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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.

Apply for a 2018 Worksite Wellness Award

Gov ScottThe 2018 Worksite Wellness Award Application is now open! The awards are given out by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports on behalf of the Governor of Vermont and are an opportunity for workplaces to be recognized for their commitment to staff wellness.  Please note that there is no funding associated with the award, however, it is an excellent opportunity for recognition.

The awards will be given out at the 2018 Worksite Wellness Conference on March 21st, 2018 (registration will open in December 2017).

Award applicants receive a discounted rate for conference registration.

Applications are due end of day October 31st, 2017Apply now!

New 2017 Grants 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 in Vermont.  The Community Wellness grant provides funding to initiatives that will have an impact on the health and well-being of community members within Vermont. By encouraging and supporting healthy physical activity habits, community groups have the potential to positively impact the health of their communities.

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 strives to integrate physical activity into healthcare and link patients to community resources with the ultimate goal of implementing interventions that will slow, stop, and reverse the progression of chronic diseases.

Sneakers purchased by Community Health Centers of Burlington will encourage people at risk for chronic disease to walk for exercise.

Sneakers purchased by Community Health Centers of Burlington will encourage people at risk for chronic disease to walk for exercise.

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 $15,000 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 1/1/18 through 12/31/18, with no option to renew.

Download application for the 2017 Community Wellness Grants RFP

Vermont Doctors Prescribe Outdoor Exercise

Following doctor’s orders is a lot of fun this summer, thanks to a statewide push for outdoor exercise. Physicians around the state will prescribe active play in Vermont State Parks as a way to promote healthy lifestyles and prevent chronic health issues.

The Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation provided Vermont doctors with “prescriptions” that are actually free day passes to state parks. The effort is guided by the principles of Exercise is Medicine (EIM), a global initiative committed to the belief that physical activity plays an integral role in prevention, treatment and management of chronic diseases and should be considered a vital sign of health.

The council and parks department are encouraging Vermont’s 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 mental illness.

Dr. Elisabeth Fontaine writes a prescription for exercise for a patient at Northwestern Medical Center. “These passes are about the pleasure of active play. Go play outside,” Fontaine advises.

Dr. Elisabeth Fontaine writes a prescription for exercise for a patient at Northwestern Medical Center. “These passes are about the pleasure of active play. Go play outside,” Fontaine advises.

“Studies have demonstrated that outdoor exercise is associated with increased energy and revitalization and decreased depression and tension. The sun also helps to create through your skin Vitamin D3, which is important for bone health and metabolic function,” said Dr. Elisabeth Fontaine, a physician at Northwestern Medical Center and member of the council. Fontaine is an avid supporter of Exercise is Medicine and frequently encourages her patients to exercise.

The health benefits of outdoor exercise are well documented. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all adults and children participate regularly in aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities and calls on communities to improve access to outdoor recreational facilities such as parks and green spaces to help lead the nation toward active living.

“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!”

Patients must receive parks pass prescriptions from their doctors and should not request them from the Council. Practitioners may request prescriptions from the Council at vermontfitness@vermont.gov. For more details about Vermont state parks, go to www.vtstateparks.com.

Central Vermont Medical Center Praised For Supporting Worksite Wellness

20170511_corpCup

Governor Philip B. Scott presented an award for the highest employee participation to CVMC’s Robert Patterson, Vice President of Human Resources and Rehabilitation Services, and Monica Urquhart, Manager of Employee Relations, Health and Wellness, outside the Statehouse.

Central Vermont Medical Center broke its own record for employee participation in a wellness event, with 501 employees running or walking the Vermont Corporate Cup Challenge and State Agency Race. The hospital, part of The University of Vermont Health Network, annually pays employees’ race entry fees, encourages them to train together in a “Couch to 5K” program and provides commemorative t-shirts to participants. It’s part of the hospital’s larger effort to foster employee wellness through physical fitness, social interaction and community involvement.

