NEW YORK (AP) - Jerry Rice still runs “The Hill.”
He wouldn’t mind having, oh, a million or so youngsters accompanying him on his grueling workouts.
The “60 Million Minutes Challenge” asks kids of all ages to pledge to be active for 60 minutes every day. It’s part of the NFL’s PLAY 60 program, a new initiative launched Monday.
“To reverse the trend of childhood obesity, we need to continue to educate kids and parents about the importance of 60 minutes of daily activity,” Rice said. “That’s what’s great about Kinect for Xbox 360. It gets kids off the couch and gets their whole body in the game.
“Being a healthy kid can lead to being a healthy adult.”
The folks at the NFL and Microsoft, which makes the video system central to this initiative, are offering incentives such as gift cards for merchandise and personalized autographs on Facebook to youngsters who join up.
Because the entire body is the controller through Kinect for Xbox 360, the amount of exercise a player gets easily dwarfs the more conventional approaches for video games in which the fingers and the wrists get the biggest workouts.
“This is something I am very enthusiastic about,” said Dr. Bill Crounse, a family physician and now Microsoft’s senior director or worldwide health. “Since I started as a physician in the early 1980s, we have seen about a tripling of the number of kids overweight or of childhood obesity … and it has to do with inactivity. I reflect back to when I was growing up and kids were always running around. This is a way of getting kids and their families more motivated to get active.”
More than 1,500 PLAY 60 youth events have been organized and the league has built more than 100 youth fitness zones. But that touches only a small segment of the population compared to what this program can attract.
Rice isn’t really asking kids to run “The Hill” with him, of course. Or is he?
He seriously emphasizes its importance in his development as one of the best players the NFL has seen.
“It’s a 2.5-mile uphill run,” the 49-year-old Rice said. “The training I used to do in the offseason helped make me the great player that I was. I always wanted to be in the best possible shape so that I had that extra edge when it was late in the game and other players were getting tired.”
Crounse recognizes that simply getting youngsters involved in the program won’t guarantee they will lose weight. They need to do more, including having healthy diets.View Entire Story
By Andrew P. Napolitano
The president's men trash the Constitution to pursue antagonists
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
A collection of reader guest articles, thoughts and opinions by Communities writers and breaking news and information.
News and opinion from a Millennial Urbanite with Southern sensibilities,
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention