President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports launches first-ever national challenge - SNEWS

President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports launches first-ever national challenge

The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports is launching the first National President’s Challenge -- a six-week physical activity challenge to encourage Americans to be more active. It kicks off March 20, but registration begins March 1.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27 -- The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports is launching the first National President's Challenge -- a six-week physical activity challenge to encourage Americans to be more active. It kicks off March 20, but registration begins March 1.

“The National President's Challenge is a great way for Americans of all ages and abilities to challenge themselves to become healthier and lead more active lives,” says Acting Surgeon General Steven Galson, M.D., M.P.H. “Physical activity is incredibly important for living well and living longer because it helps us maintain a healthy weight, build strong bones and reduce the risk of many serious diseases, like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and depression.”

Many people remember the President's Challenge, which began in 1966, as the youth fitness test they did in school. The program is now something everyone can participate in, including youth, adults, seniors, and people with disabilities. This is the first time in its history that the President's Council is issuing a challenge to all Americans to be active 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

Joining the National President's Challenge is easy and free. Everyone aged 6 and older is encouraged to be active five days a week for six weeks. To complete the Challenge, adults 18 and older need to be active 30 minutes a day, while youth aged 6-17 need to be active an hour a day.

Participants can set goals, log their activity, see their progress and challenge themselves to become healthier. They can also join as an individual or with a group -- a great way to get friends, family and co-workers moving. To register, participants can go to www.presidentschallenge.org.

Mayors and governors across the country will also be participating in the National President's Challenge by urging individuals and families in their cities and states to join in getting active. The state with the highest participation will be declared the national winner, and special recognition will be given to governors of the top five participating states.

“With obesity rates rising and more than 25 percent of Americans leading sedentary lives, it's more important than ever for Americans to get active,” says Melissa Johnson, executive director of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. “We hope that people across the country will rise to the challenge and join the nation in leading healthier, more active lives.”

Registration Details
Registration for the National President's Challenge begins March 1 and will conclude April 3. The Challenge kicks off March 20, the first day of spring, and concludes May 15 during National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, giving participants eight weeks to complete the six-week program. Participants can register at www.presidentschallenge.org.

About The Council
The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS) is an advisory committee of volunteer citizens who advise the President through the Secretary of Health and Human Services about physical activity, fitness and sports in America.

CONTACT: Joey King of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, +1-202-690-5181, russell.king@hhs.gov

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