The official newsletter of the President's Challenge                             May 2011  
In This Issue
Get Informed
Get Active
Get Nourished
Get Inspired
Quick Links
Past FIF Issues
Join Our Mailing List
topGreetings from the President's Challenge

Physical Activity and Fitness Awards Program!  

You have received the May 2011 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.


ATTENTION EDUCATORS! The whistle to the right is for you! To help you better navigate our newsletter, the whistle will appear next to any information that directly pertains to you as an educator.  




President's Challenge News



Announcing the launch of Fitness File software


Try out our new Coordinator Tools and Fitness File. Fitness File is the free official software of the President's Challenge Physical Fitness Test, and it integrates seamlessly with these coordinator tools.


Fitness File is:

Useful: Instructors can enter students' scores, keep track of their tests, and generate reports that they can send to you.
Simple: It's easy to use, so you and your instructors can spend more time helping kids get fit!
Secure: Fitness File is an Adobe AIR app, which means all student data will be stored on your local computer and will not reside on our server.
Rewarding: Your students will be eligible for our three awards, and you'll help them develop healthy habits for a lifetime.
FREE: Need we say more?



Exercise your creativity by entering our Poster Contest!  

Take part in a new kind of challenge by entering our first ever Poster Contest!  Each year the President's Challenge produces a poster that can be used by individuals and groups to promote the program. These posters serve as a primary means for promoting the program in schools, communities, businesses-- anywhere the President's Challenge is offered.  


We need a theme for our 2011-2012 poster!  Each year we attach a theme to the poster and weave it throughout our materials. We look forward to seeing what you can imagine. Be creative, be fun, and be unique when coming up with your entry.  


Create your own slogan for the poster and we might even use it on things like t-shirts and other merchandise. It should incorporate physical activity, fitness and nutrition.


The contest is open to anyone interested in participating.  All entries must be submitted by May 31, 2011. Entries will only be accepted electronically at Entries should include name of a contact person, school/organization,address, email and phone.  Learn more. 



The President's Challenge dives into AAHPERD National Conference "Oceans of Opportunity"  

 For the week of March 28th, members of the President's Challenge management team headed to San Diego for the 126th National AAHPERD Convention and Expo.  The staff showcased our program in the expo. 25 lucky attendees who stopped by the President's Challenge booth won the opportunity to meet PCFSN Co-Chair Drew Brees.


Brees made a second appearance at the Let's Move in School (LMIS) Showcase.  In PETCO Park, Brees teamed up with other prominent athletes, Carl Lewis and Tracy Austin, to show support for the first-ever national event to celebrate LMIS. Brees lead hundreds of San Diego elementary, middle, and high-school students in a 'wake-up warm-up' provided by HopSports.   

PC with Drew Brees

Members of the President's Challenge Staff with Drew Brees.

Click here to view more photos from the conference. 


More join the Million PALA Challenge

Every day, more and more people are starting or completing the Challenge.  See how the following organizations are striving to make a difference and help us reach our goal for a more active and healthier nation.

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture has set a goal to have 100,000 4-H members complete the Challenge by September 2011.  To encourage participation, the National 4-H council has teamed up with Kraft Foods to offer incentives for all the counties that sponsor 4-H.  As the parent organization of 4-H, the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) intends to have its employees participate as well throughout April and May.  Read more.  
  • is making it easy for people to join and complete the Challenge.  They offer a "Couch-to-5K" plan to help individuals train for a 5K run, walk, or wheel.  If you've ever wanted to complete a 5K, but weren't sure where to start, this could be a good place to begin.  For adults, the plan involves just 30 minutes a day, three days a week, so with two additional days of activity-any type of activity, you can easily help us reach our Million PALA goal. Learn more. 
  • The Million PALA Challenge has gone bi-lingual thanks to Discovery Familia, an all-Spanish channel with content designed for moms.  The website contains videos and information - all in Spanish - to encourage participation in the Challenge.  Check out the website. 

Visit the new home site of the Million PALA Challenge.  Get started earning your PALA today!  Or, if you've already earned your award, direct your friends and family to the website so they can be part of reaching our goal of 1,000,000 award earners.  The website explains how to get involved in the program and contains resources, updates, FAQs, and more!


