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backtotopFitness is Fun!                            September 2010

Greetings from the office of the President's Challenge Physical Activity and Fitness Awards Program!


You have received the September 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 Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN) and other current information pertaining to health and fitness.

PresidentsChallengeNEWSPCFSN NEWS

Launch of the Million PALA Challenge!

Sept PALAOn Tuesday, September 14 the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition held its first official public meeting to highlight the focus of the renamed Council over the course of the next year.  At the meeting, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius; PCFSN Co-Chair Dominique Dawes; and Let's Move! Executive Director Robin Schepper launched the "Million PALA Challenge". The goal of the campaign is to get one million or more Americans to sign up for and achieve the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) between now and September, 2011.

Also in attendance at the announcement were Council members Carl Edwards (NASCAR Champion); Allyson Felix (Olympic Track and Field Athlete); Grant Hill (NBA Forward, Phoenix Suns); Donna Richardson Joyner (International Fitness Expert); Michelle Kwan (Olympic Figure Skater); Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey (President and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation); Cornell McClellan (First Family's Personal Trainer); Dr. Stephen McDonough (North Dakota-based Pediatrician); Chris Paul (NBA Point Guard, New Orleans Hornets); Curtis Pride (Head Baseball Coach, Gallaudet Univ., retired MLB Player); and Dan Barber (Chef, Restaurant Owner, and Sustainable Farming Advocate).

Turning to the President's Council members, Co-Chair Dominique Dawes said: "It's our time to shine and I know that, with all of the amazing talent sitting in this room and at these tables, we will make an impact and we will get more Americans of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to take that first step toward leading a healthy lifestyle."

Sign up today to help us meet our Million PALA goal and be sure to get your family, friends, and colleagues to do the same!

President Obama issues proclamation making September National Childhood Obesity Month

In hopes of raising awareness about childhood obesity and working toward solutions, President Obama designated September as National Childhood Obesity Month. The proclamation coincided with the First Lady's Let's Move initiative to conquer the childhood obesity epidemic within one generation. Read the full proclamation.

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Presidents Challenge gets media savvy
New website launched, and the PC joins Facebook and Twitter!

Exciting new website
On Friday, September 10 the President's Challenge launched an updated website.  The site features all of the same great tools to track physical activity and student fitness but with a whole new look and feel.  The new site features a rotating carousel of current promotions and events, and counters to let you know how many are taking the Challenge.  Visit www.presidentschallenge.org and see how fun a website can be, just don't sit looking for too long.

Facebook and Twitter
"Like" us and "follow" us in our new media endeavors! You can use Facebook as a forum to discuss your involvement with the PC as well as helping us spread the word about who we are and what we do. We will also be leaving wall posts with relevant links and information about current opportunities. Click to view our Facebook profile.

Check us out on Twitter to see our real-time tweets (updates) about what's going on with the PC. Click to view our Twitter stream. The links to our Facebook and Twitter pages can also be reached from the www.presidentschallenge.org homepage.

One Million PALA Challenge

Sept One Milli PALAIn support of the Council's goal to get One Million Americans active through PALA, the General Mills Foundation stepped up to announce the One Million PALA Challenge.  This challenge is the result of a partnership between the President's Challenge, Box Tops for Education®, the Amateur Athletic Union, and the General Mills Foundation.  As part of this effort General Mills will be offering one million Presidential Active Lifestyle Awards (PALA) to students at schools who offer a Family Fitness Night through their Box Tops for Education program.  The first 8,000 schools to sign up will receive all of the necessary information, including a kit with balls and awards, in order to host their event.  

For more information about the General Mills Foundation and the One Million PALA Challenge visit www.generalmills.com/foundation. To see how your school can host a Family Fitness Night go to www.boxtops4education.com/familyfitnessnight.

Featured Product of the Month: President's Challenge Gym Mat

Gym Mat
Price: $49.95
Sept gym mat
Our 2' x 6' mat is perfect for all types of exercises including stretching, fitness testing, or yoga. Since September is National Yoga Month, now could be the perfect time to try this activity using the President's Challenge gym mat!

This 1.5" thick vinyl mat features two folds and handles for easy carrying and storage as well as a screen-printed President's Challenge logo.

For information on how to order the President's Challenge gym mat or any of our other helpful fitness products visit our online shopping center.

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Out of the Box
Sept Out of the boxThe 2010 Out of the Box Prize, sponsored by the Community Tool Box, will honor promising initiatives that improve community health and development. A group's innovation may involve activities to improve community health, education, urban or rural development, poverty, the environment, social justice, or other related issues of importance to communities.

