Bakersfield, CA…With California’s economy fully reopened and most COVID-19 restrictions lifted at gyms and fitness centers, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the Governor’s Advisory Council on Physical Fitness and Mental Well-Being, a new advisory council tasked with exploring healthy strategies to ensure Californians can thrive. Placing a special emphasis on child physical and mental health, the Advisory Council will be led and convened by First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, whose California for ALL Kids initiatives support children’s physical, mental and social-emotional well-being, and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Ronnie Lott.
“As California reopens, we must address the impacts this pandemic has had on physical fitness and mental health,” said Governor Newsom. “Today, with California’s First Partner and football legend Ronnie Lott, we are launching an Advisory Council that will focus on fitness and well-being, two issues that need a long-term commitment and strategy to ensure our residents, especially our youth, get the physical exercise and self-care they need to thrive.”
The Governor was joined at an In-Shape Health Clubs location in Bakersfield today by California’s First Partner, who was a Division 1 athlete as an undergraduate student at Stanford University, as well as a member of the women’s junior national soccer team.
“Through the Governor’s Advisory Council, we will help ensure that Californians of all ages – but especially children and youth – are healthy in mind and body, and able to flourish in all aspects of their lives,” said the First Partner. “After all, a healthy California starts with healthy kids and families.”
“As a professional athlete, I always gave my best on and off the field,” said Ronnie Lott, who helped secure four Super Bowl victories for the San Francisco 49ers. “By incorporating fitness and mental well-being into the lives of our youth, we will be giving them some of the skills and support that helped me during my career as a professional athlete.”
The Advisory Council will include representatives from health and wellness organizations, youth sports programs, education, the entertainment and fitness industry, and others from around the state. Included among the Council’s activities are:
- Advising on the development of physical activity and wellness goals for Californians of all ages.
- Advising on methods to increase awareness among all age groups, especially among children and youth, about how physical activity, sport, nutrition and mental wellness contribute to healthy and productive lives.
- Encouraging inter-generational physical fitness activities including the use of physical activity and sport to strengthen families.
- Facilitating collaboration among federal, state and local agencies, education, business and industry, the private sector, and others in the promotion of physical activity and mental wellness.
“On behalf of the California Fitness Alliance, we are thrilled to collaborate with Governor Newsom and the new fitness council to make California the healthiest state in the nation. Together, we will continue our mission to provide equitable access to fitness for all Californians while educating them on the mental and physical benefits of exercise and motivating them to get moving,” said Francesca Schuler, Co-Founder of the California Fitness Alliance and CEO of In-Shape Health Clubs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lifetime attitudes related to physical activity, sports, nutrition and wellness are formed early on in life, and establishing healthy dietary and physical habits during childhood is critical to preventing chronic diseases in adulthood. Activities that promote physical health support children’s mental health, their social and emotional learning, as well as their academic and life success. Specifically, engaging in regular physical activity reduces the risk of developing depression in children and adults and can improve many of the symptoms experienced by people with depression.
The Advisory Council will be comprised of up to 15 members, who will be named at a later date.