The PALA+ Challenge officially launched last Saturday at Let's Move! DeKalb. Even if you missed the Olympic Fun Day excitement at Let's Move! DeKalb, you still have a chance to join in the PALA+ Challenge. All you need to know is right here, so read through, post any questions in the reply section, and get moving!
What is PALA+?
PALA stands for Presidential Active Lifestyle Award, a national program of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. The program's goal is to increase physical activity and improve eating habits across the nation.
How does it work?
Each week you will choose a different nutrition goal including: increasing whole grains, fruits, veggies, lean protein, water intake, reducing sodium, and monitoring portion size. Then make a commitment to weekly physical activity: 30 mins, 5 days a week for adults, and 60 mins, 5 days a week for kids ages 6-17. You will have to meet these requirements for six out of eight weeks, and track your progress online to earn your award.
What are the nutrition goals?
Choose one of the following each week:
1. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. All forms count—fresh, frozen, canned (fruit in water or 100 percent juice), dried, or 100 percent juice.
2. Consume more whole grains. At least half of the grains consumed should be whole grains. Switch from a refined grain food to a whole-grain food that lists a whole-grain ingredient first. Examples include whole wheat, brown rice, oatmeal, or wild rice.
3. Choose fat-free or low-fat (1 percent) milk, yogurt, or cheese. Dairy products should be a key part of your diet because they provide calcium, vitamin D, and many other nutrients your bones need.
4. Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Regular soda and other sweet drinks, such as fruit drinks and energy drinks, have a lot of added sugar. Add a slice of lemon, lime, or a splash of 100 percent juice to your glass of water if you want some flavor.
5. Choose lean sources of protein. Select leaner cuts of beef, turkey breast, or chicken breast. Grill, roast, or boil meat, poultry, or seafood instead of frying. Also include beans or peas in main dishes, like chili or a casserole.
6. Consume less salt. Compare sodium in foods like soup and frozen meals and choose foods with less sodium. Look for “low sodium,” “reduced sodium,” and “no salt added” on food packages.
7. Eat more seafood. Seafood has protein, minerals, and heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Adults should try to eat at least 8 ounces a week, with children eating smaller portions.
8. Eat smaller portions. At home, become familiar with recommended portion sizes in the plates and glasses you use. When dining out, avoid “supersizing” your meal. Instead, choose small size items or request a “to go” box for half of your meal before you start to eat.
What are the fitness goals?
Anything that engages the major muscle groups counts. It doesn’t even need to be 30 minutes in a row of continuous exercise; you can break it down into smaller bursts of activity. Everything from biking, running, swimming, cleaning, gardening, dancing, surfing… whatever activity you love is probably on the list. Look to the Olympic Games for some inspiration.
What's in it for me?
The C.H.O.I.C.E.S.' PALA+ Challenge is an opportunity to join your community in good health. Be a part of a team, feel great, and earn an award, there are lots to choose from at The President’s Challenge Website. Complete your challenge by September 22nd and you will be recognized at the 100 Black Men of Atlanta’s Fan Experience at the Atlanta Football Classic on September 29th.
How do I get started?
Join C.H.O.I.C.E.S.' Let's Move! Atlanta Team to show the nation what Atlanta families can do when we work together. Here's how:
1. Go to www.presidentschallenge.org.
2. Click on REGISTER NOW in the top right hand corner.
3. Click on CREATE AN INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNT in the center of the page.
4. Select a username, password, and enter basic information. Click to accept the terms of service and click REGISTER.
5. Choose a challenge. Select PRESIDENTIAL ACTIVE LIFESTYLE AWARD (PALA+) CHALLENGE and click SUBMIT.
6. Click on GROUPS.
7. Go to SEARCH GROUPS and enter Let's Move Atlanta then click SUBMIT.
8. Click on Let's Move! Atlanta in the search results.
9. Click JOIN THIS GROUP under the C.H.O.I.C.E.S. 10 Year Anniversary Logo.
10. YOU DID IT! Connect with others in the group and compare your points to others. Click on TRACKER to select nutrition goals and track daily exercise.
For assistance getting started with the PALA+ Challenge, visit: www.choicesforkids.org/pala-challenge or call C.H.O.I.C.E.S. at 678-819-3663.