GAINESVILLE, Fla., April 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Each morning, students from 17 Alachua County schools arrive to school early with one simple mission: how many miles can I run before school today?
AvMed Health Plans today joined Alachua County Superintendent Dr. Dan Boyd and the students and staff from Hidden Oak Elementary to celebrate the District's many successes through Fitzness International's Morning Mile program. Since the start of the 2010-2011 school year, students participating in the program have logged more than 45,000 total miles, leaving them ready to start the school day focused on their academic performance. A grant from AvMed provided the funding for the Morning Mile starter kits, which give schools the instructions and materials to start the program at their school.
"AvMed is thrilled that so many students have benefited from the Morning Mile program," said AvMed Health Plans CEO Michael P. Gallagher. "By incorporating exercise early in the day, the students of Alachua County have been able to harness their energy into running so they come into the classroom ready to learn."
"With childhood obesity a sad epidemic in our country, the Morning Mile has been a welcome contribution to our school system," said Superintendent Dr. Dan Boyd. "With budgets tight, the Morning Mile is a brilliant way to ensure school children have the opportunity to earn healthy bodies, which in turn enhances their ability to learn."
The Morning Mile program, developed by Fitzness International in Gainesville, provides participating schools with a program guidebook and everything they need to bring the exercise program to their students. The program has been so successful that other school districts around Florida are requesting information so they can implement the program in the fall.
"The beauty of the Morning Mile is that this incredibly simple program has inspired thousands of kids to voluntarily run each day. Not because they're worried about their waistlines, but because they think it's fun and it makes them feel good. It's also ridiculously easy for schools to implement," said Morning Mile Producer Fitz Koehler. "I'm thrilled the program has been so popular in the Gainesville area and look forward to expanding the program across Florida and throughout the nation next year."
Each Morning Mile starter kit includes a Sony "Explode" Boom Box portable stereo, program instructions, chain necklaces and sneaker charms. Requests for starter kits can be made by a school representative at MorningMile.com. Florida schools outside of the Gainesville area are responsible for kit shipping fees.
For more information on the Morning Mile program, including instructions to begin the program at a school, visit http://morningmile.com.
About AvMed Health Plans
For more than 40 years, Floridians have joined AvMed for its superior network of doctors, specialists and hospitals, health and wellness programs, and personalized round-the-clock service. AvMed is one of Florida's oldest and largest not-for-profit health plans, and is solely focused on providing health coverage to Florida citizens and businesses. AvMed is one of only a few health plans in the United States that enjoys dual "excellent" accreditation status for both its Commercial and Medicare health plans from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), the nation's top health care quality evaluator. AvMed offers health coverage options to large and small employers in most major markets around the state; Medicare Advantage products in Broward and Miami-Dade counties; and Individual coverage in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. For more information about AvMed, visit www.avmed.org.
About Fitzness International
Fitzness International LLC is a Gainesville-based fitness company owned by fitness expert, Fitz Koehler, M.S.E.S.S. The company mission is to help others live better and longer by educating, motivating and congratulating others towards a healthy lifestyle. Learn more at http://www.fitzness.com.
SOURCE AvMed Health Plans