The 5-kilometer race is held each May in Montpelier to promote physical fitness within the workplace by bringing employees together to enjoy physical activity. Proceeds support programs of the Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. This year’s funds will go toward community wellness grants for the development of initiatives that slow, stop, and reverse the progression of chronic diseases in Vermont.

“CVMC cares about the wellbeing of our employees, so we encourage them to be active, to make physical activity a social event and make connections within the community” said Monica Urquhart, CVMC Manager of Employee Relations, Health and Wellness. “We are proud to have CVMC represented in the community.  Of course, we also commend the rest of our CVMC Team who stayed back at the hospital to keep the place running!”

To recognize CVMC’s participation, Governor Philip B. Scott, council chair Janet Franz and race volunteer Michael Feulner presented an award plaque to the hospital’s Corporate Cup team in front of the statehouse. Urquhart and Robert Patterson, Vice President of Human Resources and Rehabilitation Services, accepted the award while the CVMC team stood by. The award, named Michael Feulner Award in honor of the longtime co-director of the race, annually honors the worksite with the highest employee participation in the race.

This marks the third consecutive year that CVMC received this award and the 7th year that CVMC has joined the event. Last year, slightly fewer than 500 CVMC employees participated.

Nearly 4,500 participants lined up for the start of the Vermont Corporate Cup Challenge and State Agency race in Montpelier last Thursday evening

Nearly 4,500 participants lined up for the start of the Vermont Corporate Cup Challenge and State Agency Race in Montpelier

Nearly 4,500 participants lined up for the start of the Vermont Corporate Cup Challenge and State Agency Race in Montpelier.

“Clearly, CVMC understands the connections between work, lifestyle, relationships and physical activity to an employee’s overall health,” said Franz. “When people feel good both inside and outside the workplace, they are invested in their work and provide superior service. We’re delighted to reward and encourage this effort.”

The Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports is a physical activity promotion and advocacy group comprised of volunteers appointed by the Governor and representing a broad spectrum of Vermonters. The council’s mission, defined in the legislation passed in 1986, is to promote health and wellness through physical activity for all people living in Vermont at all fitness and ability levels.

Photos, courtesy of The Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

May is Physical Fitness and Sports Month

I, Philip B. Scott, Governor, do hereby proclaim May 2017 as

PHYSICAL FITNESS AND SPORTS MONTH in Vermont.

By executive proclamation, Governor Philip B. Scott named May Physical Fitness and Sports month in Vermont to encourage participation in physical activities.

Proclamation 2017

And this month, more Vermonters are riding bicycles, walking for exercise and participating in yoga classes. The Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports distributed $6000 among three groups to develop new initiatives for improving health and fitness.

Community Wellness Grant recipients include:

  • The City of Rutland Recreation and Parks Department, for implementing a Learn-to-Bike lending program. The grant paid for bicycles for adults, children and preschoolers and helps provide lessons for those in the community who would like to learn or re-learn how to ride a bike in a non-threatening environment. The bikes are being used this month for learn-to-ride events in Wallingford, Pittsford, Brandon and Rutland. The department aims to increase the number of bike riders from all age groups.
  • The Community Health Center of Burlington (CHCB), for piloting an exercise and healthy lifestyle educational walking group for patients at high risk for chronic diseases. The 6-week program  provides an opportunity for CHCB patients to form social connections while walking and learning about the benefits and importance of maintaining an exercise routine.
  • The Pride Center of Vermont, for providing trauma-informed yoga classes to LGBTQ community members, many of whom are survivors of violence. The Pride Center hopes to increase the number of LGBTQ individuals who engage in yoga while healing their trauma in a safe space.

“These organizations have potential to positively change the health of Vermonters by encouraging and supporting physical activity. Bicycling, walking and yoga lead to good health. We encourage conversations between community groups and the people they serve about preventing chronic disease prevention through exercise.”

– Janet Franz, chair of the Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports

The Community Wellness Grants are 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.

The request for proposals and application for 2018 grants will be available on this website starting June 15th

IMG_20170112_112243107New balance bikes purchased with a Community Wellness Grant will help adults and children become confident bicycle-riders.

C o u n c i l   F a c e b o o k