SNEWS Qs: Mike May talks PHIT America for a fitter U.S. of A.

PHIT America, a nonprofit that seeks to get Americans more active, is seeking fitness industry ambassadors.
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A common goal could unite Americans: We all want to be healthy. Some people just need more inspiration than others. That’s why there are initiatives like PHIT America, an educational, advocacy and social media marketing campaign to encourage folks to start moving. The nonprofit seeks to battle the obesity crisis by advocating for legislation to help Americans get active, fit and healthy.

Spokesman Mike May told SNEWS all about the organization, which was established in January, and detailed how fitness industry professionals can get involved as ambassadors.

“PHIT America’s daily message of promoting a physically active lifestyle has never been more relevant than it is now,” said founder Jim Baugh. “It’s frightening to realize that the future of our national health may be at risk because of a lack of overall national fitness. But that can begin to change if we make a concerted effort to get this country active, which is why PHIT America is so supportive of the PEP and PHIT Act legislation in Washington, D.C.”

What are you looking for in ambassadors? And what does a PHIT America ambassador have to do?

It is easy. Ambassadors will receive PHIT America News Flashes and are asked to forward them to their contacts via email, Facebook, Twitter or any other efficient way. If an ambassador has a Twitter or Facebook account, they are asked to "follow" or "like" PHIT America.

How are some companies in the fitness industry currently involved in PHIT America?
Right now, there are 132 companies supporting the work of PHIT America. Some of the many sponsors include: Wilson, Rawlings, Franklin, Mizuno, Russell Athletic, Modell’s, Sport Chalet, Gatorade, New Balance, Saucony, AYSO, ACE Fitness, IDEA Fit, General Mills, Life Fitness, Johnson Healthcare, Precor, IMG Academies, Konami, PGA of America, World Golf Foundation, NBA Fit, SI Golf, SKLZ, Riddell, USA Football, Athlon Sports, the Tennis Channel, Tennis Warehouse, among others. All Alliance Sponsors are listed on www.PHITAmerica.org.

Why is it vital to the fitness industry to encourage people to get healthy?
The biggest threat to America’s long-term health and welfare is the ever-expanding waistlines of the overall population. The U.S. has an inactivity pandemic that has been growing since the late 1990s. This inactivity pandemic is enhanced by the emergence of "super sizing" of meals, high doses of fructose in our food, hours spent in front of the TV and computer screens (the average 16-year-old is spending 7-8 hours a day behind a stationary screen), the lack of daily P.E. in our schools and not enough regular exercise.

Getting daily P.E. in schools and changing our diet would be the best way to turn around the inactivity pandemic.

Also, obesity and cardiovascular issues, such as type I and II diabetes, will reach pandemic proportions by 2030 if something is not done now in terms of the approach to nutrition and daily physical activity. It has been reported that by 2030 one in three people in the U.S. could be suffering from some type of diabetes, if we don’t start trying to reverse the inactivity pandemic.

What would you say is the message of PHIT America?
The work of PHIT America is geared at educating people about the inactivity issue, asking people to touch base with Congress to advocate for PEP and the PHIT Act, and encourage people to participate in sports and fitness activities themselves.

How do you become a PHIT Ambassador?
Interested individuals can become an ambassador by emailing Ambassador@PHITAmerica.org. Please send PHIT America your name, email address, professional affiliation(s) and a URL you would like to have linked from your listing on PHITAmerica.org. Once acknowledged, you will start to receive PHIT America News Flashes, articles and other materials to support the cause and campaign.

What didn't we ask that might be relevant to our readers?
Encourage your local school officials to put P.E. in our schools for every student each day from kindergarten through 12th grade. Each of your readers should upgrade their level of activity and encourage their friends and families to do the same. Become an ambassador of PHIT America. And contact your federal legislators in Washington, D.C. to ask for support of the PEP legislation and the PHIT Act.

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