VIENNA, Va. -- PHIT America - the non-profit education and advocacy organization designed to combat the nation's inactivity and obesity crisis - announces NFL great Hershel Walker, tennis legends Mike and Bob Bryan, fitness expert Denise Austin and Golf Channel instructor Michael Breed as its first celebrity ambassadors.
Each of these PHIT America ambassadors - and those that will follow - were selected due to a common vision. Their collective goal is to create "A Movement for a Fit and Healthy America" by educating men, women and children about the importance of an active lifestyle to improve overall health.
Walker, a two-time Pro Bowl selection and 1982 Heisman Trophy recipient, attributes his success and lengthy career (14 NFL seasons) to an active and healthy lifestyle off the gridiron. He has even spread his message to Congressional leaders on Capitol Hill at "National Health Through Fitness Day," held every March in Washington, D.C.
"I'm excited to represent PHIT America and carry out my lifelong mission of helping people become more active," says Walker. "Almost 192 million Americans are not up to healthy standards and it's our responsibility to get them moving in the right direction."
Currently No.1 in ATP Doubles Ranking, the Bryan brothers hold 15 career Grand Slam tennis titles and 91 professional wins. Since turning pro in 1998, they have placed a significant focus on being active, even on days off from training.
Austin has dedicated more than 30 years to helping people lose weight through motivating advice and healthy recipes. She's sold more than 24 million exercise videos and DVDs and authored 12 books on fitness.
Host of "The Golf Fix" on the Golf Channel and 2012 PGA National Teacher of the Year, Breed incorporates fitness activities into his instructional routines while encouraging students to walk while they play. For the average player, an 18-hole round roughly equates to a five-mile walk or four-mile run, resulting in up to 2,000 calories burned.
"Almost 30 percent of Americans are totally sedentary and this has increased the last five years," says Jim Baugh, Founder of PHIT America, former President of Wilson Sporting Goods and a 2011 inductee into the Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame. "Inactivity is the prime contributor to the escalating health care costs we all face and our celebrities are helping create a more fit country, one person at a time."
PHIT America supports two pieces of legislation crucial to increasing the number of healthy Americans. When passed, the Personal Health Investment Today Act (PHIT) will allow people to use pre-tax medical accounts for physical activity expenses. The Physical Education Program (PEP) is a 12-year Federal grant from the Department of Education for schools to rebuild health and fitness programs.
Since its January 2013 launch, more than 130 leading companies and associations from the sports, fitness, retail and media industries have contributed funds and services to support PHIT America.
Americans are encouraged to support PHIT America by visiting www.PHITAmerica.org to advocate, provide a donation or participate in health and wellness programs.
About PHIT America
Founded in January 2013, PHIT America and its 130-plus sponsors are responding to the inactivity and obesity crisis by leading "A Movement for a Fit and Healthy America." PHIT America promotes grass-roots fitness and sports initiatives, including development of high-quality physical education (PE) programs in schools. Recent Physical Activity Council research shows children in PE are three to four times more likely to be active outside of school.
PHIT America also supports two vital pieces of legislation, which will increase the number of fit and healthy Americans:
• Personal Health Investment Today Act (PHIT) - When passed, Americans will be able to use pre-tax medical accounts for physical activity expenses.
• Physical Education Program (PEP) - A 12-year program supporting local physical education programs throughout America.
Both the PHIT Act and PEP Program will help mitigate rising health care costs by causing Americans to develop more active lifestyles.
More information: www.PHITAmerica.org.