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Take the Summer Fitness Challenge

What are you up to this summer? Are you movin’ and shakin’? It’s easy to let the summer heat keep you from playing outside – maybe one of the reasons I took up figure skating was to stay cool in the summer. OK, that might not be 100% true, but having dedicated such a large part of my life to my sport, I know how important physical activity is for your body, mind, and spirit.

That’s why I was thrilled and honored to be appointed by President Obama to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. It gives me an opportunity to help spread the fitness and nutrition message across America. You’re probably wondering – what exactly is the Council and how can I get involved?

The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition is a committee of 25 volunteers – people like me and Dominique Dawes and Drew Brees – who advise President Obama through Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius. Our goal is to get all Americans—especially young people—to lead active, healthy lifestyles. We want everyone regardless of age, background or ability to get moving, eat right, and stay fit for life. We help out in many ways, but one of my favorites is The Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA).

The PALA is awarded to kids who complete 60 minutes of physical activity per day and adults who complete 30 minutes per day, five days a week for six weeks. There are lots of activities you can choose from – including my favorite, figure skating – and here are just a few others:

  • Go to the park with a friend or family member
  • Take your dog out for a walk
  • Join a sports team
  • Play tag with kids in your neighborhood

To make this easy and a bit more fun, the United We Serve: Let’s Read. Let’s Move team has created an online group for you to track your activity with other kids and adults from all over the country. To learn more and to join the United We Serve team, visit here.

The Challenge starts next Wednesday – July 28st – so you have a week to get your friends and parents involved.

You don’t have to be an Olympian to get fit. Whether you take a walk in the park or a spin around the rink, join us in taking the President’s Challenge for a fun and active summer. Let’s all get moving!

Figure skating champion Michelle Kwan is a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition

Cross-posted from