CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (May 2, 2013) — A lifetime of being active can begin on the way to school, and participating in Bike to School Day can be a great way to introduce children to this fun physical activity. Now the National Center for Safe Routes to School announces a way to enhance and extend that healthy Bike to School Day habit.
The National Center is partnering with the President’s Challenge Program, which helps people of all ages and abilities improve their overall health and fitness through a suite of recognition programs, to encourage children and families to be physically active and maintain a healthy lifestyle, beginning with National Bike to School Day on May 8.
In support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to end childhood obesity within a generation, the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition is challenging Americans of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to achieve the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA+), one of the programs of the President’s Challenge.
The National Center is proud to be an advocate of this program. PALA+ promotes physical activity AND good nutrition, because it takes both to lead a healthy lifestyle. Participation in PALA+ is one way for individuals to get their recommended amount of daily activity and to meet healthy eating goals and Bike to School Day is a great opportunity for families to celebrate that healthy habit!
To complete the physical activity goals for PALA+, school-aged children must be active for at least 60 minutes a day and adults must be active for at least 30 minutes a day, for five days a week and for six out of eight weeks. The nutrition component requires participants to add a weekly healthy eating goal and build upon those goals throughout the same six-week period. Individuals who achieve the physical activity and healthy eating goals will receive a certificate signed by the Council co-chairs, NFL quarterback Drew Brees and three-time Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes.
Families can sign up for and track their physical activity and healthy eating goals through the President’s Council’s website at http://fitness.gov/participate-in-programs/pala.
“The National Center is pleased to be partnering with the President’s Challenge to provide health and fitness encouragement to families participating in Bike to School Day and other walking and biking to school activities,” said Lauren Marchetti, Director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School. “Bike to School Day can be a launching pad for families to make new fitness and health commitments while being part of a fun, community-supported event.”
Bike to School Day event registration is free at www.walkbiketoschool.org and open to all individuals and/or organizations planning a 2013 Bike to School Day event in the United States. Registering a Bike to School Day event provides organizers access to a variety of downloadable materials, including stickers, certificates, badges and classroom activities.
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About the President’s Challenge Program
The President’s Challenge is the premier program of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition administered through a co-sponsorship agreement with the Amateur Athletic Union. The President’s Challenge helps people of all ages and abilities improve their overall health and fitness through a suite of recognition programs, research-based information, easy-to-use tools, and friendly motivation. For more information about the President’s Challenge, visit www.presidentschallenge.org.
About National Bike to School Day
Bike to School Day (www.walkbiketoschool.org) is a national event that gives communities across the country the opportunity to join together in bicycling to school on the same day. The event, an exciting celebration for both those new to the experience and those who have been two-wheeling to school for years, is part of the movement for year-round safe routes to school, and encourages bicycling to school as a healthy way for kids and families to make their school commute. As it did in 2012, the second annual National Bike to School Day builds on the excitement surrounding National Bike Month, led by the League of American Bicyclists each May.
About the National Center for Safe Routes to School
Established in May 2006, the National Center for Safe Routes to School assists states and communities in enabling and encouraging children to safely walk and bicycle to school. The National Center serves as the information clearinghouse for the federal Safe Routes to School program with funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. Part of the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, the National Center also provides technical support and resources and coordinates online registration efforts for U.S. Walk to School Day and facilitates worldwide promotion and participation. For more information, visit www.saferoutesinfo.org.
National Center for Safe Routes to School