Ed. Note: Yesterday First Lady Michelle Obama joined kids from the Washington, DC area to launch the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition and introduce the 2010 Council, including Co-Chairs Drew Brees, quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, and guest blogger Dominique Dawes, three-time Olympian and former U.S. national champion in women’s gymnastics.
In conjunction with the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative, this year President Obama has broadened the scope of the Council to include a focus on healthy eating as well as active lifestyles. The President signed an Executive Order outlining the Council’s new emphasis on both good nutrition and physical fitness.
Many of you have heard about my gymnastics career or even saw me grow up TV. But what you may not know is that following my Olympic achievements, I have dedicated my time to educating others about the importance of physical and emotional health.
So, yesterday I felt blessed to have the opportunity to co-chair the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition with Drew Brees.
If you have never heard of the President’s Council before, that’s ok, but you will hear a lot more from us now. Yesterday, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius swore in members of the new and improved Council established by President Obama and the First Lady. The First Lady later led Council members and children in a series of fitness and nutrition activities, including jump rope, juggling and making healthy snacks.
We have a new charge that not only focuses on getting Americans active, but also promotes the collective responsibility, accountability and health benefits of good nutrition. Good nutrition is key to being healthy, fit and strong. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, choosing whole grains and drinking water will give you the energy to power through your day.
We are challenging the American people to take control of their health. Think about how you get from one place to the next -- choose to bike or walk with co-workers instead of drive, to play with your friends in the park instead of turning on the computer after school, to do sit ups while watching TV (if you must watch TV), or to plant a garden with your neighbors instead of watching the grass grow, and eating those vegetables for lunch and dinner each day.
Everyone has an important role to play in this effort, and we’re calling on all Americans to choose to move and to help educate and activate those around you, including your children, your parents and grandparents, your co-workers, your co-worshippers, your neighbors, your entire community. It is our goal to make healthy eating and safe play accessible, affordable and attractive for everyone regardless of age, background or ability.
The first step is the most important step, and the next steps are always easier after that. Welcome to our new Fit Nation. It’s your turn. Visit www.Fitness.gov to learn more.
Dominique Dawes is three-time Olympian and President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition Co-Chair