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Healthy Futures Month

Effective Date: Friday, February 1st, 2013

WHEREAS, regular physical activity is essential for the health and well-being of people of all ages; and

WHEREAS, the benefits of regular physical activity include a reduced risk of obesity, developing heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and several types of cancer; and

WHEREAS, for children, regular physical activity and a healthy diet are important to a young person’s emotional and physical health. Research shows that a sound exercise regime can promote greater self-confidence, reduce anxiety, increase concentration, and leads to a stronger academic performance among children; and

WHEREAS, since 1980, obesity rates among children and adolescents have tripled nationwide, and approximately 67 percent of Alaskan adults are now considered overweight or obese. Today, approximately three in ten children in Alaska are considered overweight or obese; and

WHEREAS, it is critical that adults model and encourage healthy lifestyle habits for Alaska’s youth. Adults can teach children that being physically active is fun, and parents can make it a priority to plan and participate in physical activity with their children and limit recreational time spent watching television and using computers, and

WHEREAS, started in 2003, Healthy Futures Challenge’s mission is to empower Alaska’s grade school children to establish a habit of daily physical activity and to support parents and schools in accomplishing that mission; and

WHEREAS, participants in the Healthy Futures Challenge will be encouraged to incorporate an extra 30 minutes of vigorous physical activity into their daily routines at least three times per week. This three- month challenge will include more than 10,000 students from at least 142 schools across the state who will be encouraged to “play every day” and keep a log of their physical activities.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sean Parnell, Governor of the State of Alaska, do hereby proclaim February 2013 as:

Healthy Futures Month

in Alaska, and call upon Alaska’s parents, educators, and community members to join our youth and participate in this year’s Healthy Futures Challenge from February through April of this year. Together, we can build good habits of daily physical activity that lead to healthy futures for Alaska’s children.

Dated: February 1, 2013

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