Do you want to be in better shape? The president has dedicated the next 30 days to getting you there.

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, which U.S. policymakers have dedicated to promoting a fitter nation. Hosted by the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition — a who’s who of 25 Americans appointed by President Barack Obama to represent healthy lifestyles — the initiative is simple: to motivate all Americans to get more physical activity.

Drew Brees and Dominique Dawes

NFL quarterback Drew Brees and former U.S. Olympic gold medal gymnast Dominique Dawes are co-chairs on the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. Photo by Fitness.gov

The council has helped create challenges and incentives for fitness improvement, including:

  • PALA+ — a six-week program that includes physical activity guidelines — between 30 and 60 minutes five days per week — and one different nutrition goal per week.
  • the physical fitness test — which offers three awards to students who can complete five activities: pull-ups, sit-and-reach, endurance run or walk, shuttle run and curl-ups;
  • the adult fitness test — which evaluates fitness online through a test covering aerobic fitness, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and body composition; and
  • the Presidential Champions challenge — a free online activity tracker that awards points based on your specific physical activity, with achievers winning bronze, silver, gold and platinum medals.

According to Fitness.gov, only one in three children are physically active every day, while children spend an average of more than 7 1/2 hours per day in front of a TV, computer or video-game screen. Additionally, only one in three adults gets the recommended amount of physical activity per week.

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