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backtotopFitness is Fun! January 2010

Greetings from the office of the President's Challenge Physical Activity and Fitness Awards Program! You have received the January 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 January: It's the start of a new decade ... What New Year(s) resolutions have you made to stay healthy and fit?

Please respond via E-mail to the President's Challenge at preschal@indiana.edu. We'll include the most insightful responses in the February issue of Fitness is Fun. Be sure to view the responses to the December Fitness Question near the end of this newsletter.

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!

PresidentsChallengeNEWSPCPFS News:

New address for the PCPFS office

The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports office has a new address.  For all future contact and communication please refer to the following:

1101 Wootton Parkway
Suite 560
Rockville, MD 20852

The PCPFS website remains the same at www.fitness.gov and will list the phone and fax numbers.

The Research Digest available online

The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports' Research Digest is available online at https://www.presidentschallenge.org/misc/news_research/research_digest.aspx.  Back issues dating to June 2000 are available for download.  Research Digest's offer practical research on subjects from obesity to resistance training.  All levels of fitness enthusiasts and researchers will find a wealth of useful information.

PresidentsChallengeNEWSPresident's Challenge News:

Take the Adult Fitness Test

With a new year and all those new resolutions now is a great time to assess your current fitness level.  The President's Challenge Adult Fitness Test is the perfect way to see how you stack up.  This five item fitness test for those 18 and over will assess aerobic capacity, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and body composition.  The site allows you to input scores after a self-assessment and will give you a percentile ranking.  Take the test, participate in one of our physical activity programs, then come back to see the difference.

Visit www.adultfitnesstest.org for more details.

Featured Product of the Month

Trek Water BottleFor the next few months we will be featuring a new product offered by the President's Challenge that will assist in your fitness testing or physical activity efforts.  This month we highlight the new President's Challenge Water Bottle.

The Water Bottle is a 20 oz. BPA free aluminum sports bottle.  The carabiner clip allows you to attach it to any bag and the screw top gives you quick access to fluids.  So whether it's on the trail or in the gym, this water bottle is a perfect way to rehydrate and promote the President's Challenge.

For information on how to order the Water Bottle or any of our other helpful fitness products visit our online order center at www.presidentschallenge.org/order_center/index.aspx.

President's Challenge booklet now available

2009 Brochure CoverIn 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 fitness programs. 

To download a pdf version of this booklet or to order a printed copy visit http://brochure.presidentschallenge.org.
PCPFSUpcoming Events:
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.org

National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP)
WHERE: Houston, TX
WHEN: April 8-11, 2010
WEBSITE: www.naesp.org


jamba jump day

CAHPERD's "Jamba Jump Day!"

Worldwide, Feb. 1, 2010

California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (CAHPERD) is implementing a mass attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the "Most People Jumping Rope at the Same Time". "Jamba Jump Day!" will take place Feb. 1, 2010 worldwide. For more information or to get signed up, visit www.cahperd.org.

Third International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health
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
WHERE: Nationwide
WHEN: Month of May 2010
For more information visit the President's Council Web site at

PCPFSPC All-Americans:
This section highlights President's Challenge participants who have benefited from the program. Check out their stories and get motivated!

Grand Master Paul J. Kim is a martial arts instructor and Certified Taekwondo Master at the National Council for Taekwondo Masters Certification (NCTMC) in Glendale, Calif. NCTMC is a nonprofit organization that started in 1996.

Grand Master Paul J. KimYour browser may not support display of this image.His use of the President's Challenge program and ideas are evident through the achievements of his students. 

"By chance I found the President's Challenge Program on the Internet three to four years ago," Kim said. "My certified Taekwondo masters/instructors and I thought of ways for our youth to keep up their training...after getting the first Black Belt degree. The  (President's Challenge) programs are a great fit to challenge them to keep up their training - not only martial arts but also other sports such as swimming, hiking and other favorites."  

