LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The Fitness Challenge Foundation has taken the initial step towards getting our nation’s children in better shape. The not-for-profit organization has partnered with the California State University system to implement a first of its kind initiative that will provide physical activities programs for elementary schools. This innovative model is already being considered by numerous other states who want to replicate the program.

“Because of budget cuts, most schools have not had the funding necessary to ensure that our children are receiving the proper amount of weekly exercise,” stated John Abdo, spokesperson for The Fitness Challenge Foundation and renowned fitness expert. “This lack of activity combined with the trend toward sedentary after-school play has created the childhood obesity epidemic.”

“Our children are at a critical juncture now,” continued Abdo, an inductee into the Fitness Hall of Fame. “For the first time in our nation’s history we are facing the possibility of our children having a shorter life span than their parents. We must take a proactive role and stop sitting back and watching our youth fall into a future plagued with preventable diseases. The program the Fitness Challenge Foundation is implementing is a model I hope to see replicated nationwide.”

The Fitness Challenge Foundation has formed an innovative program that will provide instructors at no cost to the schools. The instructors will be a qualified CSU Kinesiology or equivalent student interns who will customize programs to fit their school’s needs. The program will consist of Physical Activity instruction focusing on the core elements of the State FitnessGram test: strength, flexibility, and aerobic capacity and state PE standards.

The pilot test results proved the effectiveness of this program by demonstrating an average 25% increase in the FitnessGram test scores among participating students.

The Fitness Challenge Foundation has been overwhelmed with requests from 135 elementary schools who want to be included in the program. Currently, the Foundation will be able to offer the initiative to the 60 schools receiving the lowest FitnessGram scores, with hopes to expand the program in the near future.

To interview John Abdo about this program or for other tips about motivating children and families to begin a more active lifestyle, please contact Dr. Ken Dachman at 847-424-9150.

[tags]The Fitness Challenge Foundation, John Abdo, Fitness Hall of Fame, school physical activities programs, Los Angeles news[/tags]