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Moving and Dancing at the "Best Bones Forever!" Weekend Jam in Atlanta

I just got back from Atlanta, Georgia, where I had a blast at the Best Bones Forever! Weekend Jam. The Weekend Jam was held at the popular Lenox Square Mall, and invited tween and teen girls to celebrate their skeletons and have fun—truly, a Halloween party like no other!

The event kicked off with a dance contest with teams of girls ages 9-14 from Atlanta. Each team had choreographed a 90-second dance to one of three beats created for Best Bones Forever! They performed live in front of a huge audience. The girls were so brave and did such a great job! The event also featured a fashion show and live performances from hip hop dance group Swagger Crew, and the Atlanta Dream Shooting Stars cheer team led the audience in a physical activity. The winning team was dubbed Best Dancers Ever! and got amazing prizes—including a Wii and Just Dance 2 game to help them keep fit at home!

As a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, I spoke to attendees about the importance of moving every day and choosing a physical activity that they like so that they will stick with it. It was a great opportunity to encourage the girls to use the President’s Challenge to track their progress and earn their very own Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA). There’s even a Best Bones Forever! team that girls can join to get fit with girls their own age! Simply go to www.presidentschallenge.org and click “Register Now” to create your log.  Enter the group ID number: 94407 and the name: Best Bones Forever! to get moving as part of the BBF team.

Friday night was an amazing party, and the Best Bones Forever! Weekend Jam continued all weekend long! Girls and their BFFs (best friends forever) earned “Exskullmation Points” by participating in a number of activities, like a HOPSports activity station, Wii Just Dance, a glam your pumpkin activity, and sampling and voting on their favorite flavor of cheese. The stations emphasized the importance of not just physical activity, but also nutrition for good health and strong bones.

The event was sponsored by the Women’s Sports Foundation and the Atlanta-based Adolescent-Youth Development Resource Group on behalf of  Best Bones Forever!, a national campaign led by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health. The campaign is all about fun and friendship, encouraging girls and their BFFs to get active and choose foods with calcium and vitamin D to help prevent osteoporosis. I learned at the event that almost 90 percent of a girls’ bone mass is built by age 18, making the tween and teen years a crucial time to build bone-healthy habits.

Getting enough physical activity, calcium, and vitamin D is not only a great way to build the best bones forever, it’s fun and yummy too! I hope everyone got a chance to celebrate their skeletons this Halloween! For more information, go to www.bestbonesforever.gov!