Due to the nature of the sport and the intensity of the training, Grand Master Kim has found that some students become "problem makers" at school as a result of fighting or begin to involve themselves with drugs or other forms of harmful behavior. However, by sticking to the President's Challenge program, he created an ultimate purpose.  

"Our ultimate purpose is to keep our students working-out every day and to balance both their physical and mental health," Kim said. "For that reason our certified masters/instructors, youth ministers, chiropractors and I started using your programs to (is he trying to say "set an example"  if that's not what is intended, then just end the statement after the word "programs...") exemplify our action for our youth students." 

NCTMC sponsors its members by providing free medals, caps and other items in order to encourage more members to participate in the program.  Several of Grand Master Kim's students have earned a Platinum Award. The organization especially focuses on preventing harmful behavior among youth, as well as educating them on ways to overcome those behaviors.  

Grand Master Kim keeps active as part of the DEA Citizens Academy Alumni Association volunteering for the DEA in his community, as well as participating in daily training and workouts.   Kim noted that he wants his students and instructors to make exercise and physical activity a party of their everyday lives.

HealthandWellnessSpecial Feature:

This month the Fitness is Fun features the Ucon Elementary School in Idaho Falls, ID. Check out their story and get inspired!

At Ucon Elementary, Barbara Croft (P.E. Instructor), uses parent volunteers and the school hallways to run the Presidential Fitness program for her students. P.E. classes frequently have testers in the hall running as many as five to seven children to pass off Presidential Fitness. The corridors of our hallways are also marked for the shuttle run, and sit and reach boxes are stationed in four hallways. Volunteer parents are trained to test for Presidential Fitness and come in to their child's classroom as part of a "rotation" while students are tested. Students are tested this way all year long. 


Each year, Croft (Ucon P.E. Instructor) goes over each Presidential Fitness event with all the classes. Croft sees each class once a week for 40 minutes to go over the basics of each Presidential event.


Croft utilizes the parent volunteers in running the program successfully. She focuses on the advancement of the students to the next level. Congratulations Ucon Elementary for continually advancing in the President's Challenge.


If you or your organization uses the President's Challenge and has an inspiring accomplishment or advancement, email us at preschal@indiana.edu.

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.

Wardrobe Tips for Winter Weather Exercise

Failing to dress properly for cold weather conditions can have serious consequences. Here are some things to consider:

Dress in layers, steering clear of fabrics that absorb water and don't provide a layer of dry air near the skin. The first layer of clothing should be an undergarment made from a fabric that takes moisture away from the body, such as Thinsulate, polypropylene, polyester or wool. The next layer should provide insulation. Fleece, down, polyester and wool are common materials used for mid-layers. The outer protective layer should be one that allows moisture to escape but is also water- and wind-resistant. Depending on the temperature and type of activity, the number of layers worn might vary.

While staying warm is important, try not to overdress, which may cause you to overheat. A good rule of thumb: If you are already feeling warm when you first step out to exercise, it is likely you are overdressed.

In the cold, blood flows away from the hands and feet to the center of the body in an effort to keep the internal organs warm and protected. To prevent tissue damage, keep these areas covered. Unless the temperature of the torso is normal or slightly higher, blood flow will not return to these areas. Choose mittens instead of gloves, which will allow the fingers to remain close together and warmer.

Sporting goods stores sell special garments made for cold weather activity, such as socks for winter exercisers. Thick socks made of acrylic fibers that take perspiration away from the skin are a good choice. Choose footwear with adequate shock absorption that is well-insulated and waterproof.

A simple tip that has saved many lives: Wear reflective strips on shoes, hats and clothing whenever you exercise outdoors, especially after dark.

Sunlight may not be as intense in the winter, but it is still important to protect yourself against ultraviolet rays, which can put you at risk for sunburn, prematurely wrinkled skin and skin cancer. Wind can wreak havoc on the skin. For protection, wear a hat, scarf, a coat with a hood, or other protective covering.