The grand prize will be $5,000 in cash, plus a free customized workstation designed specifically for your group, and a second prize will be $2,000 in cash, with a free workstation. The Community Tool Box is a service of the Work Group for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas. Learn More.

Amount: $5,000 grand prize, $2,000 second prize
Deadline: October 31

CVS Caremark Community GrantsAugust Grants - CVS
The CVS Caremark Community Grants program awards funds to nonprofit organizations for programs targeting children with disabilities, programs focusing on health and rehabilitation services, public schools promoting greater inclusion in student activities and extracurricular programs, and initiatives that give greater access to physical movement and play.  Learn more.

up to $5,000
Deadline: application process runs from January 1 through October 31

Do Something GrantsGrants - Do Something.jpg

Do Something targets teenagers and young people; only those 25 years old and younger may apply.  Grants are given out weekly.

Seed Grants help jump-start new ideas for community action projects and programs. Learn more.  Growth Grants are given to those who are looking for funds to help expand an already successful project. Learn more.

Amount: $500 for each grant
Deadline: None

Grants Source: These grants were listed by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. Visit the NASPE Grant Opportunities Database to explore over 80 different community and research grant possibilities.


September 1-30

Sept AOMAOM has designated their fifth annual monthly campaign as "Steptember."  See how you can participate and get involved with last month's PC Activity, walking, with these 100 ways to add 2,000 steps or approximately one mile, to your daily routine. Learn more.

September 25
Learn more.

October 2
Trenton Waterfront Park in New Jersey
Check out the PC All-American section to see how advocate Miss Amy® will be getting involved with this Let's Move event.
Learn more.

October 4 - 5
Overland Park, Kansas
Learn more.

October 17 - 21
Charleston, South Carolina
Learn more.

During the month of October, elementary and middle school students and their families can help their schools win one of five $5,000 grants by walking or bicycling to school. Parents are invited to sign up online for the "Walk to School Challenge" and log their families' walking or bicycling trips on behalf of their school. The five schools with the highest levels of participation will be eligible to win a $5,000 grant. Frequent walkers and bicyclists can also earn individual prizes, ranging from green shoelaces to reusable water bottles. Sign up at www.facebook.com/greenworks. [Source: Safe Routes Matter - News Brief, September 2, 2010]


Top 10 PC Activities

Based on data compiled from the President's Challenge website, the following activities (in order) are the most popular. This month we are featuring "Household tasks."

1.    Walking
2.    Running
3.    Bicycling
4.    Cardio machines
5.    Weight training
6.    Household tasks
7.    Swimming
8.    Martial arts
9.    Aerobics
10.  Lawn mowing / gardening

Continue with your PC program by getting out and trying a new activity!

Activity Profile: Household Tasks
As many fitness infomercials are so fond of exclaiming: this is an activity you truly can do within the comfort of your own home! Household tidying is a great way to multitask, getting your cleaning done while moving, stretching and strength training.

See how your day-to-day household tasks can be a workout:

Sept Household Tasks

Fun Fact: Cleaner homes inhabited by fitter people
An Indiana University study found a correlation between household cleanliness and higher levels of physical activity. Compared to other variables involving homes and neighborhoods, such as sidewalks and lighting, the interior condition of the study subjects' homes was the only factor that appeared to have a direct relationship with physical activity. So while a clean home may not necessarily be a happy home, it looks as if it might be a fitter one. 
Learn more.

Average calories expended during 30 minutes of housecleaning for people of various weights:

130 lbs.

160 lbs.

190 lbs.

220 lbs.



127 calories

151 calories

175 calories

Source:http://www.healthfinder.gov/docs/doc12322.htm, sponsored by the National Health Information Center

SPARK offers fun back-to-school Activity: "Tunnel Dribble"

Educators can use the following resources to help get their students active. This activity is from the "Kicking and Trapping" unit in the SPARK K-2 PE Manual.

Click Here to access the FREE Resources for "Tunnel Dribble," including:

  •     Lesson Plan
  •     Assessment Tool
  •     Instructional Video
SPARK is also offering a special discount code for 15% off the equipment featured in this activity. Click Here for details!

PCPFSDemonstration Center Schools

This new section of Fitness is Fun recognizes schools that excel at incorporating physical activity and fitness into their physical education programs. This month we would like acknowledge Templeton Elementary School!

