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Lets Move Instant Recess

January 23, 2011

“Instant Recess” (also called “Lift Off”) was developed by Dr. Toni Yancey, professor of health services at the University of California as a way of counteracting sedentary lifestyles. The aim of “Instant Recess” is to change our national culture to make exercise part of everyone’s lives. It has now become the calling card for the new National Physical Activity Plan with First Lady Michelle Obama’s initiative to reduce childhood obesity.

“Instant Recess” is a 10-minute break, like a coffee break but healthier. The session can be instituted wherever people gather: day care centers, schools, workplaces, conferences, places of worship, senior centers, etc.

Why the UCC is participating in Instant Recess

The United Church of Christ has committed to partner with First Lady Michele Obama to reduce and/or eliminate childhood obesity and to call attention to the devastating affects of obesity in adults. Increasing Physical activity is one of the goals of Mrs. Obama’s initiative. The United Church of Christ believes that good health is a part of God’s intention for all people and we are pleased to focus on the physical care of our bodies and being healthy and whole.

Instant Recess Guide

  1. 1) Ask your Faith Community Nurse, Health Ministry Team, or Pastor to lead a 10-minute group exercise session during the 11:00 worship service. It can be scheduled during the greeting of the visitors or after the church announcements or any time during the service that works for your church. An Instant Recess can also be held during Sunday school or Bible Study.

  2. 2) Share the reason that UCC is involved with First Lady Michele Obama’s childhood obesity initiative.

  3. (Read statement above)

  4. 3) Print, copy and handout Benefits of Physical Activity published by the Centers for Disease Control. Read a few of the benefits: 

    1. * Controls Weight

    2. * Reduces risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes

    3. * improves mental health

    4. * increases chances of living longer.

  5. 4) Put on a short gospel tape or have the musicians play some music that members can move to for 10 minutes.

  6. 5) Do simple aerobic movement and dance steps to the music that includes stretching, raising arms and bending.

  7. 6) A variation could be African Dance moves, Hip Hop moves, liturgical dance moves, Line Dance, etc.

  8. 7) Close out the “Instant Recess” session by asking members to pledge to participate in the three million miles walking challenge by walking at least 10 miles a week between January 30 and November 30, 2011.  Collective miles of al UCC churches nationwide will be delivered to First Lady Obama’s goal of three million miles across the United States.

  9. 8) Complete the electronic form to let us know how your “Instant Recess” session went.  Email pictures in JPG format and/or a DVD of the session to: Barbara T. Baylor, MPH, Minister for Health Care Justice – baylorb@ucc.org

Resources on Instant Recess

View the” Instant Recess” Video on You Tube:  Click here!

View an Instant Recess session at a congregation: Click here!