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Dr. Koh throws out first pitch at the HHS “Night at the Ballpark!”

Late last month, I had the privilege of joining more than 2,300 fellow Health and Human Services (HHS) employees for a great night at the Washington Nationals’ baseball game and to promote a national movement to help our Nation get more active. And throwing out the first pitch was an added honor and joy!

It was a great opportunity to spend time with my fellow co-workers, as well as my family, to promote the importance of regular physical activity. Members of the HHS President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition and the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion hosted a booth to share information on how to incorporate messages from the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines into a healthy lifestyle. You can find the handouts here: Be Active Your Way and Let’s Eat.

I also spent time with Teddy, one of the National’s “Racing Presidents” mascots, who helped me tape an important message encouraging individuals to earn a Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA). You can watch our PSA here.

Last September, the “Million PALA Challenge” was launched as a one-year campaign to encourage one million or more Americans to sign up and earn the PALA by September 2011. To reach this goal, children need to engage in 60 minutes of physical activity a day and adults need 30 minutes, five days a week for six weeks.

More than 3,000 HHS employees so far accepted the challenge and earned PALA awards. It was our Department’s most successful physical activity challenge to date --- I'm well on my way to receiving my PALA award too.

Have you earned your PALA? Join me in the “Million PALA Challenge” and sign up today at

Dr Koh Throws Out First Pitch