With childhood obesity a disturbing trend, every one’s looking for a cure. How about a free fitness program which gets kids out to run and walk each and every day of the school year – without adding any additional cost to the schools implementing it? Yep. It’s the cure, and it’s called The Morning Mile. More the 17 schools (elementary and preschool) in Alachua County Florida have implemented the Morning Mile with resounding success. These small students have completed more than 50,000 miles during this 2010-2011 school year alone, even though many of the schools didn’t get started until mid-year. Can you believe it? FIFTY THOUSAND MILES! That equals legitimate, quantifiable, certifiable success.

To participate in Fitzness International’s Morning Mile program, students voluntarily arrive before school to take of advantage of 20 – 30 minutes available to them for running/walking. They complete laps with a simple data collection system each day and are awarded with reward necklaces and colorful sneaker charms for every five miles they complete. Fun! These necklaces are just as good as gold in the student’s minds and serve as excellent motivation for movement. AvMed Health Plans has generously funded a tremendous amount of Starter Kits to ensure as many Florida schools as possible, can get their students moving in the morning. Fitzness International is expanding this program across the nation as well. If you’d like YOUR FAVORITE SCHOOL to enjoy the benefits of this program, visit and apply for a free Starter Kit. If you’d like your company to sponsor Morning Mile Starter Kits for your favorite schools, click here! Check out the press release below dated April 19th, to learn ever more about the Morning Mile.



~County students completed more than 45,000 miles in only one school year~

GAINESVILLE, Fla., April 19, 2011Each morning, students from 17 Alachua County schools arrive to school early with one simple mission: how many miles can I run before school today?

AvMed Health Plans today joined Alachua County Superintendent Dr. Dan Boyd and the students and staff from Hidden Oak Elementary to celebrate the District’s many successes through Fitzness International’s Morning Mile program. Since the start of the 2010-2011 school year, students participating in the program have logged more than 45,000 total miles, leaving them ready to start the school day focused on their academic performance.  A grant from AvMed provided the funding for the Morning Mile starter kits, which give schools the instructions and materials to start the program at their school.

“AvMed is thrilled that so many students have benefited from the Morning Mile program,” said AvMed Health Plans CEO Michael P. Gallagher. “By incorporating exercise early in the day, the students of Alachua County have been able to harness their energy into running so they come into the classroom ready to learn.”

“With childhood obesity a sad epidemic in our country, the Morning Mile has been a welcome contribution to our school system,” said Superintendent Dr. Dan Boyd. “With budgets tight, the Morning Mile is a brilliant way to ensure school children have the opportunity to earn healthy bodies, which in turn enhances their ability to learn.”

The Morning Mile program, developed by Fitzness International in Gainesville, provides participating schools with a program guidebook and everything they need to bring the exercise program to their students. The program has been so successful that other school districts around Florida are requesting information so they can implement the program in the fall.

“The beauty of the Morning Mile is that this incredibly simple program has inspired thousands of kids to voluntarily run each day. Not because they’re worried about their waistlines, but because they think it’s fun and it makes them feel good. It’s also ridiculously easy for schools to implement” said Morning Mile Producer Fitz Koehler. “I’m thrilled the program has been so popular in the Gainesville area and look forward to expanding the program across Florida and throughout the nation next year.”

Each Morning Mile starter kit includes a Sony “Explode” Boom Box portable stereo, program instructions, chain necklaces and sneaker charms. Requests for starter kits can be made by a school representative at Florida schools outside of the Gainesville area are responsible for kit shipping fees.

For more information on the Morning Mile program, including instructions to begin the program at a school, visit