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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.

Dressing for Winter Running in Vermont

Vermont winters are long and unpredictable; yet running in the elements can be joyful and rewarding for your body and your spirit. Here are 9 tips to help you to stay warm and enjoy it!

1.       Wear layers  

Dressing in wool or synthetic base layers is essential.  These materials will wick the sweat away and keep you warm. I would avoid cotton all together – not even cotton socks!  Fleece layers are great and a wind layer on the outside. It can often be the wind that bites!   Better too many layers than not enough. You can always remove one.

2.       Hat and Gloves 

Always wear hat and mittens/gloves. The hat holds the heat in and the gloves keep your digits warm. You can always remove them, but having flexibility is good.

3.       Scarf, Neck Warmer, Buff

When it’s really cold and windy, covering the face is helpful to avoid Jack Frost’s nip. You can also apply Vaseline, Dermatone, or any skin protector to exposed skin.

4.       Footwear  

Proper running footwear is critical! Some running shoes have enough traction for the snow however most shoes will not grip on the ice. You can add screws to the bottom of your shoes, invest in Ice Bugs, or other ice equipped add-ons to your footwear.

5.       Reflective Vest 

We know daylight is a precious Vermont winter commodity. If you’re heading out when daylight can be compromised, wear a reflective vest and headlamp. They make you visible and help you see – a win win!

6.       Drink Water  

Even in the cold, hydration is important. Stay hydrated with water.

7.       Check the Weather  

It’s good to know the predicted forecast, so you’re prepared. Everyone has a threshold!  If you’re prepared, the chances of increasing your pleasure with outside exercise is increased.

8.       Plan a Route

Your typical routes might be impassable in the winter. Plan a route that you know is safe and let someone know where you’re going.

9.   Start Toasty

If you want to start warm, throw your clothes in the dryer for a few minutes before you start, assuring a toasty beginning.


 

Author: Joy Grossman, RunVermont

Learn to Ski & Snowboard 2016!

Young Vermonters: Welcome to a new way to love winter in Vermont!


What can $20 get you these days? How about a beginner ski or snowboard lesson for a Vermont child, including rentals and a lift ticket?

This January, the Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports will sponsor 300 Vermont children with $20 beginner packages to encourage our youth to get sliding this winter and adopt an active lifestyle throughout life. Participants must be under 18, a Vermont resident, and will receive a coupon for a discounted downhill ski or snowboard lesson, rental equipment and a beginner lift ticket.

Participating resorts include: Bolton Valley, Bromley Mountain, Jay Peak Resort, Mount Snow, Smugglers’ Notch Resort, Stratton Mountain, and Sugarbush Resort. Please note the coupon can only be used at these resorts.

Resorts have varying ages restrictions and black out dates, which can be found here:SkiVermont.com/Learn.  Please review them before requesting a coupon code, so they do not go to waste!

To receive a coupon code for a $20 beginner packages, please fill out the application form for the program, here → KidsLearntoSkiVT.

Parent will receive a discount code or codes via email within 72 hours after filling out the form and will be instructed on how to purchase your discounted package and schedule your child’s lesson.

See photos of last season’s participants on our Facebook page!

Interested in learning yourself or missed out on the $20 children’s deal? The Governor’s Council is proud to work with Ski Vermont to provide these packages, and is a supporter of the national Learn to Ski and Snowboard efforts in January. Ski Vermont offers learn-to packages throughout the month of January for $49 – for adults, kids and anyone in between! Learn more at SkiVermont.com.

Looking to slide on snow another way? On January 9, 2016 enjoy free Nordic skiing and snowshoeing for beginners on Winter Trails Day. Winter Trails Day is a national program endorsed by the Governor’s Council and  Ski Vermont; it encourages children and adults to discover the great fitness and social benefits of these fun, easy-to-learn winter sports. Learn more at www.wintertrails.org.

Olympic Nordic skier and Vermonter Andy Newell also supports the Winter Trails initiative, so check out his video.

Robert - December 17, 2015 - 12:52 am

Looking to buy two passes for my nephews who are residents of Milton

Suzanne Hebeler - December 17, 2015 - 11:09 am

I would like one of the available coupon codes for a $20 ski lesson for my 4-year-old son.
Thank you.

Jessica Grimes - December 29, 2015 - 1:58 pm

I would like coupon codes for 3, 4, 6 & 8 year old children.

Erik Acanfora - January 4, 2016 - 9:04 pm

I guess I filled out the wrong form for 2 of these offers. Thank you Sarah Wojcik for mailing me and providing me with the proper link. I put in on the wrong form that I would like to experience this with both my son (5 years) and daughter (3 years) during this winter. Contact me when you have a chance. Thanks much in advance.
Erik

zhen hui lee - January 8, 2016 - 3:08 pm

I like Buy two ticket

The Michael Feulner Award Goes to University of Vermont Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center

On Tuesday, August 25, 2015, the Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports presented the Second Annual Michael Feulner Award to University of Vermont Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center in recognition of having the most employees participate in the Vermont Corporate Cup Challenge and State Agency Race on May 14, 2015. UVM Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center had over 320 employees registered for this year’s race.