Templeton Elementary serves over 450 students, and every single one of them participates in the Presidents Challenge. Physical Education teacher Monica Chapin said that some of the students really enjoy the challenge and it fosters encouragement among peers. At times, students will get so into it that they "run extra laps to help other students qualify for the fitness awards," she said.

In addition to their active participation in the PC Program, Templeton takes other measures to help motivate its students to live active lifestyles. Students have opportunities to get involved with Jump Rope, Dance and Running and Jumping Clubs. Parents and siblings can get in on the action as well during "Families Taking Healthy Steps Together" family nights. The school also offers resources such as pedometers and encourages healthy eating after receiving a fresh fruit and vegetable grant last year.   

Even with their current successes, the faculty at Templeton continue to work to find fun ways to develop fitness among their students, especially since the school has much larger classes this year. We look forward to watching them grow!

For more information about the Templeton Elementary School physical activity and fitness program, contact physical education teacher Monica Chapin at mchapin@mccsc.edu.

Templeton Elementary School is recognized as a 2009-2010 Demonstration Center.
Sept School

In acknowledgement of the vital role of schools in encouraging active lifestyles for students, PCFSN designates deserving schools as Demonstration Centers, which function as models for other schools across the country wishing to improve their physical activity and physical education programming. Visit the Demonstration Center Program section of our website to learn more, or if you think you school deserves to be a Demonstration Center, apply today!


This section highlights President's Challenge participants who benefit from the program and inspire others to lead more healthy lives. Check out Amy Otey's story and get motivated!

With over 20 years of fitness instruction experience and a long history of musical performance, Amy Otey is able to combine these two passions when she performs as Miss Amy®. Miss Amy is the lead singer for Miss Amy Kids Fitness Rock & Roll™, a
Amy Otey
Sept Miss Amy
program that incorporates music and movement to encourage children to stay active and build a strong foundation of fitness for life.

Miss Amy presents her fitness lessons in song and by example. On her vest, she proudly displays her PALA patch. Miss Amy, and her band members have all earned their PALAs. "I didn't feel like I could represent it until I had earned it too," she said. She has also been a President's Challenge Advocate since 2007.

She has released multiple CDs and performed at prestigious events such as the White House 2010 Egg Roll, where fitness heroes such as Apolo Ohno, Billie Jean King and NBA members and entertainment celebrities like Glee cast members, Justin Bieber also made appearances.

Hitting home with her message
Sept About AmyBesides encouraging kids everywhere with her music, Miss Amy was also inspired by the First Lady's Let's Move initiative and Call-to-Action to reach into her local community, Trenton, New Jersey, and the surrounding areas, to highlight her important message about "raising a healthier generation."

In recent action, she has helped to inspire the Mayor of Trenton, Tony Mack, to sign-on to become a "Let's Move" City.  She was also excited to hear that he accepted the challenge of earning his personal PALA.

Upcoming performances and CD Release
Miss Amy will be participating in KidStock2010 (The New Jersey Children's Health and Wellness Expo) at Trenton Waterfront baseball Stadium in New Jersey October 2. The opening ceremony will include a "PALA Parade" where Miss Amy will be recognizing over 100 children for their PALA achievements during the third quarter.

She also has a new CD benefitting the New York Healthy School Food Coalition, "Healthy Foods for Thought." She has another CD release coming this fall.

To access Miss Amy's music, videos and information, visit Miss Amy's website.

Miss Amy leads a group of children through a physical activity during one of her interactive concert performances.
Sept Miss Amy performs

Have an inspiring story? E-mail preschal@indiana.edu!


Active lifestyle promotes healthy aging despite increasingly sedentary world

Marjie Gilliam
As the body ages, many changes occur that can gradually leave us more susceptible to disease and injury and impact our ability to function as efficiently as we once did. Although a certain degree of change is to be expected, our own lifestyle choices play a huge role in determining how quickly or slowly we experience the effects of getting older.

The more physically fit you are, the more you can handle what life throws your way, and the more frequently you face physical challenges, the greater the likelihood of maintaining your strength and independence. Unfortunately, in today's world, we are required to be less and less active. We often take for granted our physical abilities until the time comes when we find we no longer have the strength, endurance or flexibility to do the things we want to do.

Driving has replaced walking. We often sit at a desk for hours on end. When required to complete a task that is physically taxing, our instinct is to look for the easiest way to get it done. Taking an escalator instead of the stairs, using a leaf blower instead of a rake, a riding mower instead of a push mower, going through the car wash instead of washing it ourselves or even something as simple as using an electric can opener instead of a hand-held one, are a few common examples.

