from the office of the President's Challenge Physical Activity and Fitness
Awards Program! You have received the March 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 Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS) and other current information
pertaining to health and fitness.
Fitness Question of the Month for March:
As spring approaches, what outdoor activities are you looking forward to the
Please respond via E-mail to the President's Challenge at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll
include the most insightful responses in the April issue of Fitness is Fun. Be
sure to view the responses to the February Fitness Question near the end of
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 newsletter!
USDA Launches Apps for Healthy Kids Competition
Department of Agriculture has joined First Lady Michelle Obama in announcing
the innovative Apps for Healthy Kids competition as part of the Let's Move!
initiative. Apps for Healthy Kids challenges software developers, game
designers, students, and other innovators to develop innovative, fun, and
engaging tools and games that help kids and their parents to eat better and be
more physically active.
Healthy Kids competition entries will leverage the recently-released MyPyramid
1,000 food database to create web or mobile-based apps in two categories. The
first set of prizes will be awarded to digital games that best engage and
motivate kids to eat healthy and be physically active. The second set of prizes
will be awarded to the most creative tools for parents striving to make the
right choices for their kids. When parents are planning meals, at the grocery
store, or picking up dinner on the way home from work, they can instantly
access easy-to-understand nutritional information they can trust. Contestants will compete for $40,000 in
prizes and be judged by an all-star panel.
information and complete rules visit www.appsforhealthykids.com.
President's Challenge NEWS:
Start a Group and
Challenge your Friends
As part of the President's Challenge anyone can start a
group. It's a great way to motivate you
and your friends, co-workers, family members, or anyone interested in a
friendly challenge to be more physically active.
It's easy to do. Simply
visit the group
section of our website to see how you can set up the group and become an
administrator. Once you go through the
registration process you will be sent an email with all of the pertinent
information, including a group number, in order to invite others to join your
group. Have fun comparing yourselves
within the group, it is a great way to stay motivated.
Research suggests that being active with others will make you more
likely to continue over time. So start a
group today and make activity part of every day!
|Featured Product of the Month
This month we highlight the President's Challenge Fitness
The Scorecard is a great way for teachers, or anyone
administering the youth physical fitness test, to quickly and easily write down
scores. Each notepad has 50 sheets to
record scores and write comments. Take
the sheets back to the office and record them on software or hand them to the
students. They make recording scores
For information on how to order the scorecards or
any of our other helpful fitness products visit our online order center at www.presidentschallenge.org/order_center/index.aspx.
and the Pepsi Refresh Project
Do you have a refreshing idea?
To receive a Refresh Grant you must think of an idea
that has a positive impact on a community, is achievable and ready to start
soon and has measurable results.
Grants are given based on the idea that gets the
greatest number of votes. Each month, Pepsi donates up to $1.3 million to
projects that generate the most of online votes.
- $5K to up to 10 awardees a month: best for individuals who need to get an inspired idea off the ground
to up to 10 awardees a month: best for individuals
& small groups who can work
lean and mean
to up to 10 awardees a month: best for companies
& organizations who can put time into it
to up to 2 awardees a month: best for organizations
who can dedicate a lot of time & resources
For more information and criteria on the Pepsi
Refresh Project, visit www.refresheverything.com.
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
The Sunchaser Challenge
WHERE: Saranac Lake, NY; Lake Geneva, WI; Lake
Havasu, Ariz.; Lake Tahoe, Calif.
WHEN: May 22, 2010
Challenge is partnering with the President'sChallenge on May 22 in support of
Endangered Species Day. Teams and individuals will cycle, run and kayak in
some of America's most beautiful national parks and resorts. Corporate
and high-school entrants will be given the opportunity to win prizes by
participating in a simple fitness test. The Challenge entrants will be actively
encouraged to monitor their training regime and improve fitness levels using
the President's Challenge free online Activity Log.
Denver National Get Outdoors Day Event
WHERE: Denver City Park in Denver, Co.
WHEN: June 12, 2010
National Get Outdoors Day will bring
together companies, government agencies and non-profit organizations that are
committed to helping American families participate in traditional and
non-traditional outdoor activities. One of this year's signature sites in
Denver, Colorado will work to connect Colorado's youth with the outdoors through
motivation and exploration. The goals for the event are to 1) encourage kids
and families to make healthy lifestyle choices and to get activity; 2) engage
new and existing partners in connecting people to the outdoors; 3) focus on
nature-based outdoor activities, education and programs/organizations that
provide ongoing opportunities for people to connect with the outdoors; and 4)
have 5,000 to 10,000 attendees for the 2010 event.
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 locomotion in the water by self-propulsion with the goal of distance, speed
or endurance and is widely considered the best aerobic exercise in the world.
