For Immediate Release: Monday, January 28, 2008
Media Contact: Jason Gibbs
BURLINGTON – Scott Wheeler and his three kids spent opening day of ice fishing season last year doing 100-yard sprints from a warm fishing shanty to bait a hook on the ice of Lake Memphremagog. As part of the "Stretch Your Limits" Fit and Healthy Kids Winter Challenge, Governor Jim Douglas commended the Wheeler kids for the creative way they found to exercise.
"I applaud the spirit of any young Vermonter who sprints back and forth from a warm shanty to a bait hook,” Gov. Douglas said. “Every year we offer a challenge for kids to exercise in the wintertime, we are always surprised at the resilient and creative ways they find to ramp up their physical activity.”
The “Stretch Your Limits” challenge, a seasonal program of the Fit and Healthy Kids Initiative and the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, runs through March 15. Hockey, figure skating, snowshoeing, skiing or snowboarding, or indoor activities like basketball or volleyball, or weight lifting are just a few of the activities tracked by kids, and submitted to the Governor for the chance to win gubernatorial prizes and recognition.
Coordinated by the Vermont Department of Health, the Fit and Healthy Kids Initiative is a comprehensive approach to promote healthy eating and increased physical activity among Vermont’s children and their families. Studies show that children who eat well and exercise perform better in school and avoid chronic and costly diseases as adults.
For more information about the Stretch Your Limits Challenge and to download the form, go to http://www.vermontfitness.org/activities.html.
Scott Wheeler and his family are just one example of Vermonters who inspire everyone around them to get out and move more during the winter time.
“I do things like ice fishing pretty much the same reasons most of us who live here refuse to let winter drive us away—a love of the Northeast Kingdom, fierce stubbornness, and – at least in my case – a little bit of foolishness,” Wheeler said.
For more information about the Fit and Healthy Kids initiative and childhood obesity, visit the Vermont Department of Health website at http://healthvermont.gov.