Are you on Facebook?  If so, you are just one click away from "liking" the Million PALA Challenge.  We need your help to reach our goal. Visit the Million PALA Facebook page and click the  "like" button to help us spread the word about this awesome initiative.  You can also follow the Million PALA Challenge on Twitter.  

Before it's too late, get your registration in to host a Box Tops for Education Family Fitness Night

whistleRegistration for hosting a Box Tops for Education (BTFE) "Family Fitness Night" ends May 31, so get yours in while you still have the chance.


If you host a Family Fitness night, BTFE will provide you with an easy-to-use toolkit with information and guidance for planning your Family Fitness Night. The two main focus areas are: fitness and nutrition. Several age-appropriate activities are suggested, but this program is flexible enough to suit your school's interests.


BTFE will also provide your school with prizes to give away the night of your event.  They want to make if fun for kids to learn about ways to be more active in their everyday lives. Simple nutrition information is also provided.


Give yourself six to eight weeks to plan and promote your event. This way, you can encourage students, families, and faculty to participate in the Million PALA Challenge.  If they partake all 6 weeks and earn their award, you can recognize them at your Family Fitness Night with the PALA certificates and emblems provided in your Family Fitness Night toolkit. 


Please note that in order to receive prizes and posters, you will need to register your event at least four weeks prior to your event date. 


Participation is limited to 8,000 schools, so register today  to make sure you are part of that group!


red arrowDownload this FREE Famlly Fitness Night flier and get started on planning your event.






Our Trek water bottle will help you stay hydrated and cool as temperatures begin to rise.  This 20-ounce, BPA-free aluminum sports bottle featuring a carabiner clip, screw top, and President's Challenge logo is a convenient and sustainable way to carry water while on the go.


For information on how to order the Trek water bottle or any of our other fitness products, visit our online shopping center.


red arrowPRICE: $8.95


Back to Top 




Join the move-ment by hosting a Let's Move in School event during National Physical Education and Sport week

Let's Move in School.jpgwhistleThe PCFSN is a proud federal supporter of the Let's Move in School (LMIS) national initiative to increase physical activity before, during, and after school. Register your school to host a LMIS celebration during National Physical Education and Sport Week. .


Schools can choose from a variety of fun activities that will get students moving and bring attention to the importance of physical education and physical activity.  To register a school celebration, find out more about the initiative, and access promotional videos, tools and more, visit



NSCA Award Honors Superior Achievement in High School Strength & Conditioning
Applications are now being accepted for the
2011 Strength of America Award, and must be received no later than May 15. The PCFSN and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) are working together to honor high schools that represent the gold standard in strength and conditioning programs.

Strength of American Award

Previous Strength of America Award winners with PCFSN Executive Director Shellie Y. Pfohl.


The Strength of America Award recognizes superior achievement among high schools in four major categories: Supervision, Education, Program, and Facilities. The goal is to acknowledge those schools whose strength and conditioning programs exceed the recommended national standards published by the NSCA - the nation's only accredited strength and conditioning association..

Submissions are evaluated against the NSCA's guidelines for high school strength and conditioning program design and implementation, which are included in the application packet. Top programs are honored during the NSCA's National Conference Awards Banquet in early July and receive a certificate suitable for framing as well as a banner to be hung in the facility.



Back to Top 


*NEW SECTION!* Ask an Expert!


Do you have questions about fitness, nutrition or the President's Challenge?

This is your chance to get some answers! 

Looking for nutrition information? Want some new ideas about improving your Youth Fitness Testing? Interested in more ideas for incorporating the Challenge into your school or workplace?  Curious about ways to adapt exercises to fit your personal fitness level and abilities?  Wanting to learn about health and fitness geared toward older Americans?   Have concerns about weight loss or calorie consumption?  Trying to determine energy expenditure for various activities?


Now is the time to find out!  Submit your questions along with your name by clicking on the link below, and in an upcoming issue we will supply comprehensive answers from our Science Board. The board's members are leading scholars in physical activity, health, sports, and nutrition.Learn more about the Science Board's members. 


red arrow


Submit your question by clicking here.

Your question and its response will then be featured in future issues of FIF.



Back to Top 


Upcoming Events and Deadlines 



PCFSN Meeting

May 10, 10:00 a.m. EDT  

Washington, DC

Kennedy Caucus Room, Russell Senate Office Building

This meeting of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition is open to the public and will include the announcement of Board of Directors of the National Foundation on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. RSVP by May 6 to


Physical Education Program (PEP) Grant Deadline


May 13

Your school could receive $100,000 to $750,000.  Learn more or submit your application today.

youth expo

Youth Fitness Expo

May 14

Everett, WA

This FREE Expo offers an interactive experience for youth and their families.  Known and new ideas will be showcased to inspire and enhance youth health and fitness. Free sport bag for the first 500 youth, giveaways of summer camps, and much more!  Visit or Facebook: YouthFitnessExpo for more details.


National Center for Safe Routes to School Mini-grants Deadline
May 18, 2011

The National Center for Safe Routes to School is now accepting applications for 25 mini-grants of $1,000 each.  The mini-grants will fund creative, youth-focused activities that meet a school's needs and interests around safe walking and rolling to school.  Funded activities may range from foundational efforts that start or sustain a program to new ideas that explore the range of benefits of safe walking and bicycling.  Eligible activities will occur at an elementary or middle school in Fall 2011 and will support the overall goal of Safe Routes to School programs ─ to enable and encourage children nationwide to safely walk and bicycle to school. Recipients will be notified by Monday, June 6, 2011. Learn more or apply.  


Deadline for Early Bird Registration for the 3rd Safe Routes to School National Conference


May 31 

Early bird registration ($300) and call for presentations are now open for the 3rd Safe Routes to School (SRTS) National Conference August 16 - 18, 2011, in Minneapolis, MN.  Whatever your experience level with SRTS, you're invited to attend this dynamic conference, advance your important work and build the connections-in your schools, on your streets and in your communities. Learn more or register. 


ACSM Annual Meeting

May 31 - June 4

Denver, CO

Learn more. 


Olympic Day Celebrations

June 18 - 26

It's not too early to begin planning Olympic Day celebrations in your local  parks and recreation programs!  From June 18-26, 2011, communities across the United States will celebrate Olympic Day through educational programming and other activities.  The goal of Olympic Day is to promote Olympic values and participation in sports across the globe regardless of age, gender or athletic ability.   Register to Host an Olympic Day! 


This year host your very own Olympic Day celebration and support fitness and well-being in your community!  To help you stage a memorable Olympic Day in your city, the USOC will provide the following complimentary services and resources:

  • Assistance in contacting a local Olympian, Paralympian or hopeful to speak at your event  
  • Your own USO
  • Host toolkit that will provide you with everything you need to host your very own Olympic Day celebration and an account representative to assist you in planning your event  

For any questions about Olympic Day and NRPA, please contact Shelley O'Brien. For additional information specifically on Olympic Day, please visit the Olympic Day website or contact Keith Bryant at 719.866.4535.



Get ready for National Physical Fitness and Sports Month!

Sponsored by the PCFSN, this national health observance is the perfect time to promote physical activity. Take a look at the May 2011 toolkit offered by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to see how you can take advantage of this observance to promote healthier, more active lifestyles.


The month offers a variety of opportunities to promote physical activity:



Additionally, the entire month is also Employee Health and Fitness Month, as sponsored by the National Association for Health and Fitness (NAHF) and ACTIVE life.


Also, take a peek at our guide in the Get Active section to see how you can literally "get active" in honor of National Physical Fitness and Sport Month!


red arrowOngoing Events

Be the one in one million!   

Sign up today to help us meet our Million PALA.  Every person counts, so encourage your family, friends, and colleagues to join in as well!  Those who earn their PALA will have access to a free, limited-edition e-certificate.  Award winners can fill in their name and date on the certificate before printing. Encourage schools in your area to host a Box Tops for Education Family Fitness Night as a fun way to help students and their families earn their PALA!


Back to Top  


GET ACTIVE                                                


Celebrate National Physical Fitness and Sports Month...



Take the adult fitness test

Find out how you measure up in terms of health-related fitness!  Composed of four separate sections, the test requires minimal time and equipment.


The links below will take you to detailed instructions and tips on performing each test event. Or you can download and print off the Instruction Booklet (pdf).

Adult fit testComplete the Pre-participation Screening Questionnaire  provided by the American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine to decide if it is safe for you to take these tests. When you are ready to test, download the data collection form. You do not have to complete all the tests at once. Be sure to warm-up before you perform each event.


