Greetings from the office of the President's Challenge
Physical Activity and Fitness
You have received the June 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, the activities of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN), and
other current information pertaining to health and fitness.
PCFSN NEWS:First Lady Launches President's Council on Fitness, Sports and NutritionFirst Lady Michelle Obama joined kids from the Washington, DC area to
launch the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition and
introduce the 2010 Council co-chairs and members. In conjunction with
the First Lady's Let's Move! initiative, this year President
Obama has broadened the scope of the Council, formerly known as the
President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, to include a focus
on healthy eating as well as active lifestyles. Yesterday, the
President signed an Executive Order outlining the Council's new emphasis
on both good nutrition and physical fitness.
The President has named Drew Brees, quarterback for the New Orleans
Saints, and Dominique Dawes, three-time Olympian and former U.S.
national champion in women's gymnastics, 2010 Council Co-Chairs. Dawes
delivered remarks at the event and Brees recorded a video message that
was shown there. Joining Dawes at the event were 2010 Council Members
Dan Barber, Tedy Bruschi, Allyson Felix, Michelle Kwan, Curtis Pride,
Donna Richardson Joyner, Dr. Ian Smith, Carl Edwards, Cornell McClellan
and Dr. Stephen McDonough. Council Executive Director, Shellie Pfohl,
was also in attendance. Following the announcement, the First Lady,
Pfohl and the Council Members joined the kids in participating in a
series of activity stations.
"This year we're expanding the work of the President's Council on
Fitness, Sports and Nutrition to include not just a focus on active
lifestyles, but on healthy eating, too," Mrs. Obama
said. "The Council will play an important role in our effort to help
combat childhood obesity in this country and I am grateful to the
athletes, chefs, doctors and nutrition experts who are volunteering
their time on the Council to help make a difference."
The President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition is a
committee of volunteer citizens who advise the President through the
Secretary of Health and Human Services about opportunities to develop
accessible, affordable and sustainable physical activity, fitness,
sports and nutrition programs for all Americans regardless of age,
background or ability. The Council's mission is to engage, educate and
empower all Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes regular
physical activity and good nutrition. For more information about the
Council and its members, visit www.fitness.gov.
In addition to its presidential advisory role, the Council promotes
and maintains the President's Challenge Physical Activity and
Fitness Awards program (President's Challenge) which
encourages all Americans to include physical activity - 30 minutes per
day for adults and 60 minutes per day for youth - in their daily lives.
For more information about the President's Challenge programs, visit www.presidentschallenge.org.
Let's Move: Michelle Obama kicks off the
South Lawn Series
First Lady Michelle Obama extended a literal call to
action with the kick off of the South Lawn Series.
The outreach program consists of ongoing summer
events intended to increase youth participation in sports, games and activities. The First Lady, as
well as President's Council Executive director Shellie Pfohl, participated
alongside approximately 100 kids as they began the Series with a variety of
stations involving running, jumping, and obstacle courses.
As a part of the Let's Move campaign to
eradicate childhood obesity within one generation, the South Lawn Series is one
way the First Lady is inspiring kids to get enough daily activity in hopes that
they will encourage others to follow suit.
Shellie Pfohl, Executive Director of the PCPFS (far left) and
the First Lady got moving with local students at physical activity stations for
the opening of the South Lawn Series. (Official
White House Photo)
improvement: President's Challenge website has newly designed homepage
June 23, the President's Challenge home page got
in shape - aesthetic shape, that is. The
fresh design makes the page more fit than ever for easy navigation. To check
out our new look and find any President's Challenge information in a more
user-friendly manner, visit presidentschallenge.org.
|Featured Product of the Month: President's Challenge Sport Pack
With mesh sides and a drawstring closure, the
President's Challenge Sport Pack is an airy tote with enough room to hold your
belongings when you go to workout or to hold your children's gear when sending
them off to sporting activities. Lightweight and 17" x 18," the navy nylon bag
is also large enough to serve as a carry all for day-to-day purposes.
on how to order the Sport Pack
or any of our other helpful fitness products visit our online order center.
Carol M. White Physical
Education Program (PEP) Grant
The purpose of the Carol M. White Physical Education
Program (PEP) grant is to provide funds to local educational agencies
and community-based organizations to initiate, expand, and improve physical
education programs. Learn more.
Run For Something Better Grant
grant seeks to increase physical activity in students and help fight childhood
obesity nationwide through the creation of school-based running programs.
