FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

YMCA Promotes Small Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle During America On The Move Week with the YMCA, Sept. 20-27, 2009

National Week-Long Campaign Aims to Inspire Americans to Achieve Lasting Healthy Lifestyle Changes

CHICAGO, IL, September 16, 2009 — YMCA of the USA encourages Americans of all ages to participate in activities that promote healthy living during America On the Move Week with the YMCA, Sept. 20 through Sept. 27. More than 1,400 YMCAs will join with the America On the Move Foundation in a collaborative effort to improve the health of communities across the country.

The YMCA, the nation’s leading not-for-profit community service organization, and the America On the Move Foundation, a national nonprofit dedicated to improving health and quality of life are working together to encourage individuals to take small steps toward achieving and maintaining healthier lifestyles. During America On the Move Week with the YMCA, families and individuals can participate in a variety of individual and group activities that increase daily physical activity and encourage making smarter food choices. Each day, participants can track their number of steps or step equivalents while engaging in any form of physical activity, such as walking, swimming, biking and dancing, and other group or family activities that promote well-being, such as eating together as a family.

“Helping Americans maintain a healthy lifestyle is critical to the nation’s efforts to reverse the growing rates of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, which pose a tremendous burden on the nation’s health care system,” said Neil Nicoll, president and CEO of YMCA of the USA. “These conditions are among the most prevalent and costly of all diseases, but they are also among the most preventable. Through America On the Move Week with the YMCA, YMCAs are highlighting the work they do every day to help individuals and families achieve and maintain healthier lifestyles at home, work, school and throughout the community.”

Research by the America On the Move Foundation shows that making two small daily changes – taking 2,000 more steps (the equivalent of about a mile) and eating 100 fewer calories – can prevent the average annual weight gain of one to two pounds. Individuals and families are encouraged to take these steps toward a healthier lifestyle and track those steps during America On the Move Week with the YMCA. This year, the national goal is to reach 10 billion steps across the country during this designated week. Go to www.ymca.net to find a local YMCA that is participating in America On the Move Week with the YMCA. 

“Focusing on extreme diets and exercise plans can overwhelm and cause people to tune out instead of take action,” said James O. Hill, Ph.D., America on the Move Foundation co-founder.  “Partnering with the YMCA provides a huge opportunity for us to personally engage with millions of people and show them how small steps can reap big rewards.”

America On the Move Week with the YMCA is a partnership between the YMCA and the America On the Move Foundation. PepsiCo is supporting this effort as a national supporter of YMCA Activate America® and the National Presenting Partner of America On the Move Week with the YMCA.

For more information on America On the Move Week with the YMCA, visit www.ymca.net.

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About YMCAs: The nation's 2,686 YMCAs serve 21 million people each year, including nearly 10 million children under the age of 18. YMCAs respond to critical social needs by drawing on their collective strength as one of America's largest not-for-profit community service organizations. Through a variety of programs and services focused on the holistic development of children and youth, family strengthening, and health and well-being for all, YMCAs unite men, women and children of all ages, faiths, backgrounds, abilities and income levels. From urban areas to small towns, YMCAs have proudly served America's communities for nearly 160 years by building healthy spirit, mind and body for all. Visit www.ymca.net to find your local YMCA.

About America On the Move: America On the Move Foundation (AOM) is the leading non-profit organization fighting the obesity epidemic by providing consumer-focused solutions for individuals, families, organizations, and communities.  Through its programs and outreach, AOM initiates and maintains meaningful and measurable individual, social, and environmental behavior changes that support healthy eating and active living habits in our society.  AOM’s science-based programs provide the support and tools that help individuals of all ages manage weight effectively through energy balance.  All programs are available at www.americaonthemove.org.

About PepsiCo: PepsiCo offers the world’s largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 18 different product lines that each generate more than $1 billion in annual retail sales.  Its main businesses – Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade – also make hundreds of other nourishing, tasty foods and drinks that bring joy to consumers in over 200 countries.  With more than $43 billion in 2008 revenues, PepsiCo employs 198,000 people who are united by a unique commitment to sustainable growth, called Performance with Purpose.  By dedicating itself to offering a broad array of choices for healthy, convenient and fun nourishment, reducing our environmental impact, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, PepsiCo balances strong financial returns with giving back to our communities worldwide.  For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com.

Contact:
Mamie Moore
YMCA of the USA
312-419-8325
mamie.moore@ymca.net

Wednesday, September 16, 20091

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The YMCA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.