Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dear President Obama - Men's Fitness Editor in Chief urges our new President to create real change by getting America back in shape

“Congratulations on your historic ascension to the highest office in the land. Like many others, I am heartened by it and the promise of an Obama presidency. I am also quite cognizant of the challenges ahead—for all of us. Your task is daunting. The economy. War. Energy. Health care. Housing. Food prices. Not to mention restoring our image around the globe. And that's just your to-do list for February. Now add to your agenda this critical need: Getting America Fit. You're certainly aware of the increasingly alarming (and expanding) state of the American waistline. We can blame a myriad of factors, ranging from poor eating habits to sedentary lifestyles. Childhood obesity has been given much attention (rightly so), but the rest of us could use a few more trips to the gym, as well. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, fewer than one in three Americans between 18 and 64 gets regular exercise. That we stop these trends and change our health and fitness habits is as critical as ending our dependence on foreign oil. It might actually be easier, too, if someone on your team would make shaping up our nation a true priority. Why do it? Well, you certainly know. We've twice recognized your own passion for fitness by naming you one of the Fittest Men in America (in 2005 and again last year), and now everyone knows of your love for basketball and your regular workouts. Beyond the physical and mental benefits of leading a fitter lifestyle, doing so also impacts the cost of health care. And as you seek to ensure that every American has health coverage, those savings could be monumental. Where do you start? Here are some ideas:

· Put some juice behind two bills now languishing in Congress. Both provide tax incentives for Americans who make a commitment to getting fit. The Personal Health Investment Today Bill (introduced in January '07 by your fellow Illini, Representative Gerald Weller, R.) allows a deduction of up to $1,000 for exercise equipment and gym membership fees. The Workforce Health Improvement Program Act (March '07) allows employees to exclude up to $900 from their gross income for fees, dues, or membership expenses paid by an employer. Last year, we published our first Fittest Companies in America list. Each company selected showed a significant rise in productivity and employee self-esteem, as well as a decline in health costs.”

1 comment:

mills said...

You should also ask yourself where you're going to store your home Gym Equipment. If you're thinking of adding pieces to the bedroom, how much room do you realistically have