Famous athletes urge American children to exercise

March 21, 2011

Famous athletes urge American children to exercise.

Dominique Dawes Three-time Olympian and co-chair of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition

In many schools, kids are only getting one hour a week of physical activity. If you’re a young child, the guidelines are 60 minutes a day, five days a week. We are encouraging parents to start realizing how much of a role model they are to their kids, teachers to realize how much of a role model they are to their students and every adult out there to realize that we’ve got to get moving.

Go to PresidentsChallenge.org. The awesome thing is, is if you commit to the 30 minutes a day as an adult, five days a week for six weeks, you’ll get a certificate from the president. It’s signed by the president, it’s signed by myself and by Drew Brees [quarterback for the New Orleans Saints]. More importantly, it’s going to kick off a healthy lifestyle for you.

The President’s Challenge is not about targeting that future college athlete or future Olympian. It’s walking and skipping and jumping rope. I had the privilege of jumping rope with the first lady in a public school in the D.C. area — and the kids had a blast. And you can tell a number of them had never jumped rope before.

Greg Jennings Wide receiver, Green Bay Packers

I run a football camp each year. We really run the camp so kids can get out of the house, get off the iPads and the iPods and all the game cubes, so they can be active for five, six hours of the day.

I have three daughters. And my wife and I, we’re always trying to think of innovative ways to enhance our eating habits at home. Because, as you all know, if you have kids, it’s a struggle. Once you feed them a little bit of the dark side, they never want to come back to what’s really right.

Ray Rice Running back, Baltimore Ravens

One thing I’ve seen around the Baltimore community where I’m based, when I go to schools I’ve seen change. You see the kids ready to embrace the challenge. I’ve been to many schools where they did like walk-a-thons — even the roughest of schools.

Everyone plays a part. Who we are off the field demonstrates what we want to do to help these kids out. When I get to the children, being that I’m involved in the “NFL Play 60,” I tell them the same thing: eating breakfast, staying fit, doing the right things on and off the field. I definitely know that my health and eating right contributes to my success on the field. It contributes to your success in the classroom. It contributes to you thinking right, doing the right things.

So, when I get to the kids, the message is clear: Get out there and be active 60 minutes a day. Try to eat three or four good meals a day. And that’s not putting junk in your body.

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