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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.

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

Take the Corporate Cup Challenge – May 14, 2015

Now that spring has sprung, are you and your colleagues ready to take the Corporate Cup Challenge? 

Start_of_RaceRecently ranked one of the top-five best 5Ks in Vermont, this team-based running or walking event is open to businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations throughout Vermont.

Now in its 32nd year, this race takes place in scenic Montpelier, VT. Each year, the race seems to grow in size and enthusiasm, drawing runners and walkers from all over the state.

We need you and your business to help us carry on this wonderful tradition! What’s more, proceeds benefit the programs of the Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

Vermont Corporate Cup Challenge and State Agency Road Race

May 14, 2015, 6:00 p.m., Statehouse Lawn

For more information or to register, visit www.vcccsar.org

Tracy Gallo - April 22, 2015 - 4:58 pm

best event! Come and join us and have some FUN!!

Make Your Workplace a Wellness Place: Attend Vermont’s Annual Worksite Wellness Conference

Time flies and soon it will be my favorite time of year….it’s true, spring is on the way  – but I am talking about the best event of the year in Vermont!

On March 25, 2015, the Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports will hold its annual Worksite Wellness Conference at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in Burlington from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

This year’s  conference features keynote speaker, Dr. Graham Lowe author of “Creating Healthy Organizations,” concurrent sessions on great topics such as Coaching for Success: Transitioning from Workplaces to Well Places; Building a Balanced Workplace: Eat to Beat Stress; How Leaders can Create Well Workplaces,  fitness breaks, exhibits, raffles and much more!

Check out www.grahamlowe.ca to learn more about Dr. Lowe and his work including publications such as The Quality of Work: A People-Centered Agenda (Oxford University Press) and Creating Healthy Organizations (Rotman/UTP Publishing). Dr. Lowe has extensive consulting experience and has given hundreds of talks and workshops on creating higher quality and more productive workplaces. He received the 2004 Canadian Workplace Wellness Pioneer Award.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont  continues to proudly sponsor the keynote speaker for an eighth consecutive year and additionally facilitates a workshop  on Worksite Health Coaching in collaboration with the University of Vermont Medical Center, Central Vermont Medical Center and the State of Vermont.

I encourage all worksites large and small to join us (and 400 of your soon to be closest friends) to have a fabulous day and spend time learning and discussing  how to create or recreate an engaging employee health and wellness program at your organization!


Tracy Gallo_3472 (1)Tracy D. Gallo is a health & wellness program consultant at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont and serves on the Governor’s Council for Physical Fitness and Sports.

 

Looking for a Little Extra Motivation to Get Outside this Winter?

The Vermont Senior Games has Three Great Reasons to Bundle Up and Head Outside!

Whether you arrive to compete or be a spectator, come on out to join the fun and fellowship of the Vermont Senior Games Association (VSGA) 2015 Winter Games. Competition is open to anyone at least 50 years old by Dec 31, 2015. Athletes of all skill levels are welcome at all VSGA events.

Don’t let the temperature ever keep you away. VSGA President Don Kjelleren is convinced that, “the colder the weather, the better the fellowship.”

The VSGA 2015 Winter Games schedule includes state championship competitions in snowshoeing, alpine skiing and X-C Nordic skiing. Each event is held in partnership with one of Vermont’s fine ski areas.

The first VSGA winter games were the Snowshoe Races at Smugglers’ Notch Nordic Ski & Snowshoe Center in Jeffersonville, Vt. on Sunday, February 8, 2015. This 4K event was in conjunction with the 14th Annual Northern Vermont Snowshoe Festival.

Alpine Races mark the next VSGA Winter State Championship Event, hosted at Sugarbush Ski Resort in Warren, Vt. on Sunday, March 8, 2015. Race time begins at 10:00 a.m. on the NASTAR course on Lincoln Peak. Each skier will take two runs and the combined time for the two runs is your score. Choose to register for the race and a half day lift ticket, the race and a full day lift ticket or just the race if you already have a ticket.

This year’s VSGA XC Nordic Races are hosted at Trapp Family Lodge Nordic Ski Touring Center in Stowe and will be held on Thursday, March 12, 2015. Race time is 2:00 p.m. and you have the choice of skiing a 5K or 2.5K race.

At each event, medals are awarded for the first three places by gender in five year age-groups (ie. 50-54, 55-59, etc.). The VSGA competitions are all state championship events…win your age group and you win bragging rights for the year!

Advance registration is always recommended but not required for winter games events. For more race details and registration information,  go to the Vermont Senior Games website at www.vermontseniorgames.org and register online or download a printable registration form and mail it in.

The Vermont Senior Games Association is a member of the National Senior Games Association which is part of the United States Olympic Organization. VSGA President Don Kjelleren reminds us that the Senior Games are all about fun, fitness, and fellowship. “If we were a business, we’d say we are in the health, fitness, and well being business, promoting any activities that lead to a healthier lifestyle,” he said. “Throughout the year we plan more than twenty different competitive sporting events to encourage people to exercise regularly, set goals, and come out to compete for the fun and fellowship.”

Think you’d rather try an indoor competition? The VSGA is also hosting billiards and weightlifting events this winter…check out the details on the Vermont Senior Games website.


 

Betsy Terry has been serving as Secretary of the Vermont Senior Games Association since 2010. She volunteers at some of the VSGA events and walks regularly for her personal exercise. In the winter months she loves to snowshoe and downhill ski. By day, she works as the Executive Director of the Vermont Recreation and Parks Association.

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