Students 'Jam Across America' in nationwide fitness program


Thursday morning, 22,000 schools "jammed" simultaneously at the annual "JAM Across America" event in Monterey Park.

The kids at Monterey Highlands Elementary School got their "jam" on Thursday, raising the roof, doing the knee squeeze and reaching for the stars. They are some of a few moves in what is known as a JAMmin' Minute.

"Usually we do one minute. And then we do another minute, and the next thing you know you've done five minutes of exercise," said JAM leader Patricia Friberg.

Fitness pro and JAM ("Just-A-Minute") leader Patricia Friberg says the JAM School Program was created to raise awareness of the importance of being active. Not just during P.E., but whenever you can sneak a minute. She says it's not just about fighting obesity.

"The fourth-leading risk factor in all global deaths actually comes from physical inactivity," said Friberg.

KABC was at the launch of the JAM School program six years ago in Southern California. It started with a few schools -- today there are 22,000 schools nationwide.

Last year more than 1,300,000 did the JAM Across America simultaneously at 10 o'clock. Well, with schools signing up all the time, they're hoping to bust that record wide open.

Monterey Highlands Principal Debbie Kotani invited Alhambra Unified School District dignitaries to come "jam" with her 1,200 students and faculty in the second annual Across America JAM. It's caught on globally as well.

"This is actually around the world. We have it in Poland, all through Europe all the way to Asia, from Tokyo all the way down through Indonesia, Australia and South Africa and South America," said Lawrence Biscontini, an American Council on Exercise fitness expert.

"All they have to do is log on and sign up for healthy tips the JAM school program," said Friberg.

They'll get free routines via email from fitness experts, even kids themselves.

"So look at this: Simple fun effective. Getting people off the couch, out of their Game Boys, out of their iPhones," said Biscontini.

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