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Welcome to the November 2012 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 physical activity, nutrition and fitness.

In this issue...


 Get Informed: 

Get Active:

Get Nutritious:    

Get Inspired:Get Involved:
President's Challenge News


BeccaMeet Student Employee Becca Bayle


The customer service, fulfillment, and tech support of President's Challenge is  skillfully handled by over 20 Indiana University students. In the coming months, we will introduce you to many of these students, who will share their roles at President's Challenge, what they study, and how they stay active despite their busy work and class schedules.

 Becca Bayles

Becca Bayle, a junior at IU, is one of our customer service and sales representatives who has been with President's Challenge for over a year and a half. Her major is gender studies with minors in psychology, public health, and human sexuality. At this time, she does not have a specific career goal, however, she hopes to gain experience in a variety of fields.


Working with the President's Challenge has helped Becca improve general employment skills like communication, problem-solving, and team work, while also providing her with valuable experience in the field of public health. "I have learned a lot about personal health and ways to improve and promote overall health of a community through our various fitness programs," she says. It has also been extremely helpful having a job that is flexible with Becca's school schedule, allowing her to work and earn money while being a full-time student.


As far as staying active, Becca doesn't have a specific regimen. She admits, "I don't like doing the same thing over and over, so I try to switch it up. I enjoy running and walking, both indoors and outdoors. I also like taking group classes at IU's exercise facilities."   


Presidential Youth Fitness Program News


NewDirectorPYFP Announces New Program Director


PYFP Logo The Amateur Athletic Union(AAU) is pleased to announce the hiring of Jane Wargo to serve as Program Director of the Presidential Youth Fitness Program (PYFP).  Prior to PYFP, Jane served as a program analyst at the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN) where she most recently coordinated the Council's involvement in the Healthy People Initiative and the Physical Activity Guidelines Midcourse Review as well as the Council's Science Board and President's Challenge program.  Jane will coordinate the efforts of the five founding Presidential PYFP partners, which include PCFSN, AAU, American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and The Cooper Institute.  If you have questions about the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, contact Jane at and be sure to check out the webinars, both archived and upcoming, on the Professional Development page of


 WebinarPYFP Monthly Webinar: Understanding Health-Related Fitness


Tuesday, November 27, 2012
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT


In our last webinar, you learned how to achieve success in the Presidential Youth Fitness Program. This month's webinar will increase your understanding of health-related fitness and will address such questions as why we do fitness assessment, appropriate uses for fitness assessment, and how it enhances your curriculum.


Register Now  


Reserve your seat today! Space is limited. You will receive a confirmation email after registering with information about joining the webinar.     


President's Challenge Fleece Sweatshirt


President's Challenge Fleece Sweatshirt With the weather getting chilly, our hooded fleece sweatshirt  will keep you warm and comfortable on the coldest days. The white President's Challenge logo displayed prominently on the navy sweatshirt makes this piece of cold weather apparel a great way to show your fitness pride. Drop a hint to your family--it's the perfect holiday gift!



 PRICE: $29.95





For information on how to order the President's Challenge Fleece Sweatshirt or any of our other merchandise, visit our online shopping center.


PCFSN and Other Government News


TransportationHealthAPHA and National Partnership Release  

Transportation and Health Report


  With the growing rate of obesity coupled with the increasing price of gasoline,  climate change, and respiratory illness caused by air pollution, Student Takes Bike to School there is an increasing focus on transforming transportation systems to promote active transportation. The CDC defines active transportation as "any self-propelled, human-powered mode of transportation, such as walking or bicycling." The American Public Health Association and the National Partnership have partnered to produce a new guide: Promoting Active Transportation: An Opportunity for Public Health. This primer is intended to give an introduction as to why and how health should be considered in transportation planning and decision-making - in particular through active transportation - and the role that public health practitioners can play. The guide emphasizes that travel is inherent within our daily lives. We travel for work, school, errands, and play. How we as individuals and as a society travel has impacts that go beyond our routine of getting from one place to another. Implementing changes in transportation methods appears to be one of the few intervention points where the benefits can be seen by both citizen and the environment. As noted in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Guide to Community Preventive Services, street-scale improvements such as sidewalks, safer street crossings, multi-use pathways and bike lanes have resulted in a 35 percent increase in physical activity. Similarly, Safe Routes to School infrastructure is an example of an effective method of increasing physical activity among children. Read the entire guide.


 MorePEVideo: We Need More Physical Education  


SPARKS Logo Enjoy this short, creative video by SPARK, a research-based, public health organization dedicated to creating, implementing, and evaluating programs that promote lifelong wellness. Dr. Thom McKenzie explains why it is important for children to have quality physical education in school and how caring adults can support it.


