Minnesota schools embrace new fitness program

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Some Minnesota schools are embracing a new student fitness program designed to be a better gauge of overall health than the decades-old Presidential Physical Fitness Test.

Instead of measuring athletic feats, the new Presidential Physical Fitness Program shifts the focus to personal fitness gains for students.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports (http://bit.ly/165D9rM) the new test will still feature sprints, push-ups and pull-ups, but it also will take body fat and body mass measurements into account.

The program strives to put a more upbeat spin on fitness: Certificates and other awards recognize personal gains, instead of focusing on competition.

Jack Olwell is president of the Minnesota Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. He says the new test is a friendly way to motivate students who are less fit.

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Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, http://www.twincities.com

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