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The 2011 Champions of Health and Fitness

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A plan to shape up the nation. A flourishing garden in a school devastated by Hurricane Katrina. A cross-country bike ride to raise money for soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. These are just some of the inspiring accomplishments of the 10 heroes FITNESS honors here -- do-good powerhouses who are helping people in the United States live healthier and better. Get in on their amazing action here.

America's Doctor: Regina Benjamin, MD

By Cristina Goyanes

The U.S. surgeon general, Regina Benjamin, MD, knows how hard it is to squeeze exercise into a busy schedule. In the year since she took office, she's been on the road three to four days a week. But still she manages to make time to work out, and she's determined to help all Americans do the same. "Exercise is the new medicine. It will make you feel a lot better," says Dr. Benjamin, who puts on her sneakers and walks around the airport when she's between flights. "If you do 30 minutes a day, you get so many benefits."

To launch her get-moving mission, last January she released "The Surgeon General's Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation," her grassroots plan for combating the obesity epidemic. Among other things, she has called on employers to encourage physical activity through group classes at work, on physicians to talk to patients about how their weight can affect their health, and on families to become more active and limit TV viewing to two hours a day.

"I want to move from a negative conversation about disease to a positive conversation about being healthy and fit," Dr. Benjamin explains. "We need to stop bombarding people with what they can't do and start talking about what they enjoy doing." Take walking, one of Dr. Benjamin's favorite activities: Last June in Baltimore, she kicked off an initiative called the Surgeon General's Walk for a Healthy and Fit Nation, the first of many such walks she will do with citizens throughout the country. Off the clock, she's an avid hiker who did a rim-to-rim trek through the Grand Canyon last fall.

To set the nation on a path to better health, Dr. Benjamin is heading a council of government experts to develop a national prevention strategy that will be released in March. "This is the first time that the entire government is attempting to make it easier for Americans to be healthy," she says. "It has become everyone's issue."

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lindaeichman wrote:

I like Jillian Michaels and feel that she has inspired a lot of people. I have bought her videos just to motivate me to start any kind of activity routine her messages kept me motivated to at least start some kind of routine.

1/24/2011 05:53:55 PM Report Abuse
c343 wrote:

Great to see Roseanna here, her work is truly valuable. It would be nice if there were a link to her organization:

1/2/2011 03:51:05 PM Report Abuse
TheSpinGuru wrote:

Giving any kind of Fitness industry award to Jillian Michael is an outrage to the entire industry. Her limited knowledge in numerous aspects of fitness are legendary. Her certifications are suspect. Her pulling a seat off a Spinning bike while somebody was riding as well as her kettlebell video is a legendary FAIL.

12/21/2010 02:23:15 PM Report Abuse

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