We had quite an action-packed week in Washington, DC, and Virginia at the end of February! With three great health and fitness conferences to attend in the span of a few days—and IDEA’s own Personal Trainer Institute East sandwiched right in the middle— it was fun and interesting to observe the contrasts and similarities among them.
First we attended the National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP) Congress. IDEA was proud to sponsor this fitness event, which brought together over 200 experts, organizations and leaders in the field of public health. The Congress represented a critical step in the development of the NPAP and its effort to promote physical activity in all segments of the American population. Since NPAP’s inaugural launch in 2010, the coalition has A Health and Fitness Conference Trifecta developed into an established not-for-profit organization committed to ensuring that the U.S. has a comprehensive, evidence-based strategic plan for physical activity in perpetuity.
The plan aims to create a national culture that supports active lifestyles, improves health, prevents disease and disability, and enhances quality of life. Discussions at the fitness event focused on how best to influence the next edition of the NPAP, targeted for release this autumn, and we heard presentations from many of the nation’s leading authorities on health and fitness. It was an honor to be involved in such an important project for our nation; we will give you details on the new plan when it is released.
Next up was IDEA Personal Trainer InstituteTM East in Alexandria, Virginia, with almost 800 attendees from seven countries. It was a 3-day whirlwind of great educational sessions, networking opportunities, and visits with the 19 different sponsors. We were impressed by how seriously personal trainers take their education, and it was inspiring to note how totally immersed in the experience everyone was. Special thanks to the attendees, presenters, assistants, IDEA staff and sponsors for such a memorable fitness event!
Finally, Peter attended the Building a Healthier Future Summit in Washington, DC, sponsored by the Partnership for a Healthier America. Business, industry, academic and government leaders came together to address the paramount issue affecting children’s health today: childhood obesity. The goal was to create new opportunities and new solutions, helping to make the healthy choice the easy choice.
In her keynote, First Lady Michelle Obama described the impact that she sees the Let’s Move! campaign and Partnership for a Healthier America having on obesity in the U.S. “Over the past 5 years we have truly changed the culture around health and living in this country,” she said. “Food companies are racing like never before to create healthier versions of their products. Even convenience stores are selling fruits and vegetables. Head to the local drive-thru and kids’ meals might include apples and skim milk.”
Mrs. Obama has made it her mission to improve the health of America’s children by focusing on an active lifestyle and a balanced diet. She praised food and beverage companies for reformulating recipes and package sizes, and for cutting 6.3 trillion calories from the nation’s diet, calling these healthy changes “the new norm.”
A new marketing campaign called “FNV,” a brand focused on increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables, was released at the fitness conference. “FNV was inspired by big consumer brands, whose tactics are relentless, compelling, catchy, and drive an emotional connection with their products,” PHA CEO Lawrence Soler said in a news release. “We want to do the same thing for fruits and veggies, which have never had an opportunity to act like a big brand. Until now.”
It will be great to see consumer response to this new campaign and to the new health-focused brands.
All in all, it was an exciting week that inspired us to Inspire the World to Fitness® and Wellness!