It is the aquatic sport distinguished from other water sports, such as diving,
synchronized swimming and water polo. There are four main strokes, backstroke,
breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle. Competitive swimming began in Europe in
1800 and has been a part of the summer Olympic games since 1896. For great resources on swimming visit the USA
Swimming website at www.usaswimming.org.
on 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!
Steven Stahl, a former personal
trainer and now physical education teacher, has utilized several activities
involving the President's Challenge to promote fitness and a healthier
lifestyle. Here is his story!Lloyd
Stahl has been running competitively for 25
years, something that keeps him motivated to stay active. He says that it's the
energizing feeling that makes it all worthwhile, which is a point he "preaches"
to his students.
"I preach to my students that energy breeds energy, in other
words take that first step and the rest is easy," he said. "I encourage them to
pick activities that will be fun for them in an effort to sustain these for a
Running isn't the only thing that is
keeping Stahl in tune with fitness. He has been using the President's Challenge
(PC) for about 18 years - throughout his training and teaching.
"I think it is very well-rounded and utilizes many aspects of
fitness, coordination and healthy habits," Stahl said.
does Stahl incorporate the PC into his lesson plans? One way is his use of a portfolio
assignment that incorporates the program and the components of fitness.
Contents include title pages, one page for each component of fitness (cardio
endurance, muscle strength and endurance, flexibility, and composition) and one
page about his/her role model. All pages include pictures, writing and visuals
of the various components to tell a story about his/her fitness.
addition, students keep log sheets and set goals to go along with exercises
within the PC fitness test, all of which are done three to four times a year.
dedication to fitness shows through his use of the President's Challenge in his
teaching and personal life. His hopes are set high and his plans for future
activities are already under way - starting with his idea of a "family PC
truly committed to P.E., health and lifelong fitness," he said. "It is very
rewarding and very inspiring to both my students and myself."
Have an inspiring story? E-mail yours to firstname.lastname@example.org!
This month Fitness
is Fun features ScubaFit, a physical fitness program for Scuba Divers
developed by Gretchen Ashton.
Ashton is a PADI advanced diver, personal trainer,
fitness therapist, biomechanic strength trainer and a World Champion
Hall-of-Fame athlete, among other things.
The ScubaFit program was presented as the first
dive industry physical fitness module for a diver certification course for the
Los Angeles County Scuba Advanced Diver Program in June 2009. In addition,
Ashton presented the program to several dive clubs in her area and seminars and
was published in Alert Diver Magazine.
Her research indicates that based on medical
conditions reported by divers, heart disease and cardiovascular illness are
followed by high blood pressure as the most common medical conditions in the
scuba diving community. Then in order of prevalence follow obesity, diabetes,
smoking, asthma and allergies.
"My goal is get scuba divers of all fitness levels
exercising," Ashton said in an e-mail.
For more information on ScubaFit, visit www.scubafit.com.
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:
obesity a rising issue
The Nemours Children's Clinic in Jacksonville,
Florida, recently completed a study that suggests that excess body fat can have
far reaching results to children as young as 7 years old - while considering
chances of developing cardiovascular disease. This finding proves the need for
a more aggressive approach toward childhood obesity, which can increase risk
for cardiovascular disease. For more information on this study visit here.
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.
Beneficial Ways to Build your Cardio
Walking is the most popular
weight-loss activity and for good reason. It requires no expenses or equipment,
and it can be done anywhere and is
one of the safest and easiest ways to burn extra calories. Walking is also an ideal
way to relieve stress and one of the
best ways to get into the habit of exercising if you aren't already doing so.
Numbers: A 150-pound person
walking at a brisk pace for 30 minutes burns an average of 150 calories and if
performed daily without increasing caloric intake, can expect to lose 12 pounds
in a year.
- Pump your arms while
they are bent to about 90 degrees (a right angle), to burn an additional 5
to 10 percent more calories with each step.
- To avoid hitting a
plateau, take a different route periodically - add hills or up your
minutes, speed or frequency.
- Using ankle or wrist
weights to boost weight loss when walking isn't advised as this can alter
normal movement patterns and gait, increasing risk of injury. Any added
weight should be evenly distributed and positioned close to the body. This
can be accomplished by wearing a weighted vest designed specifically for
this purpose or by simply placing small weights in each jacket pocket.
Better ways to use wrist and ankle weights include exercises such as leg
and arm lifts and to increase dumbbell or machine weight loads when performing
The elliptical trainer is
easier on the joints than many other types of cardio equipment because it is a non-impact activity. Both walking and
the elliptical are examples of weight-bearing activities, which help to build bone density and fight osteoporosis. Elliptical
trainers allow for movement of both legs and arms in a motion similar to
Numbers: A 150-pound person can expect to burn about 300 calories per half hour
if exercising at a moderately winded pace. One advantage of using an elliptical
trainer is that it can be pedaled both forward and backward, allowing you to
use different muscles.