Mike Feulner is a native Vermonter and a retired employee of the State of Vermont. He has been a member of the Vermont Corporate Cup Challenge and State Agency Race committee since its start in 1980. In 1996, he was appointed as the event’s co-race director. Mr. Feulner is a former member of the Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and has served as chair of the board of directors for the National Association for Health and Fitness (the Network of State and Governor’s Councils). He has been instrumental in making the Corporate Cup what it is today and following his retirement, this award was named in his honor.

The Council’s Corporate Cup race takes place each May, in conjunction with National Employee Health and Fitness Day, to encourage coworkers to walk and run together to improve their health and fitness. “CVMC really embraces the spirit of what this event is all about,” Mr. Feulner commented during the award presentation. Janet Franz, Council chair, added “This [race] is all about worksite wellness, and clearly CVMC understands the importance of this.” Accepting the award on behalf of the hospital was President and CEO, Judy Tartaglia along with several of the employee wellness committee members including Robert Patterson, Monica Urquhart, Kelley Willis, and Michael Kennedy.

Among other benefits, the employee wellness program offers at least one physical activity challenge per year, pays the entrance fee for the Vermont Corporate Cup race, maintains a one-mile walking path on the main campus and organizes a Fun Run 5 mile run/walk event as a fundraiser for the health care share program, which provides food-insecure patients and employees with local farm-fresh food each week of the growing season.

The University of Vermont Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center is part of a four-hospital system established to deliver high quality academic medicine to every community we serve. Our partners are: The University of Vermont Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital, The University of Vermont Medical Center and Elizabethtown Community Hospital. For more information, visit UVMHealth.org/CVMC.

Shumlin Announces Park Prescription Program


Following doctor’s orders is about to get more fun thanks to a new initiative announced today by Gov. Peter Shumlin. Under the new “Park Prescription” program, physicians around the state will prescribe to their patients time outdoors in Vermont State Parks as a way to promote healthy lifestyles and prevent chronic health issues.  

Sixteen doctors’ offices around Vermont will issue Park Prescriptions, which will entitle patients to free entry at any Vermont State Park. The program is a partnership between the Vermont State Parks, the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, the Department of Health, and physicians across Vermont.

“We all know that the one of the best ways to stay healthy is to stay active,” Gov. Shumlin said. “Luckily we live in Vermont and are surrounded by natural resources that make staying active easy and fun. So listen to your doctor and get outside this summer!”

The health benefits of physical activity are well documented. The American Heart Association suggests at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise to help prevent heart disease and stroke. For children, outdoor activity is especially important. According to the National Wildlife Federation, spending time outside raises levels of Vitamin D, helping protect children from future bone problems, heart disease, diabetes, and other health issues. According to the Vermont Department of Health, in 2013 Vermont high school students with 60 minutes of physical activity on all of the past seven days were less likely to be obese compared to the state’s average.

“The collective support of Vermont physicians who know the nearly limitless health benefits of increased physical activity, especially for young people, will only add to our reputation as one of the healthiest places to live in the nation, year after year,” said Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD.

Physicians participating in the Park Prescription program include David Coddaire in Morrisville, John Leppman in Bellows Falls, Robert Tortolani in Brattleboro, Thomas Curchin in Barre, Harriet Shea in Barre, Paul Laffal in Montpelier, Barb Frankowski in Burlington, Alicia Jacobs in Colchester, and Keith Michl in Manchester Center.

“The Park Prescription program is a perfect way to highlight the connection between outdoor recreation and personal health,” said Craig Whipple, Director of Vermont State Parks. “Spending time outdoors, connecting with nature and being active all help keep us strong in both body and spirit. And state parks offer the ideal settings for valuable outdoor time!”

Vermont consistently ranks among one of the nation’s healthiest states. America’s Health Rankings finds that overall Vermont is the second healthiest state in America. And the 2015 Seniors Report by the same organization recently found that Vermont is now the healthiest state in America for seniors.

Conference Reflects Statewide Strides Taken in Worksite Wellness

Vermont’s 2015 Worksite Wellness Conference a success!

The Vermont Worksite Wellness Conference, held on March 25, 2015 at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in Burlington, VT, serves as a yearly training opportunity for worksites from across the state to come and learn from experts and each other about worksite wellness resources and initiatives.

The 2015 conference demonstrated considerable growth compared to previous years. Some highlights include:

  • Over 425 registrants from 4 states (Vermont, New Hampshire, New York and Massachusetts).
  • Ninety-two Worksite Wellness Awards given to Vermont Worksites from the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.
  • Fifteen “Supporting Nursing Moms at Work” grantees were honored and eight “Green Thumbs at Work” grantees were announced.
  • Nine breakout sessions focusing on a range of topics from nutrition and fitness to engagement and employee assistance program services.
  • Twenty-six health and wellness exhibitors offering services and technical assistance for the advancement of worksite wellness program

One conference attendees noted “The breakout session topics were great and gave a variety of topic options. Our car ride back was full of discussion about the different things each of us learned at the different sessions.” That is the overall goal, companies learning and sharing with each other.

The conference evaluations will be reviewed and planning for 2016 will start soon. The planning committee is committed to improving the conference and is looking forward to the feedback provided by participants, speakers and exhibitors. The Annual Worksite Wellness Conference is an integral part of worksite wellness in Vermont and employers look forward to it as a training opportunity every year.

 


Natalie Schubel is the statewide worksite wellness coordinator for the Vermont Department of Health

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