|Patricia Friberg (Supplied) |
Patricia Friberg wants everybody on the planet to get active. And all she needs is 60 seconds of your time.
The exercise guru is the fitness spokeswoman for JAM World Record 2013, a one-of-a-kind event created to encourage millions of children and adults around the globe to take a mere 60 seconds to get up and move their bodies.
JAM, of course, stands for Just A Minute.
“The whole purpose is to raise awareness about the importance of physical activity,” Friberg says in a phone interview from her home in Westlake Village, Calif. “It’s a way for the world to unite and be physically active.”
That shows that North Americans aren’t alone when it comes to inactivity, adds Friberg, a longtime trainer who counts several NFL and NBA players among her clientele.
“We’re finding that physical inactivity is an even bigger problem. Now, more than ever, fitness is important,” she explains. “And by getting people more active, then we’ll also notice a change in the obesity rates as well. My job as a fitness expert and fitness instructor is to really get out there and try to spread the word. This is a global campaign.”
The second annual JAM World Record event takes place Sept. 26 at 10 a.m. (your local time).
Friberg and Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller are featured in this year’s basic one-minute “fitness break,” which is now online.
Children and adults are urged to share pictures and video of themselves JAMming to the fitness routine on the big day.
Last year’s inaugural record-setting event drew more than 1.3 million participants worldwide.
This year’s goal is to eclipse three million.
“We are so busy as a society,” Friberg says, noting that so many people are constantly tuned to their computers or cell phones these days and are essentially accessible 24-7. “Just giving you that moment to get away from the computer and be physically active is really important.”
For Friberg, the cause isn’t just philanthropic.
It’s also personal.
“I’ve been in the fitness industry a long time,” she says. “There were times in my life when I was going through growth spurts where I certainly was aware of being chubby. So for me, absolutely it’s personal.”
Friberg, 40, also happens to be a married mother of two young boys - George, 8, and Geoffrey, 3.
“Obesity runs in my family, so I have to do what I can to make sure that my kids get that physical activity,” she adds. “It’s really not about being a star athlete. For me, it’s about teaching the importance of physical activity every single day.”
Plus, Friberg used to work in the school system as a mental health counsellor and has her master’s degree from Pratt Institute.
“The JAM World Record was a natural fit between my therapy background and understanding and knowing kids,” she explains. “I understand the psychological benefits of exercise. When kids have gone out and played, they’re happy and they’re flush and you can just see that they worked out and they feel so much better. You can see it helps their self-esteem. From a therapeutic standpoint, I also understand the benefits of physical activity, especially among our young people.”
Two U.S.-based health organizations are behind JAM World Record 2013 - Health-E-tips’ JAM School Program and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
The JAM School Program is a free resource for time-strapped teachers in an era of budget-related P.E. cuts.
It’s endorsed by Michelle Obama and recognized as a resource to the first lady’s Let’s Move anti-childhood obesity initiative.
Among its offerings, the JAM School Program provides weekly fitness routines students can do while standing or seated.
“What happens is these kids learn these little fitness routines at school and then they come home and they tell their parents and so their parents get involved. And then the parents bring it into their workplace,” notes Friberg, who is involved in helping to put the routines together.
“This project feels really good. If we could just ignite a little bit in these kids, who knows this might inspire them to be leaders in the fitness industry as well. It’s nice to give back in that way.
“I’m at the time of my life where I really want to inspire others to take a similar path as far as giving back. It’s just looking at our world as a community and trying to keep us as healthy as we possibly can.”
Visit jamworldrecord.org to register for JAM World Record 2013 and to learn the routine.
Did you find what you were looking for on our website? Please let us know.