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  • Welcome to the VT Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports!

    Who We Are
    The Governor's Council is a physical activity promotion and advocacy group comprised of approximately 20 volunteers, appointed by the Governor and representing a broad spectrum of Vermonters.

    Our Mission
    To promote health and wellness through physical activity for all people living in Vermont at all fitness and ability levels.

Grants Offered for Community Wellness Projects

The Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports is seeking proposals to provide funding for the development of new community wellness initiatives, improvement of existing community wellness programs, or collaboration between worksites and community wellness initiatives across the state of Vermont.  The purpose of the Community Wellness grant is to offer funding assistance with the development of a new wellness program, improve an existing wellness program, or pursue new wellness initiatives that will have an impact on the health and well-being of community members within the state of VT.

The grant is guided by the principles of Exercise is Medicine (EIM), a global health initiative led by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). EIM is committed to the belief that physical activity plays an integral role in the prevention, treatment and management of chronic diseases and should therefore be considered and promoted as a vital sign of health. EIM not only strives to integrate physical activity into healthcare but also seeks to link patients to community resources with the ultimate goal of implementing interventions that will slow, stop, and reverse the progression of chronic diseases.  By encouraging and supporting healthy physical activity habits, community groups have potential to positively impact the health of their communities.

Eligible Applicants include:

  • Community groups including recreation departments, faith-based groups, non-profit organizations, schools, community-based health centers
  • Worksites with a community link (primary worksite should be within the state of Vermont)

A total of $6,000 is available for this award period. The total number of grants and amounts awarded will be based upon the number received and reviewer evaluations.   The anticipated grant period will be 1/1/17 through 12/31/17, with no option to renew.

Download the application:


For more information, contact Janet Franz, Chairperson, Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports,  vermontfitness@vermont.gov

Exercise is Medicine

The following is adapted from an article that appeared in the Rutland Herald and Times Argus on July 24, 2016.

by Janis Hall

When you think of health care and medicine, you probably think of doctors, hospitals and drug prescriptions. But there’s growing recognition that patients’ daily activities have a huge potential to support good health. For those who are able, getting outdoors

Kids Play at Boulder Beach State Park in Groton, Vermont.

Kids play at Boulder Beach State Park in Groton.

can be an effective boost. It is very important to get the body moving while

doing activities that reduce stress.

The Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports encourages health care professionals to talk with patients about the importance of exercise to prevent and treat chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, depression and dementia. Janet Franz, representing the council, explained, “There are lots of studies showing that exercise, especially outdoors, has health benefits.”

The Governor’s Council offers the Vermont Parks Prescriptions Program in collaboration with Vermont State Parks. Health-care professionals are provided with pre-printed “prescriptions” for exercise, which are actually free day passes to Vermont state parks. These can be given to patients who will benefit from healthy outdoor activities.

The program is intended to encourage doctors to talk to patients about exercise, and patients cannot get the parks pass prescriptions directly from the council. Practitioners who don’t have the prescriptions may request them from the council at: vermontfitness@vermont.gov.

The council endorses Exercise is Medicine, an initiative by the American College of Sports Medicine focused on encouraging health-care providers to include physical activity when designing treatment plans for patients. EIM is committed to the concept that physical activity is integral in the prevention and treatment of diseases, and should be regularly assessed as part of all health care.

There are more than 20 Vermont state parks in the southern half of Vermont, including lakes, picnic areas, historical sites and forests. All but two of these are advertised as having universal accessibility, which means the restrooms are fully accessible and some portion of the park is flat and firm enough for wheelchair and walker access. For more details about the parks, see www.vtstateparks.com , or contact parks@vermont.gov or 1-888-409-7579.

Janis Hall is the outreach development coordinator for Senior Solutions–Council on Aging for Southeastern Vermont. 60 Plus is a collaboration between Senior Solutions and the Southwestern Vermont Council on Aging. Both can be reached by calling the Senior HelpLine at 800-642-5119.



Leaders of Worksite Wellness at the 2016 VT Worksite Wellness Conference

We’re proud to honor Vermont’s outstanding employers with the Most Excellent Worksite Wellness programs

These companies and organizations include:

Worksites with 11 to 50 employees:

  • Hickok & Boardman Financial Planning & HR Intelligence
  • OpenTempo
  • Springfield Area Parent Child Center
  • Trudell Consulting Engineers (TCE)
  • Umbrella
  • United Ways of Vermont
  • Vermont League of Cities and Towns

Worksites with 51 to 150 employees:

  • asicNorth
  • Cathedral Square
  • Chittenden Solid Waste District
  • Choice Strategies, a Division of WageWorks
  • Chroma Technology Corp
  • Co-operative Insurance
  • Engelberth Construction, Inc.
  • Hickok & Boardman Insurance Group
  • Lund
  • Passumpsic Savings Bank
  • Renewable NRG Systems
  • Town of Colchester
  • Vermont Electric Cooperative
  • Vermont Federal Credit Union