After you have completed the test, enter your data online to receive an evaluation. Later, you can take the test over again and compare your results to see how your fitness has changed.  



Use the following ideas from the Let's Move campaign to make your family an active family:

    • Lets MoveGive children toys that encourage physical activity like balls, kites, and jump ropes.
    • Encourage children to join a sports team or try a new physical activity.
    • Turn off the TV and keep the TV out of a child's bedroom.
    • Facilitate a safe walk to and from school a few times a week.
    • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
    • Walk around the block after a meal.
    • Make a new house rule: no sitting still during television commercials.
    • Find time to spend together doing a fun activity: family park day, swim day or bike day.
    • Issue a family challenge to see who can be the first to achieve a Presidential Active Lifestyle Award by committing to physical activity five days a week, for six weeks. Adults and children can both receive the award!
    • Volunteer to help with afterschool physical activity programs or sports teams.
    • Be sure that children get the sleep they need. Most children under age five need to sleep for 11 hours or more per day, children age five to ten need 10 hours of sleep or more per day, and children over age 10 need at least nine hours per day.
    • Learn how engaging in outside activities can be fun and affordable for families through Let's Move Outside, which promotes a range of healthy outdoor activities for children and families across the country.



Take part in AAHPERD's National Physical Education and Sport Week May 1 - 7

Register your school for a Let's Move in School Event.  The first 10,000 schools to register will receive a LMIS poster.  Schools can choose from a variety of fun activities that will get students moving and bring attention to the importance of physical education and physical activity. 


You can also complete the daily activities suggested by AAHPERD:


Day 1

Celebrating Skillful Movement

Day 2

Celebrating the Moving Brain

Day 3

Celebrating a Fit Body

Day 4

Celebrating Moving in Harmony

Day 5

Celebrating Moving as One


Take part in the concurrent celebration of Employee Health and Fitness Month


Employee Health & Fitness Month (EHFM) is an international and national observance of health and fitness in the workplace, created by two non-profit organizations, the National Association for Health and Fitness and ACTIVE Life. The goal of EHFM is to promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to employers and their employees through worksite health promotion activities and environments.


Formerly National Employee Health & Fitness Day, Employee Health & Fitness Month has been extended to a month-long initiative in an effort to generate sustainability for a healthy lifestyle and initiate healthy activities on an ongoing basis.

Employers everywhere are invited to participate in EHFM using the suggested activities listed below and to log those activities on the EHFM website.

    • Healthy Moments...are occasions of healthy eating, physical activity, or personal/environmental health. Examples include: going for a walk; cooking a healthy meal; participating in an exercise class; quitting smoking; scheduling a health assessment and going to the doctor.  These occur daily or even multiple times a day and are created by individuals and groups. 
    • Healthy Groups...are formed to create a sustainable activity continuing even beyond the month. Examples include: walking, jogging or cycling interest groups; healthy recipe or healthy lunch groups; sports teams.
    • The Culminating an event or project that promotes health throughout the whole company or community. Examples include: planning a company 5K; planting a community garden; creating a company or family fitness event; adopting a company-wide physical activity standard or policy.  This is executed at the end of May. 

Why should employers participate?  EHFM is a great way to kickoff wellness and fitness programs, and bring excitement and complement existing programs. Worksite wellness programs have been shown to benefit the employer through enhanced employee productivity, improved health care costs, reduced employee absenteeism, and decreased rates of illness and injuries. These programs benefit employees by lowering stress levels, increasing well-being, self-image, and self-esteem, improving physical fitness, increasing stamina, increasing job satisfaction, and potentially reducing weight.

EHFM provides fun and innovative ways to incorporate wellness at the workplace. Benefits of EHFM include:

      Free tool kit provided to wellness coordinators to help guide activities and events

      Promotional items advertising EHFM to employees

      Ability to log and track moments, groups, and projects

     Option to implement friendly competitions and challenges to increase motivation and build teamwork

      Simple and adaptable to any wellness and fitness program

      Create sustainable healthy programs, environments, and policies


For more information visit or contact:


Brenda Loube

Principal/Founder, Corporate Fitness Works

Diane H. Hart

Hart to Heart Fitness

President and Eastern Regional Director, NAHF 



Back to Top  


Awards and Contests

Video contest seeks to show how people with disabilities get enough activity

"How do you get enough?" is a current video contest sponsored by the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD).  Because people with disabilities tend to have more limited opportunities for physical activity, the NCPAD has developed this video contest "to illustrate to society that people with disabilities do live healthy active lifestyles as well as share various ways to get physical activity for individuals with disabilities and activity limitations." All entries must be submitted by May 13, 2011. 

