Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

September 2, 2010

DPHHS urges Montanans to join President's Challenge on-line program

HELENA The Department of Public Health and Human Services is encouraging all Montanans to get involved in the President's Challenge, a new on-line program that urges youth and adults to make physical activity part of their everyday lives.

The program is free for all Americans.

Montanans of all activity levels and ages can participate by choosing from nearly 100 pursuits, from fishing to hiking, and begin earning points with their favorite activities. A total of four programs are offered to suit various interests and abilities including a Physical Fitness Test, Health Fitness Test, Active Lifestyle Program and Presidential Champions Program.

"These programs are designed to help all of us achieve a healthier body and mind and to make every day better," said Anna Whiting Sorrell, Director of the Department of Public Health and Human Services.

It is simple and fun: set a goal and track your performance over time to earn special Presidential awards recognizing your accomplishments.

"The more active you are the more points you collect to earn these awards," Whiting Sorrell said. "Challenge your family, friends, and yourself to earn a Presidential award and compete with each other for fun and a healthier lifestyle."

DPHHS Cardiovascular Health Program supervisor Mark Niebylski said it's important to exercise regularly. "We all need to learn that physical activity is aerobic muscle-building and bone building activity, and must be done on a consistent basis," he said. "The time is ripe for all of us to participate in the Presidential Challenge!"

According to the CDC 2010 Physical Activity Report, Montana ranked No.1 in the nation in the percentage of highly active adults. This is defined as adults who achieve more than 300 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or 150 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity or an equivalent.

"This is great news, since the President's Challenge offers the chance to keep us at the top by staying or becoming more active to achieve better health," Niebylski said.

Clinical Guidelines recommend adults get a minimum of 30 minutes a day on at least 5 days per week of moderate exercise (like walking or gardening) or intense physical activity (like jogging or swimming). It's recommended that adolescents and youth get a minimum of 60 minutes a day of moderate or intense physical activity.

For more information about the President's Challenge or to participate, go to http://presidentschallenge.org and click on "Get Started".

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