RODALE NEWS, WASHINGTON, DC—First Lady Michelle Obama can now add "athlete" to an already extensive resume that includes organic gardener, “mom in chief,” and “chairman of the board” of her childhood-obesity initiative, Let's Move. Not that her performance in a pregame soccer workout on Friday, where she was promoting the physical activity part of her initiative, can ever compare with the 142 swivels she completed with a hula hoop last summer on the lawn of the White House during a fair to promote childhood health.
Marian Burros reports on the first lady's antiobesity campaign:
Your Family Can Lose Weight on the Michelle Obama Plan
Can Michelle Obama Shrink America's Waistlines?
White House Unveils Huge Solutions for America's Weighty Problem
Are You Part of the Food Revolution?
First Lady Praises Food Success Stories
First Lady Calls for Better School Food
On Friday morning at a free youth soccer clinic for Washington-area children run by the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the main charitable arm of soccer in America, Mrs. Obama said her daughters Sasha and Malia both play soccer, but Malia particularly likes it. And she added, “It’s fun for parents to go watch,” saying that she didn't know how to play it and asking the kids to help her out. She then took off her white jacket, removed her microphone battery pack, and got down to business. She kicked soccer balls from the sideline, blocked soccer balls kicked by the children, and participated in a plyometrics workout, one of the many workouts soccer players use—in this case, to increase their “explosive” speed and power.
Earlier, the Soccer Foundation announced a new partnership with the National Alliance for Hispanic Health that will present a series of family healthy-lifestyle events geared to low-income, inner-city children through eighth grade. The tour will visit 25 cities and provide free health screenings and soccer clinics that “emphasize the importance of physical activity, proper diet, and healthy lifestyles,” and will connect families with local soccer programs to help their kids get 60 minutes of physical activity a day.
Read on for nutritional tips that any parent of a young athlete should know.