Olympian Dominique Dawes Combats Obesity

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New PSA from PCFSN and NRPA Highlights Importance of Physical Activity

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I am thrilled to participate in the Million PALA Challenge alongside partners like NRPA to promote healthy living for all Americans,'' said Dawes. ''By challenging more children and families to take control of their health, we are making great strides to battle obesity in America.

Combating obesity through physical activity and good nutrition is a top priority of First Lady Michelle Obama’s national Let’s Move! initiative. Now, a new challenge by the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) encourages Americans to get healthy by being physically active outdoors and in the process earn a Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA)!

PCFSN and NRPA have released a Public Service Announcement (PSA) featuring PCFSN Co-Chair and three-time Olympic Gymnast Dominique Dawes, PCFSN Executive Director Shellie Pfohl and NRPA CEO Barbara Tulipane, encouraging viewers to sign up for the challenge. NRPA is a key partner in the recently announced initiative by PCFSN and Let’s Move!—the ''Million PALA Challenge''—to get 1 million Americans of all ages to achieve the PALA between September 2010 and September 2011.

NRPA is dedicated to promoting healthy lifestyles and ensuring that all Americans have access to safe, convenient, and accessible physical and recreation opportunities. The PALA program awards participants who get out and do 30-60 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity per day—whether it’s walking, hiking, biking or playing a sport like soccer or baseball—at one of the more than 100,000 local public parks and recreation areas across the United States. Parks and recreation facilities are ideal for getting physically active because the opportunities for physical activity are endless.

''The opportunities for exercise that our public parks provide make them an essential element for our nation’s health and wellbeing,'' said Tulipane. ''Physical activity becomes contagious when you are in a park where everyone is moving.''

Earning a PALA is easy! Participants simply need to be physically active—60 minutes a day for kids (ages 6-17) and 30 minutes a day for adults—at least five days a week for six weeks. The Million PALA Challenge is open to everyone, from students to seniors, and is geared toward people who want to get on the path to a healthier lifestyle! To earn the PALA, participants must log their activities online at http://www.presidentschallenge.org .

First Lady Michelle Obama has already signed up and is working to achieve the PALA with the help of the First Family’s personal trainer, PCFSN Council member Cornell McClellan.

“I am thrilled to participate in the Million PALA Challenge alongside partners like NRPA to promote healthy living for all Americans,'' said Dawes. ''By challenging more children and families to take control of their health, we are making great strides to battle obesity in America.”

''Get out there, get creative, get moving and get healthy!'' added Tulipane.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL RECREATION AND PARK ASSOCIATION

The National Recreation and Park Association is a national, not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of 20,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy lifestyles, recreation initiatives, and conservation of natural and cultural resources.

For more information, visit http://www.nrpa.org . For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit http://www.parksandrec-magazine.org .

ABOUT THE PRESIDENT’S COUNCIL ON FITNESS, SPORTS AND NUTRITION

The President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN) is a committee of up to 25 volunteer citizens appointed by the President to serve in an advisory capacity through the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). Through its programs and partnerships with the public, private and non-profit sectors, PCFSN acts as a catalyst to promote healthy lifestyles through fitness, sports and nutrition programs and initiatives that educate, empower and engage Americans of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. For more information about the PCFSN, visit http://www.fitness.gov . The Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) is an award within PCFSN’s President’s Challenge Physical Activity and Fitness Awards Program. For more information about PALA, visit http://www.presidentschallenge.org .

Watch PSA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqT8iM6JGK4

Download PSA: http://www.nrpa.org/media/video/Dawesdownload.htm

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