Lack of daily exercise and increased stress levels coincide with eating too many calories, adding up to weight gain and increased risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and many other conditions.

Age-related loss of muscle mass, strength and function, known as sarcopenia, affects us all to some degree, typically beginning in the fourth decade of life with an approximate one percent loss per year. Thankfully, weight training is now accepted and recommended for nearly everyone, and is especially important for older adults, even with very light weights, helping to improve balance and strength and reduce incidence of falls.

Along with weight training, many other types of exercise, including Tai Chi, stability ball exercises and simple balancing movements can help to improve balance and strength. Exercises that can be performed at home such as standing on one leg or walking heel to toe are also effective. Check with your doctor for recommendations before you begin an exercise program. Frequency, duration and degree of intensity of a given exercise prescription vary from person to person.

Next month: More on exercise and aging.

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.
HealthandWellnessNEWS AND RESEARCH

For better results, take a pass on passive stretching
When warming up, it has been determined that passive static stretches can actually be detrimental to a workout. This kind of stretching can actually cause muscles to tighten rather than relax. Stretching through movement, which is common in yoga, has been found to be more effective than static stretches at increasing range of motion (ROM) according to a study published in the Clinical Journal or Sports Medicine. Read more.

Lack of sleep weighs heavy on children
Two researchers found a connection between lack of sleep in children and increased risk for subsequent obesity. The study examined the weights and sleep patterns of a group of children ages one month to 13 years, comparing baseline measurements from 1997 to a follow-up in 2002. The importance of sleep was especially critical for children ages 5 and younger. Older children's weights did not appear to have any correlation to their sleep. Napping also did not have any apparent affect on obesity development. Read more.

Having a seat takes a load off feet, years off life
The more time a person spends sitting could reduce their average lifespan, according to a study of more than 120,000 American adults. Even when negative factors such as obesity and positive factors such as physical activity were taken into consideration, sitting's influence on death risk remained statistically significant. Read more.


Stretching is a part of many fitness routines.  What's your favorite stretch?

"I start each workout with a 5-minute warm-up (jumping jacks, running in place, etc.) then I go into a series of stretches starting at the top and working down to the ground. They are neck rolls, heads up and down, shoulder stretches, hip circles, hip thrusts, knee circles, then modified hurdle stretches, ITB (hip) stretch, quads, then calves."
-Thomas R.

Stretch in honor of National Yoga Month

Thousands of years old, yoga originated in India as part of the Hindu discipline to unite and control the mind and body. According to yoga instructor Rose Hagood, "It's a great stress reliever and you learn a lot about yourself and your body by doing it. There are so many different styles, that almost everyone can find something they connect with."

Hagood has been practicing yoga for nine years and received her 265 hour level certification in 2009. She offered some of her favorite yoga positions for you to try at home.

 Sept Yoga Pose 1
Sept Yoga Pose 2

If you are interested in getting more involved with yoga, National Yoga Month is the perfect opportunity. Click the "Learn more" link to check for events near you. Learn more.

Interactive Question of the Month for October:

Click here to take our poll about your favorite time to workout.


We would like to extend a special thanks to all of the President's Challenge Advocates. Please visit the Advocates section to see how companies, organizations and groups are making a difference with the President's Challenge.

Parisi Speed Schools
Sept Advocate ParisiParisi Speed School connects with athletes from 7 years old to Olympians and Pros across the country. Based on over 20 years of research and testing, the programs utilized in the national franchises optimize athletic performance through the mastery of speed, strength and agility. Parisi teaching is designed to use achievement in these athletic fundamentals to foster self-confidence and transition athletic discipline to life-long fitness. Parisi Speed School Inc. will promote participation of athletes and non-athletes in the President's Challenge through:
  • Nationwide Parisi facility community advocacy
  • The addition of PALA sign ups to Parisi Community Outreach Corporate Programs
  • Parisi website link to PALA signups
  • Parisi's Coaches' Digest dissemination and tracking of methods for coaches and teams to be community advocates of the PALAs.
Visit the Parisi Speed School website for more information.

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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 preschal@indiana.edu.

Past Issues
To view past issues of Fitness is Fun visit our archives.
In This Issue
PC News
Grant Opportunities
Upcoming Events
Get Active!
Demonstration Center Schools
PC All-American
Health and Wellness with Marjie
News and Research
Fitness Question of the Month
Spotlight on Advocates

Your It Get Fit