THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Sept. 4 /PRNewswire/ — Anthem Blue Cross, collaborating for a third year with the California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, is launching a 15-week statewide mobile outreach campaign designed to get children moving and empower them to make healthy lifestyle choices now and in the future. The Anthem Blue Cross Live Like a Champion Tour will launch at Ventura County's Lemon Fest on Saturday, September 6th from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Anthem Blue Cross Live Like a Champion Tour brings interactive games and challenging sports-themed activities to help children bring out their "inner champion." The tour is traveling to local community and special events, YMCAs, Boys and Girls Clubs and other after-school program locations in 10 cities throughout California. Special effort is focused on reaching out to the state's underserved communities.

According to the California Health & Human Services Agency, approximately one in three children in California is overweight or obese. In addition, almost 40 percent of school-aged children are physically unfit. "Encouraging healthy eating and activity routines is a great strategy to help children stay healthy. Research shows regular physical activity during childhood and adolescence helps build healthier bones and muscles and increases self-esteem," said Harvinder Sareen, PhD, Director of Clinical Programs, Anthem Blue Cross.

"As the state's largest health insurance provider, Anthem Blue Cross recognizes its responsibility to respond to the growing epidemic of childhood obesity. We are committed to addressing the issue and empowering families and communities to adopt healthier lifestyles," said Leslie A. Margolin, President of Anthem Blue Cross.

A select group of Governor's Council celebrity athletes lend its support to the Live Like a Champion Tour to help raise awareness and promote physical fitness for all Californians. They serve as role models and share their favorite exercises, fruits and vegetables on life-size posters throughout the event-site. "Governor Schwarzenegger and I want to inspire young people across the state to get moving and feel the benefits associated with eating right, staying active and having fun," said Jake Steinfeld, chairman of the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. "Through innovative campaigns like the Live Like a Champion Tour and the Governor's Challenge, we hope to encourage children to develop healthy habits now and in the future."

Event activities include:

— Olympic Style Opening Ceremony: Children pledge to put down the remote and get active.

Misty May-Treanor's Spike Like A Champion: Inspired by Olympic volleyball champion Misty May-Treanor, children step up to the net and learn how to spike a volleyball as another way to be active and have fun.

Jerry Rice's Catch Like A Champion: Inspired by Super Bowl champion Jerry Rice, children make the winning catch in the end zone by diving onto an inflatable mat while hearing messages encouraging 30-60 minutes of physical activity a day.

Lisa Leslie's Hoop Like A Champion: Inspired by Olympic basketball champion Lisa Leslie, children shoot to score by attempting different basketball shots with various colored balls representing different healthy foods.

Julie Foudy's Kick Like A Champion: Inspired by World Cup champion Julie Foudy, children shoot multicolored soccer balls representing fruits and vegetables into a goal to learn the importance of a balanced diet.

— Toss Like A Champion: Children take shots at various foods in the refrigerator and knock down the healthy snack choices, reinforcing balanced nutrition.

— Board Like A Champion: Children find out the proper way to get up on a surf/snow board and maintain balance, with the safety of an inflatable mat beneath them.

— Closing Ceremony: Children engage in post-activity stretch exercises and join in an award ceremony, declaring all who participated champions.

About Anthem Blue Cross

Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name of Blue Cross of California. Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Association. (R) ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Association.

Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports

A non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting physical activity for all Californians with an emphasis on children and youth. Governor Schwarzenegger is the Honorary Chairman and Council members include Chairman Jake Steinfeld, Vice Chairman Peter Vidmar, and California sports legends such as Jerry Rice, Tony Hawk, Julie Foudy, Lisa Leslie and Misty May-Treanor. For more information visit http://www.CalGovCouncil.org.

Governor's Council Key Initiatives include the Governor's Challenge, the Governor's Council Spotlight Awards Presented by the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation, the Governor's Council Activity Guide presented by Longs Drugs, the Live Like a Champion Tour powered by Anthem Blue Cross and Exercise as Medicine.

       CONTACT: Gabby Sopko      (O) 312.784.1620      (C) 440.263.3720  

SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross

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