Before heading out, check the temperature and wind-chill factor. Winter winds cause significant heat loss from the body. To help avoid exposure to extreme wind chill, try to head out facing the wind and return with your back against it. Activities that involve fast movements such as running, skiing, biking or skating increase wind chill as the air moves past your body. If the temperature dips to zero or below - or the wind-chill is below minus 20 - choose an indoor activity instead.

The elderly, young children and those with injuries or chronic illnesses are at greater risk of problems when they exert themselves in cold temperatures. For kids, a significantly larger surface area-to-weight ratio exists, making it more difficult for them to maintain a safe body temperature in the cold. As we age, it becomes more difficult for our bodies to adapt to extremes of heat and cold.

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 need.

Fitness question responses from the month of December: What keeps you motivated to continue your exercise routine during the winter months?

"Working hard to get ready for the spring/summer racing season (keeps me motivated). I usually do one or two triathlons and several 5K races. The winter is when I do more of my speed and strength work. Knowing that I will have a fast, injury-free racing season keeps me going."
~Steve C.

"Although the winter months are colder, snowier and have shorter daylight hours, I am motivated to begin my five-mile walk outside just before sunrise and finish as the sun is rising. Feeling the freshness of the air and listening to the earth waking up is one of the most beautiful times of the day. Even though it rains, snows or is just blistery cold, I will walk. The energy and the 'newness' that I feel is revitalizing, and it has helped me physically and mentally."
~Kathie T.

"What keeps me exercising through the long winter months is the camaraderie with my exercise buddies and that undeniable high, feeling of wellness and sense of accomplishment when I complete my cool down stretches."
~Paula D.

"Point blankly, it's the time I've already invested in the past few months to keeping fit and staying healthy. I don't want to lose all the strength and cardio-endurance gains achieved since the fall season."
~Randy G.

"I bike to work year-round (studded bike tires help) and buy a season's pass to a local ski area. With a season's pass you ski every week to ensure you get your money's worth. Cold weather is only intimidating from inside a warm house. Get out in it!"
~Tim W.

"Exercise is a stress release, and during the winter months it is more crucial to keep a healthy lifestyle.  As a person who enjoys the outdoors I have to find other indoor physical activities to keep me motivated to stay fit."
~Greg G.

"I look at it as a payment into a retirement account. I know that the benefits will be there as I age, making for a healthier retirement with greater quality of life. Big dividends for a modest investment that also carries more immediate rewards!"
~Dan H.

"As a Certified Fitness Trainer, I suggest to clients that they supplement their training with activities that are custom to the season or environment they are in. For instance, you don't see people swimming laps at the local pool during December; however, since skiing and skating are synonymous with that particular month, it would be more sensible to incorporate elliptical training into the cardio portion of the program."
~Jason J.

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.


Winter Feels Good! 

Winter Feels GoodJanuary is "Learn A Snow Sport Month" and "Winter Feels Good" is one of the Snow Sports Industry's latest initiatives. The initiative includes Winter Trails Day held on Jan. 9 at locations across North America. The event offered newcomers the chance to try snowshoeing and cross country skiing for free. "Learn A snow Sport Month" will feature affordable learn-to-ski and learn-to-snowboard programs all through January at more than 300 ski areas nationwide. 

More than a dozen governors proclaimed January as "Learn A Snow Sport Month" and affordable programs are being offered in more than 30 states. It also received national exposure on NBC's Today Show, as well a Public Service Announcement filmed by Glen Plake, a ski movie star, on the health benefits of snow sports. For more information on these programs throughout January, please visit www.winterfeelsgood.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 preschal@indiana.edu.

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 "news/research".

In This Issue
President's Challenge NEWS
Featured Product of the Month
President's Challenge Booklet
Upcoming Events
PC All-Americans
Special Feature
Health and Wellness with Marjie
Fitness Question of the Month
Special Thanks
Spotlight on Advocates

Your It Get Fit