- Avoid slouching when
pedaling. Instead, keep an upright posture with shoulders back and head
Stair climbing is a great exercise if
your goal is to firm, strengthen and
tone the hips, buns and thighs. For nearly twice the calorie burn, take
steps two at a time instead of single steps. Your current state of health and
level of fitness should dictate speed of movement when using stair climbing as
a cardio workout. If this is a new activity for you, pace yourself initially to
avoid overtraining, and if you have joint problems, check with your doctor
beforehand for guidelines.
If you are accustomed to exercise, you can try running up and down at an
almost huffing-and-puffing pace. A moderately winded, somewhat out of breath
pace can provide excellent cardiovascular
benefits, calorie burning and strengthening too, however. To stay
motivated and challenged, you can also up the intensity by simply increasing
the number or flights of stairs you can climb.
- When ascending,
focus on pushing body weight through the heel of the front foot with each
step. This will help lessen stress on the knees, as well as working the
glutes to a greater degree.
The treadmill. One of
the best ways to make your workout more challenging is to increase the level of incline. The greater the
degree of gravity your body must work against, the greater the calorie burn and
the stronger and more toned the legs will become. Don't make the mistake
of increasing the incline drastically as this can bring about shin splints and
other problems. Instead, take it up gradually a bit at a time to give your body
a fair chance to adjust.
- Unless there is a
good reason for doing so, such as issues with balance, try not to hold on
to rails when using the treadmill.
For weight loss goals, an hour or
more of physical activity most days of the week is recommended, as is 10,000 steps daily. This includes
all activity, whether formal exercise or not. To give you an idea, four
15-minute walks would equate to about 8,000 steps. Combining this with other
steps taken throughout the day typically contributes the remaining 2,000 steps.
If you are unable to walk for extended periods of time, you can begin building
strength and burn just as many calories by breaking your walk into several 10-
or 15-minute segments instead of longer sessions.
Check back next month for
more tips from Marjie!
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:
Fitness question responses from the month of February: What kinds
of activities and exercises do you enjoy doing the most in pairs or in groups?
Wednesday morning, I play tennis with a group of senior friends (ages 59-79). ...
Everyone enjoys enormously the competitive aspect of our doubles game and the
companionship. After we play, we have brunch and reminisce on our better tennis
"Although I enjoy my solo Tai Chi practice, the energy of
playing with a group makes it even better. After warm-ups, I like to start my
classes with a section of the form done in unison. This helps us to be more in
tune with our fellow students, teaches us to maintain a consistent pace and
allows us to relax into Tai Chi mode before starting work on the form."
"Relay races! The children here love relay races of all kinds.
They laugh and don't even concentrate on who won the race but just the fun of
doing it ... together! Fun is back in fitness!"
"Taekwondo is our family sport - great for both body and mind."
much better with all exercises when I am in a formal group or go with someone.
When one of us is 'not in the mood,' it helps to have the other to nudge us
along. For me, that includes water aerobics with my sister and going to
the fitness center with my spouse."
"The activity I enjoy doing most in pairs is running. It helps
to keep the pace at a comfortable level. Time goes by so much faster when you are conversing with another person and get
your mind off of the pain or discomfort of good aerobic exercise."
"Geocaching is a great game-like activity that
can involve all types of exercise, such as snowshoeing, skiing, hiking,
mountaineering, backpacking, walking, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving,
canoeing, kayaking, boating and bicycling. It is a sport that utilizes a GPS to
find hidden 'treasures' in the woods and in the urban environment. It is
a great way to learn about an area and the outdoors."
I love Zumba - great rhythm, easy,
great music, fun, and it keeps me moving for the whole class."
"To me the best group fitness activity is Jazzercise. I have
been involved with Jazzercise for more than 30 years!"
running with a group of ladies (~50) every Saturday for the past four years.
We set goals of running/walking in local half marathons. Great bonding with wonderful
and encouraging ladies."
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
The Guard Fit
The Guard Fit Challenge is a fitness
program linked with the National Guard. The Challenge is here to help people
get in shape, stay in shape and shake up their regular workout routine. It
incorporates nutrition tips, video demonstrations and interactive tools to help
direct your fitness program and measure your improvements. The program also has
a classroom component that physical educations teachers, athletic directors and
coaches can request. In addition, at an educator's request, an Army National
Guard representative will come and present the Guard Fit Challenge during class
or a team practice.
For more information on Guard Fit or to
find out how to get involved, visit www.guardfitchallenge.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 email@example.com.
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