We Need More Physical Education
We Need More Physical Education


PSAWe Can! Launches New PSA Campaign  

To Help Children Maintain Healthy Weight


We Can! in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Ad Council, recently launched a multimedia public service announcement (PSA) campaign focused on helping parents and caregivers help children maintain a healthy weight.


Titled "I Can, You Can, We Can," the campaign is designed to encourage parents and caregivers to find creative ways to challenge and engage their kids to make healthy choices. For example, in the video PSA "Dunk," a mom challenges her kids to be more physically active by attempting to, and finally succeeding in, dunking a basketball. The PSAs direct audiences to "search We Can! online" to find doable tips and activities for ways parents and kids can get healthy together. Read more about the campaign and view the videos.

UpcomingEventsUpcoming Events and Opportunities


Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance

November 28-30, 2012

Galveston, TX


The Texas AHPERD event is the largest state meeting for physical educators in the nation. Join the President's Challenge as we share the news about the Presidential Youth Fitness Program.


Mary Jo Young Hands on Health Conference: Healthier Connections for Healthier Students

December 3, 2012

Monroe, NJ


This conference, offered by NJAHPERD, is designed to provide educators with current health information, new resources, and teaching strategies for the classroom and school environment. Sessions include a keynote and your choice of breakout sessions covering various current health topics and exciting new ideas to teach wellness.


26th Annual Share the Wealth Conference 

January 24-26, 2013

Jekyll Island, GA


Get great new ideas and network with fabulous physical educators from across the country at this conference sponsored by GAHPERD.


American Diabetes Association Premiere Advocacy Day  

March 5-7, 2013 SAVE THE DATE

Washington, DC


Join advocates from across the country in their Call to Congress: Stop Diabetes. Call to Congress is a unique opportunity to meet face-to-face with Members of Congress and their staff to discuss how Congress can act to stop the diabetes epidemic.  You will be able to share with top policy leaders how diabetes affects you and those you care about. You will also be joining a powerful group of dedicated Diabetes Advocates in planning advocacy efforts in our communities.


Safe Routes to School National Conference

August 13-15, 2013 SAVE THE DATE

Sacramento, CA


Learn how Safe Routes to School programs across the country are changing the habits of an entire generation of school children and putting thousands of families two steps ahead of safety, health and environmental concerns. Transportation professionals, SRTS advocates, program representatives, elected officials and community members will connect with colleagues to discuss ideas, resources, projects and noteworthy practices to enhance work that is creating more active kids and safer communities.


 Back to Top  Get Informed  Get Active   Get Nutritious   Get Inspired Get Involved

GetactiveGET ACTIVE! 




VolunteerActive Volunteering


Thanksgiving is truly a nourishing holiday-from the traditional meal many of us eat, to the fulfillment we receive by spending quality time with family and friends. One way to celebrate the holiday is by donating our time and energy to a worthwhile cause. Volunteering is important for mental, spiritual and physical health. Here is a short list of some active volunteer opportunities to consider with your loved ones during the Thanksgiving holiday:


Habitat for Humanity: Assist with the building of low-income housing.

Animal Shelters: Play with kittens and walk dogs.

Food Banks: Organize donations of food and make food deliveries to home-bound individuals.

Outdoors: Clean-up roads, parks, waterways, and trails.

5K Walk/Runs: Take part in a local race for a cause.


If you plan to volunteer with an organization, be sure to make arrangements ahead of time. Remember, you do not need an official project to do something active that also serves others. Walk around your neighborhood and pick up trash. Rake the leaves in an elderly neighbor's yard or run errands for her on your bike. Whether activities are organized or unplanned, the Friday after Thanksgiving can become a meaningful family tradition.


SoccerAfter Turkey-Soccer!

US Soccer Foundation Logo  

Over the summer, the U.S. Soccer Foundation teamed up with Let's Move! and the Partnership for a Healthier America to engage 12,000 youth in 13 cities through their  Soccer for Success program to provide free after school programming to urban youth. In 2011, the program reached 8,000 kids in 8 cities.    


Soccer for Success Overview 
Soccer for Success Overview

Soccer allows kids the chance to build relationships with their peers by encouraging communication, cooperation and teamwork. The sport requires a combination of basic motor skills like walking, running or jumping, and soccer-specific skills like dribbling and shooting. It is great for cardiovascular endurance and strength, and helps to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Soccer can also be a fun family activity, whether you're coaching your child's team, supporting from the sidelines, or leading practice sessions to improve specific skills.