Read more about the contest rules and eligibility. 


Back to Top  


News and Research


Biking your way to savings in health care and fuel

As gas prices and health care costs continue to skyrocket, biking could be a viable solution.  The city of Portland has invested heavily in biking over the last two decades.  Through the creation of hundreds of miles of interconnecting bike paths, Portland has made it possible for its residents to commute via bike to most locations throughout the city. A recent analysis published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health shows that these investments will pay off.  The research indicated that by 2040, Portland could achieve savings of $388 to $594 million and fuel savings of $143 to $218 million. Read more. 


red arrow


Last issue, for our Question of the Month we asked what activity you were most excited about being able to resume as we enter these warmer months.  Biking was the most popular answer.  Scroll down to see other responses and answer our new question of the month.

Back to Top  




Get the Facts: Snack Attack


New generation of adolescents brings new generation of snacking, but BMIs remain unaffected

This information was compiled from the Dietary Brief, "Snacking Patterns of U.S. Adolescents" from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for 2005-2006. For more Dietary Briefs, click here.



Back to Top  




Question of the Month for April 

Now that spring is almost here and temperatures are warming up again, what activity are you most excited to resume in the great outdoors?

April question of the month   



What is your favorite healthy snack? Click here to respond! 


  Back to Top  


Special Feature

PC Advocate  appears on The Biggest Loser with Patrick House for "Pound for Pound Challenge"


Patrick House, winner of Season 10 of The Biggest Loser, made a return appearance on the March 22 episode of the hit NBC showing a special segment for The Pound For Pound Challenge, an effort to reduce hunger across the United States.  For every pound an individual, organization, or team pledges to lose, the Pound For Pound Challenge will donate 11� to Feeding America - enough to secure one pound of groceries on behalf of local food banks.


patrick house
Click on the image above to view footage of House (in blue) interacting with students and staff at Mindstream for the Pound for Pound Challenge.

As part of the episode, the show's producers decided to go to House's hometown, Bluffington, SC, to film at Mindstream Academy.  Mindstream Academy, a PC Advocate, is a coed boarding program focused on helping overweight teens "achieve healthy weight, get fit, and build self-esteem by nurturing their mind, body and spirit" (see our Featured Advocate section below to learn more).


A film crew arrived on the campus of MindStream Academy March 1 to film House engaging in a fitness routine with students and faculty.  The show also included one-on-one interviews with Ray Travaglione, the CEO and Founder of Mindstream, and staff member Nicole Borkoski. 


After concluding filming at the school, House and the film crew travelled to America's Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia in Savannah, GA. The faculty and staff of Mind-Stream Academy volunteered to pledge for the benefit of Second Harvest, so the episode showed House and the Mindstream staff volunteering at the local food bank.


When reflecting on the experience, House said, "Both organizations have amazing missions. MindStream Academy is creating lifelong change for overweight teens, and The Pound for Pound Challenge is fighting to end hunger. The pairing of these two groups together addresses both sides of our society's issues with food, and I am very excited about the difference we can make in many people's lives while working together."


House plans to continue involvement with Mindstream at their summer camp, during which teens will have the opportunity to spend their summer with House, get fit, and get on the path towards a healthy life.


As they continue with their Pound for Pound Challenge, Mindstream has offered an open invitation to join their Pound for Pound Challenge team. Email to receive your invitation.  Mindstream is also participating in the Million PALA Challenge.


For more information: contact Mathew Bodie or 843-757-2360.


  Back to Top  


Featured Advocate of the Month

MindStream Academy


MindStream Academy is a fun, innovative co-ed boarding school program where teens achieve a healthy weight, get fit and build self-esteem by nurturing their mind, body and spirit. Through their four components of counseling, fitness, nutrition and academics they bring about true life change and long-term success. By focusing on the whole person as opposed to just weight,  the program truly stands out.  Incentives include positive encouragement, 24/7 support, and a steadfast commitment to helping teens incorporate exercise into their lives on a daily basis.


To learn more, visit:


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.   


Back to Top 


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

Back to Top