramania is one of the President's
Challenge's newest advocates! Located in Tampa, FL, Exploramania was started by
Carrie Scheiner as a way to move children's interests away from TV programs and
computer games and toward physical activity. Scheiner creates educational
exercise videos for youth - her first series being "Exploracise," which
combines exercise and education using auditory, visual and kinesthetic senses.
For more information on Exploramania or to
check out its various products, visit www.exploramania.com.
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
comments regarding this list, please let us know. You can provide them by
emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view past issues of Fitness is Fun visit
our Web site: www.presidentschallenge.org. Enter the site by choosing the appropriate category, then click on