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Pump Up the JAM



Ever attend a conference and paddle a kayak? How about dance a touchdown dance? Or drive a race car?
When Risa Lavizzo-Mourey spoke about physical activity at the Partnership for a Healthier America’s “Building a Healthier Future” summit a few weeks back, the president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation convinced the 800-or-so in the audience to do that and more. And all in about a minute.
As it turns out, Lavizzo-Mourey’s minute-long routine has an interesting back story — and one tied to the Leader network.
Lavizzo-Mourey opened her remarks by leading the audience in a JAMmin Minute, a program that provides one-minute exercise routines for schools to offer their students during the day.  It was a big hit, as weary conference-goers got a brief break from hours of sitting. 
Astute Inside Track readers might recall that we wrote about the JAMmin Minute back in September. It’s overseen by Leader Patti Howell and the staff at the JAM School Program, which is a project of Health-E Tips.
Typically, the JAM School Program writes most of the JAMmin Minute routines and delivers them to 15,000 schools around the country. But the routine performed by Lavizzo-Mourey at the star-studded conference two weeks back was actually created by the Mesquite Independent School District (ISD) in Mesquite, Texas, Howell tells us.
Mesquite ISD filmed 45 videos (one for each school week) with JAMmin Minute routines for their own students. Many of the routines are created by the JAMmin Minute program, but Mesquite ISD thought up the routine Lavizzo-Mourey led at the conference.
“We encourage schools to get creative, and to put the kids and teachers on video because students and school personnel are most inspired with their peers and the school’s adults (including the food service folks and school janitors),” Howell says. 
Howell says the videos have been a huge hit in Mesquite, not only among the students but with their parents as well. The JAM Program has sent the routine to all the schools it serves, along with the link to the video. “What a great inspiration for other schools, not only in their community but around the country,” Howell adds.
Full disclosure: is a project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.