It can also be the perfect post-Thanksgiving dinner antidote to lounging around the house all day. If you don't have a yard, you'll get even more exercise and time to bond with loved ones during a walk to your neighborhood's park or ball field. For the more competitive families, host your very own Turkey-Bowl! Most of all, be active and have fun!

 DogDog Ownership & Physical Activity


A number of studies in the US, Australia, Canada, Japan and Sweden suggest that Dog Brings Leash getting a dog may be a good way to increase your physical activity and keep weight off. A study at The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services in Washington, D.C. found that people who walk their dog regularly are more likely to have a lower body mass index while those who do not are three times as likely to be treated for diabetes. Researchers in the April 2008 issue of Health Promotion Journal of Australia reported that having a dog in the house significantly reduces the risk of childhood obesity. A University of Missouri study

reports that not only do dogs motivate their owners to be more active and healthy, they tend to be better walking partners than humans! Dogs are loyal and always eager to exercise, while we humans may actually talk each other out of it.   


ActiveLivingActive Living Research


Active Living Research is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which aims to support and share research on environmental and policy strategies that can promote daily physical activity for children and families across the United States. A special emphasis of the program is research related to children in minority and under-served communities who are at highest risk for obesity. It is a great evidence-based resource for parents, teachers and administrators. 







WholeGrainsMake Half Your Grains Whole     


Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal grain Make Half Your Grains Whole is a grain product. Bread, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, tortillas, and grits are examples. Grains are divided into two subgroups, refined grains and whole grains. Refined grains, like white bread and pasta are responsible for a host of health issues including weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, sugar addiction, and even depression. To celebrate Diabetes Awareness Month, make a pledge to Make Half Your Grains Whole. Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel-the bran, germ, and endosperm. People who eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. To make it easier to eat more whole grains, save time by cooking extra brown rice, bulgar, barley, or quinoa to toss into soups, stew and salads later. To be sure you're getting whole grains at the grocery store, read the ingredients list and choose products that name a wholegrain ingredient first on the list. Look for "whole wheat," "brown rice," "bulgur," "buckwheat," "oatmeal," "whole-grain cornmeal," "whole oats," "whole rye," or "wild rice." Use the Nutrition Facts label to check the fiber content of whole-grain foods. Good sources of fiber contain 10% to 19% of the Daily Value. Excellent sources contain 20% or more. Read all ten tips. 


 ShoppingBudgetHealthy Grocery Shopping on a Budget


Shopping Matters Tour
Shopping Matters Tour


Shopping Matters Logo Chef Greg Silverman who participates in Chefs Move to Schools manages Shopping Matters, a guided grocery store tour sponsored by the non-profit Share Our Strength to teach individuals how to read labels, compare unit prices, and contrast various forms of fruits and vegetables. Shopping Matters is a critical component to Share our Strength's larger initiative, the No Kid Hungry Campaign. At the end of each 60 to 90 minute tour, participants put their new knowledge to use through a challenge: buy groceries to make a healthy meal for a family of four with only $10. American Culinary Federation Chefs volunteer their time to lead tours, helping Wal-Mart shoppers learn healthy, affordable and delicious cooking and shopping tips. The program recently debuted in Maryland and Arkansas, two states where many children-nearly 18 percent in Maryland and 25 percent in Arkansas-are at risk of food insecurity. To learn more about Shopping Matters or to facilitate a Shopping Matters in your community, visit


Try some of these tips for smart shopping for fruits and vegetables on a budget from


1. Celebrate the season! Buy fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season, which are usually less expensive.

2. Why pay full price? Check the local newspaper, online, and at the store for sales and coupons.

3. Stick to your list! Plan meals ahead of time and make a grocery list. Save money by buying only what you need.

4. Don't shop hungry. Shopping after eating will make it easier to pass on the tempting snack foods.

5. Buy in bulk when items are on sale. You can buy a large size bag of fruits and vegetables you eat often, or store canned or frozen foods when they go on sale.  



GetinspiredGET INSPIRED!


Advocate of the Month


CXCCentral Cross Country Ski Association


The Central Cross Country Ski Association (CXC) enables an entire range of cross country skiers from beginners and youth to individuals with physical disabilities and elite athletes, along with coaches, instructors, parents and officials, to set and attain personal fitness goals and pursue excellence in cross country skiing.   