Active Living Research
Conference seeks abstracts and award nominations
Living Research (ALR), a
national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has announced a call
for presentation and paper abstracts, and a call for award nominations for its
Annual Conference on February 22-24, 2011, in San Diego, CA. The theme of the
2011 conference, "Partnerships for Progress in Active Living: From Research to
Action," recognizes the importance of engaging experts from multiple
disciplines to address critical public health issues, especially active living
and obesity prevention.
describing research results on all topics related to active living policies and
environments are welcome and abstracts related to the conference theme are
particularly encouraged. The abstract submission deadline is August 6, 2010,
11:59 p.m. PT. Learn more.
"Translating Research to Policy" award recognizes innovators who have
successfully harnessed research to impact policy and environmental changes. In
addition to a cash prize, the winner will be invited to give an oral
presentation at the 2011 ALR Annual Conference and the case study will be
included in the conference program. The nomination deadline is August 25, 2010, 4:00 pm PT. Learn more.
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IDEA World Fitness Convention
WHEN: August 4-8
WHERE: Los Angeles Convention Center - Los Angeles, CAThe 28th
annual convention is the largest, longest-running international fitness event,
offering education enrichment with over 350 sessions, 155 industry experts and
5000 attendees. The convention will include special guests Mario Lopez, Andre
Agassi and the U.S. Surgeon General. Learn More.
An 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
WHEN: August 9
WHERE: Madison, WI
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.
IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion - Health,
Equity and Sustainable Development
WHEN: July 11-15
WHERE: Geneva, Switzerland
International Congress on Obesity
WHEN: July 11-15
WHERE: Stockholm, Sweden
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In addition to
their many practical purposes, rivers are a source of beauty and recreational
activities. Help promote awareness and conservation of U.S. rivers throughout
the month. Take time to be active while helping to preserve a river or going
out on the water for some rafting, kayaking, or boating fun:
|TOP 10 PC ACTIVITIES:
data compiled from the President's Challenge website, the following activities
(in order) are the most popular. We feature one each month.
8. Martial Arts
10.Lawn Mowing / Gardening
President's Challenge participant Annie H. uses gardening
as a physical activity to enrich her life.
"I enjoy working in my perennial flower beds as
I find it relaxing. In the spring it is fascinating to see the young shoots
sprouting up amid the cover of leaves. I find it very rewarding to remove the
weeds, apply the mulch and view the transformation of the young plants maturing
into flowering shrubs creating a blanket of green or colorful blooms. For me,
it is a type of therapy and contributes to my well-being."
on your PC program by getting out and trying a new activity!
Lawn Mowing / Gardening
advantage of the summer warmth and try out this gratifying outdoor activity to
improve your yard as well as your health.
Better yet, lessen your impact on the environment and increase your
level of physical activity by investing in a reel mower.
expended in 30 minutes for people of various weights:
Source:http://www.healthfinder.gov/docs/doc12322.htm, sponsored by the National Health
Perennial Plant Association designated June as Perennial Garden Month. Check out their website
to get started with planting and maintaining your own garden.
This section highlights President's Challenge participants who have benefited from the program. Check out Cathi Watson's story and get motivated!
About Cathi Watson
Current city of residence:
I'm Chicago bred
can't tell by looking at me, but:
I'm a hopeless
romantic. Love is in the air, love is everywhere!
Cathi Watson proudly displays her Presidential Physical Fitness Award shirt as she "Hustles Up the Hancock," an annual Chicago event during which over 4000 people climb the 1,632 stairs of the Hancock building to raise funds Her personal record time is 33 minutes, 10 seconds. A self-proclaimed devotee of challenges, drama and intrigue, Cathi Watson considers herself "a dynamic diva without boundaries" who wants to make aging "glamorous and stylish." A jack-of-all-trades, she works in radio, TV, and theater, is a writer and public speaker.
Hoping to change negative perceptions of aging, Watson embraces her 70s. She defies senior stereotypes and was among 100 Americans who won the 2006 Nintendo Ageless award for embodying "the spirit of agelessness."
Then, after receiving the PCPFS Community Leadership award in 2007, Watson went on to get the PC Platinum Award for earning 500,000 points May 28, 2010. "I love saying � million points," she said, and views this achievement as her proudest fitness moment. With a background in classical ballet, she considers movement a way of life, calling herself the "Exercise Evangelist."
"I'm addicted to exercise," she said, "Most people go through an exercise phase. I never grew out of mine!" She said she uses challenges to motivate herself, which is perhaps the reason she chose to incorporate the President's Challenge into her physical activity routine.
Her unwavering determination in fitness and life can be attributed to her upbringing by her European immigrant parents. "My Croatian father had an excellent work ethic that made an indelible impression on me," she said. Additionally, her Hungarian mother placed a strong emphasis on nutrition. "I thank her every day for my good health and strong body," she said. "My siblings and I eat only natural home-grown foods."