Worksites with 151 to 500 employees:

  • A.N. Deringer, Inc.
  • BioTek Instruments Inc.
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont
  • Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice
  • Champlain College
  • City of Rutland
  • Community Health Centers of the Rutland Region
  • Essex Town School District
  • Franklin County Home Health Agency
  • King Arthur Flour
  • Lamoille County Mental Health Services
  • Marathon Health
  • Mascoma Savings Bank
  • Mt Ascutney Hospital and Health Center
  • MyWebGrocer
  • North Country Hospital
  • Northeast Kingdom Human Services, Inc.
  • Northfield Savings Bank
  • The Vermont Country Store
  • United Counseling Service of Bennington County, Inc.
  • Vermont Precision Tools, Inc.
  • Vermont Student Assistance Corporation

Worksites with 501 to 999 employees

  • Brattleboro Retreat
  • City of Burlington
  • Health Care and Rehabilitation Services of Southeastern Vermont
  • Northwestern Medical Center
  • Omya Inc.
  • Porter Medical Center
  • Springfield Medical Care Systems, Inc
  • UTC Aerospace Systems
  • Washington County Mental Health Services

Worksites with 1000+ employees:

  • Central Vermont Medical Center
  • Dealer.com
  • GE Aviation
  • Howard Center
  • MVP Health Care
  • PC Construction Company
  • Rutland Regional Medical Center
  • State of Vermont
  • The University of Vermont Medical Center

Vermont’s 2016 Rising Stars in Worksite Wellness

A Worksite with 1 to 10 employees:  Thrive Center of the Green Mountains

A Worksites with 11 to 50 employees:  Town of Killington

A Worksites with 51 to 150 employees:  HALLAM-ICS

Worksites with 151 to 500 employees:

  • Copley Hospital
  • Hanover Consumer Cooperative

A Worksite with 1000+ employees:  The Orvis Company

Governor Shumlin Proclaims May Physical Fitness and Sports Month in Vermont


“I, Governor Peter Shumlin, proclaim the month of May Physical Fitness and Sports Month in Vermont and I ask everyone to move more every day.”

Montpelier, VT – On May 3, 2016, Governor Peter Shumlin declared May Physical Fitness and Sports Month in Vermont, encouraging Vermonters to be active this spring. Janet Franz, Chair of the Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, and members of the council joined Shumlin in the Governor’s Ceremonial Office at the State House.

The Governor’s proclamation aligns with the national designation of May as Physical Fitness and Sports Month, an effort by the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition to raise awareness about the benefits of physical activity.

In Vermont, 61% of adults and 26% of youth are overweight or obese, according to the state Department of Health, which cites lack of physical activity as the reason. More than three quarters (77%) of Vermont’s youth do not participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day, and 20% of Vermont adults participate in no leisure time physical activity. The department estimates that medical expenses attributable to adult obesity in Vermont total $291 million annually.

The Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports promotes health and wellness through physical activity for people of all fitness and ability levels. It encourages mature Vermonters to participate in fitness and sports through the Vermont Senior Games Association, families to be active outdoors with Vermont Parks Prescriptions, and working Vermonters to walk and run with co-workers at the annual Corporate Cup Challenge & State Agency Race on May 12 in Montpelier.

“Physical activity is for everyone. No matter your age, ability or fitness level, you can find activities that fit your lifestyle and lead you to better health,” said Franz. “Everyone can find ways to move more. Together, let’s rise to the challenge and get more active this spring!”

 Pictured in photo, left to right: Corey Cenate, Council member; James Pepper, Council member; Governor Peter Shumlin; Janet Franz, Council President; Gary Eley, President of Vermont Senior Games; Dr. David Butsch, Council member; Sue Allen, Governor’sDeputy Chief of Staff.

Walk to help others

2015 Vermont Corporate Cup and State Agency Race

Like flowers, charity walks bloom this time of year. Millions of people walk to raise awareness and funds for cancer research, disease prevention, homeless shelters, and other worthy goals.

Join in to help fellow citizens while improving your own health. Get started:

  • Target a cause. Choose a charity that has meaning for you. Walk for someone you know who’s battling an illness, recovering from a natural disaster, or living with a crippling condition. Raise funds in their honor, and carry their photograph while you walk. You’ll feel the difference you’re making in your body and soul.
  • Train for the occasion. Prepare by exercising daily. Start with walking 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, gradually increasing your mileage to the distance of the event. Strength train 2-3 times/week to prevent injury and fatigue.
  • Recruit teammates. Tell your friends, family, and co-workers about your charity walk and invite them to join you. Buddy up on your training workouts for support and encouragement.

This month, walk with others to help others — and motivate yourself.

C o u n c i l   F a c e b o o k