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 State of Fitness Readiness: 
A National Security Crisis
(September 2001)

Waving USA Flag

This one’s from the gut although there are many studies to support my comments.  Think about our current state of affairs in America.  We might be going to war.  The ability to battle when called upon takes a certain state of readiness.  Now think about our state of readiness for “fitness.”  It takes a lot of fitness—strength and endurance—to be a soldier.  We are calling up our enlisted men and women; however, if we need more, who will be fit enough to go?  We are less fit and more overweight than ever in this country.  Our lack of fitness and physical readiness is now a national security crisis.  In California, over one million children have been tested in the FitnessGram Program.  California kids were tested in six major areas: aerobic capacity, body composition, upper body strength, abdominal strength, trunk strength, and flexibility.  80% of our kids did not meet the “minimum” fitness standards!  And by the way, Bakersfield kids are some of the least fit and most overweight in the state. 

I have a classmate at CSUN who teaches elementary PE in Los Angeles.  She said every year she has to fight with the principal to justify her job because the school wants to cut out PE at her elementary school; this is ridiculous.  Have you looked at our kids lately?  There are too many kids overweight, if not obese, and extremely unfit.  These kids are the people who will be protecting your national security in the future…how do you feel about that?  

Next time you hear of schools cutting physical education and activity, think of the national state of fitness readiness needed to defend our freedom—then get those kids off the couch, off junk food, and into a fitness program…before it’s too late.

FitnessGram Results (search by region, county, or city)

FitnessGram News Release (Delaine Easton, CA Superintendent of Public Instruction)

FitnessGram Letter (Delaine Easton, CA Superintendent of Public Instruction)

 Child Health & Fitness Websites 

7 Tips to Motivate Young to Exercise (National Safety Council)

American Sports Institute (Promoting honor & sportsmanship in youth sports)

Child Obesity: A Growing National Problem (DrKoop.Com)

Fitness.Gov (President's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports)

Health Finder Kids (US Dept. Health & Human Services Website for kids)

Kids Running.Com (Sponsored by Runner's World Magazine)

PASS Program (Promoting Achievement in School Through Sport/American Sports Institute)

PE Central (A One-Stop for Great PE Lessons & Ideas!)

Physical Activity & Health Report (US Surgeon General & CDC)

Physical Fitness Guide for Kids & Teens (American Medical Association & American Academy of Pediatrics)

Pizza Explorer (Purdue University interactive food science site for kids)

SPARK (Sports, Play, & Active Recreation for Kids K-6 Program by the SDSU Foundation)

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(Updated 3-22-04)

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