Besides working on her physical wellness, Watson likes to improve her brainpower using her theatrical skills. "Every day I recite a monologue that takes 20 minutes," she said. This is just one aspect of her philosophy on agelessness, which she delves into in her book, "The Elixir of Youth: Secrets of a Spring Chicken."
To find out more about Watson and stay current with her health and aging endeavors, visit her website, cathiwatson.net.
Have an inspiring story? E-mail yours or
nominate another to firstname.lastname@example.org!
HEALTH AND WELLNESS WITH MARJIE:
Osteoporosis and osteopenia: the effect of exercise on bone mass
An estimated 10 million Americans have osteoporosis, and another 34 million have low bone mass (osteopenia). As the bones gradually become weaker, they are more likely to break from a minor fall or if left untreated, even from something as simple as a sneeze. The most common fracture sites are the hip, wrist and spine, although any bone in the body can be affected.
A diagnosis of osteopenia or osteoporosis can be scary, leading some people to stop exercising due to fear it will cause fractures. The truth is that those with low bone mass should make a point to exercise on a regular basis. Being active has been shown to not only help prevent osteoporosis, but slow bone loss once it has begun. Before beginning an exercise program, it is important to check with your doctor for guidelines, as degree of bone loss determines what type of exercise is best.
To build strength and bone mass, both weight-bearing and resistance training exercises are ideal. Weight-bearing exercises are those that require the bones to fully support your weight against gravity. Examples are walking, stair climbing, dancing, or using an elliptical machine. Weight-bearing activities such as walking as little as three times a week can benefit the bones.
Resistance training places mechanical force (stress) on the body, which in turn increases bone density. Start by lifting light weights, moving in a slow and controlled manner, and increasing resistance as you become stronger.
It is recommended that individuals with osteoporosis avoid the following types of activity:
- Step aerobics, and high-impact activities such as running, jumping, tennis.
- Activities that involve rounding, bending and twisting of the spine.
- Moving the legs sideways or across the body, especially when performed against resistance.
- Rowing machines, trampolines.
- Any movement that involves pulling on the head and neck.
While some risk factors for osteoporosis are controllable, others are not. Risk factors that can be controlled are: sedentary lifestyle, excess intake of protein, sodium, caffeine and/or alcohol, smoking, calcium and vitamin D deficiencies and taking certain medicines. Body size (small frame), gender, family history and ethnicity are risk factors that cannot be controlled. Women can lose up to 20 percent of their bone mass in the five to seven years after menopause, making them more susceptible to osteoporosis.
It is never too early to start thinking about bone density. About 85 to 90 percent of adult bone mass is acquired by age 18 in girls and 20 in boys. Children on average are much less active than in past generations. Studies with ages eight years through adolescence and young adulthood have shown that high-intensity, short duration exercise appears to elicit the greatest bone density increase.
Check back next month for
more tips from Marjie!
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.
This month's issue
features the Hewitt Intermediate School
Students for honoring National Physical Fitness and Sports Month while also
fundraising for their school. Check out
their story and get inspired!
In May, Hewitt
School students showed community support by using their own two feet to
fundraise for the Parent Teachers Organization (PTO).
Advocate CC Minton kicked off the event with a school spirited pep rally to get
students motivated. In response,
students walked a total of 7,365 laps on school grounds.
Hewitt Intermediate students participate
in a walkathon, getting active and raising funds for their PTO in recognition
of May National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.
To add to
all the fun, participants danced with Walkathon Services DJ Lou to the Cupid
Shuffle and Cotton Eye Joe. Walkers reached out to family and friends across
the United States to help the PTO reach its' goal. Principal Tim Johnson kicked
off the walkathon by leading students in the first lap. Parents and teachers
took time to participate in the fun, fit and safe fundraising event as well.
NEWS AND RESEARCH: Scientific proof for using exercise to combat the
effects of stress
In a recent study conducted bythe University
of California San Francisco (UCSF), exercise was found to be a protective
factor against accelerated aging due to stress. The study examined the length
of women's telomeres, structures at the ends of chromosomes that shorten with
The telomere length among women who met were
physically active on a daily basishad no apparent relationship to stress. Among
less physically active women, though, the higher their ranking on the Perceived
Stress Scale, the greater the likelihood of their having shorter telomeres.
Based on the results, researchers determined that regular vigorous
physical activity each week helps to buffer against the physical strain caused
Click to read the original report
.Regularly raising heart rates linked to raising college GPAs
previous studies have shown that vigorous physical activity is connected to
academic performance among elementary and middle school students, a recent
study by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has indicated this
association holds true for college students as well. In a study of 266 undergraduates,
those who more frequently took part in at least 20 minutes of physical activity
were more likely to have higher grade point averages.
Click to read the
official ACSM press release
missing out on physical activity at school due to loopholes in physical education
The newly released 2010 Shape of the Nation
Report published by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE)
and the American Heart Association (AHA) revealed inadequacies in U.S. physical
education (P.E.) programs. While 40 or more states at the elementary, middle,
and high school levels all require students to take P.E., only Alabama actually
meets the recommended weekly activity amounts for all grade levels.
Among other states, varying time requirements,
permission to substitute other classes for P.E., and exemptions/waivers keep
students from getting the 150 minutes per week of activity recommended for
elementary schools and the 225 minutes of activity per week recommended for
middle and high schools by NASPE and AHA.
Click to read the official NASPE
Click to view the 2010 Shape of the
|FITNESS QUESTION OF THE MONTH:Physical activity is one component of a healthy lifestyle. What other kinds of healthy lifestyle choices do you incorporate into your daily routine?
"Many of my colleagues and I
start our workday early. Some of us as early as 6 a.m. We take a break at 9
a.m. and go for walk for 15 minutes. This provides the group with an
opportunity to share what they have been working on and sort out some of issues
that they might have been struggling(with). The group walking serves
multiple purposes. It is good for health, provides a break... and (gives us) an
opportunity to take input from other colleagues."
"My husband and I make a conscious effort to provide a
healthy-lifestyle model for our children so they'll grow up knowing healthy as
the norm. We eat healthy meals (fish, tofu, grass-fed beef, whole grains, fresh
fruits and vegetables) together as a family, take stairs instead of the
elevator, walk to school, bike (with helmets) for simple errands, make time in
our busy schedules for exercise, drink water during the day instead of stocking
soda in the house, etc."
"I like to crank up salsa or energetic music
while I clean the house and have fun dancing while cleaning. The upbeat music
actually makes it fun, and I not only get my house cleaned faster, but get
a workout in the process...
I strategically placed my recumbent bike and my
exercise ball in my living room. I rarely sit on the couch to watch TV anymore,
as I feel guilty when there's a recumbent bike or exercise ball staring at me
and calling me. I've found myself riding for over an hour without even
thinking about it when watching my favorite TV shows or a movie."
"I knew I would not have the motivation
to go to the gym at night, so I incorporated walking into my commute to work. I
get off the train a stop earlier and now walk two miles to work each day. The
VA hospital where I work opened a gym for employees and patients so I go in a
little early to use the weights before starting work, and that helps strengthen
my upper body. I play tennis on the weekends and do Irish dancing one night a
week. I have gone down two pants sizes, and I feel better than I did 10 years
Question for Next Month's Issue:
With school out for the summer, what are some suggestions
you have for being active and spending time with the children in your life?
Please respond via e-mail to the
President's Challenge at email@example.com. We'll include the
most insightful responses in the July issue of Fitness is Fun.
|SPOTLIGHT ON PRESIDENT'S
is a collaborative effort of The SPARK Programs and the President's Challenge
Programs. SPARKfit is designed for High School Physical
Middle School PE and After School programs working toward
maximizing the benefits of fitness circuit programs.
educators and fitness experts at SPARK have worked with
the President's Challenge Programs to integrate the President's Challenge
Fitness Tests as well as the Active Lifestyle Program into this online program.
With a focus on nutrition and goal setting, SPARKfit links activity leaders to
the President's Challenge Programs and utilizes these powerful tools in a
meaningful way to teach students how to manage their own personal wellness.
and activity leaders will find everything they need to implement a successful
fitness program including:
and nutrition focused lessons
Circuit training videos with printable
Goal setting tools and more
SPARKfit (previously "Fitness
Lab") is a component of SPARKfamily.org (previously MyStationPE.com). SPARKfamily.org
is a special, password-protected website where educators can access a library
of effective digital tools to support their program. To learn more about SPARKfamily.org and access a free trial,
SPARK is a
research-based organization that disseminates evidence-based Physical Education, After School, Early Childhood, and Coordinated School
Health programs to teachers and recreation leaders serving Pre-K through
12th grade students.
Each SPARK program
strives to foster environmental and behavioral change by providing a
coordinated package of highly active curriculum,
on-site teacher training, extensive
follow-up support, and content-matched pe
1989, SPARK has provided curriculum materials, teacher training, and
consultation to over 100,000 teachers and youth leaders, representing many
thousands of schools, organizations, and agencies worldwide.
To learn more
about SPARK visit www.sparkpe.org.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view past issues of Fitness is Fun visit our Archives.