CXC promotes the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award, or PALA+, through the "Wander Outside this Winter!" (W.O.W.!) Kids Challenge and the new Nordic Rocks! Program


The Wander Outside this Winter! Kids Challenge is designed to encourage kids to play outside in the wintertime and eat healthy. Each participant is challenged to play outside for at least 30 minutes six days a week and to eat three servings of fruits and vegetables a day. The program runs for eight-weeks. A "W.O.W.! Kids Challenge" chart is distributed electronically to all CXC members and as a printed version through cross country ski retail stores in Midwest. The challenge will start in mid-December 2012 and will end in February 2013. Kids who complete the program can register online to win the grand prize. For more information, visit


Nordic Rocks!© is collaboration of four ski regions. The interactive children's website allows anyone to keep track of kilometers skied in the wintertime. Think of it as a training log! This is not a competitive program, but a fun way to set ski goals for the winter, work to achieve them, and earn rewards. Nordic Rocks! invite you to join CXC, New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA), Far West Nordic Ski Education Association (FWNSEA) and Rocky Mountain Nordic (RMN), to help keep track of how much we ski.


The great news is that this program is not just for nordic skiing! The site offers a conversion chart to help you keep track of all the ways you're active in the winter.    


Participant of the Month


JeffJeff Camasi


Jeff Camasi Before Weight Loss Jeff Camasi, a 51 year old Schwans delivery driver from  Inverness, Florida, started the year weighing 391 pounds. He attributes his weight gain to depression from breaking up with his fiancé back in 1982. Jeff's journey to a better weight and health began on March 16th. He remembers that day because a brash woman at a yard sale asked him if he wanted to lose weight. She gave Jeff the phone number of her health advocate friend who introduced him to super nutritious green smoothies. On that day, Jeff made the commitment to change.


He went to the supermarket and bought fresh spinach, watermelon, berries, bananas, and cantaloupe. Since he has a high speed blender, he thought the tasty smoothies would be a great start.   

He rotates the type of leafy greens-spinach, collards, bok choy-that he blends with the fruit each week. Jeff is on Coumadin, a blood thinner, and thought he couldn't eat greens. He recommends talking with your doctor; his physician eventually gave him the green light on the greens because he is committed to eating them every day.


The first week of his lifestyle change Jeff lost ten pounds, and decided to start walking a half mile every night after work. Since he often works until 9 pm he had to stop making excuses (BIG COPOUT!) about not having time, and started his walks at 10 pm. The results were stunningly quick. The more weight he lost the more walking he did, until he was walking between 2-5 miles a day. He started controlling and cutting down on his appetite, eating more chicken, fish, homemade soups, and incorporating a lot of fruits and veggies into his diet. Within two months, he lost 54 lbs. He now weighs 292 pounds, having lost 100 pounds in 7 ½ months. He walks outdoors and on the treadmill, bicycles, uses the elliptical trainer, and plays golf and tennis. Jeff played tennis in college 28 years ago, and admits, "It feels so good to be back out there again!" 


Jeff gets his blood work done on a monthly basis.  His cholesterol went from 245 down to 190.  His triglycerides, once at 465, are now 131. Not only did his triglycerides drop to 170 after only one month of his green smoothies, but they have rejuvenated Jeff, giving him more energy. 


Jeff has many people to thank that keep him motivated-his wife, Valerie, family, friends, co-workers and customers. They all see the change and tell Jeff how proud they are. "Personally, I feel the change more than I see it. I see it in my face. I definitely feel it when I put my clothes on. I went from a size 64 pants down to 46. I went from a size 5X shirt down to a 2X. I guess I always had the passion to lose my weight but never the drive. My wife got me watching The Biggest Loser and I couldn't believe the training these people received and their determination. I kept saying to myself, 'that is me'-before and after." He also thanks President's Challenge and his health advocate Colleen for helping him find the drive and offering him motivation he had been lacking. Jeff says, "I made every excuse in the world not to lose weight and that put one foot in the grave for me. I decided that I want to stay on the top side of the grass. I now choose to play a proactive role in my health and well-being. There have been a lot of other positive changes happening, and I couldn't be happier.  Well, I could, but I might burst.  My overall goal is to get down to 250 lbs. My initial goal is to lose 110 lbs. by the end of the year. I can do it and I WILL DO IT!!" His advice to others? "Remember the choice is yours. JUST DO IT!"



We hope you enjoyed this month's issue of Fitness is Fun.

As we begin to create our next issue, we would like to hear from you!

We welcome questions or comments regarding current content and are open to suggestions for future topics we should address. Inspiring stories are also appreciated and could become features in upcoming issues. 

E-mail us at


The Fitness is Fun staff
The President's Challenge