Former 'Bachelor' star shares health tips with Pa. students

October 07, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

FAYETTEVILLE, Pa. -- U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Dr. Andy Baldwin rode his bicycle more than 70 miles to reach Fayetteville Elementary School on Wednesday, then navigated it a few extra feet into the building and across the stage before greeting students.

He brought with him a message of exercise and healthy food choices.

"He's going from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia to show us fitness and how to eat stuff," 10-year-old Ian Mangan said.

Perhaps best known to the public from "The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman," Baldwin is a Lancaster County, Pa., native who works with the U.S. Surgeon General for "Healthy Youth for a Healthy Future." His 420-mile "Cross PA Health Ride" includes several stops at schools and community forums this week.

"We did 72 miles coming from Everett and that included coming over the mountains. ... I was pushing it, and my legs are definitely burning right now," said Baldwin, who compared the blustery conditions to those experienced during his five Ironman competitions in Hawaii.


Baldwin encouraged students to spend one hour every day being active, whether they enjoy jogging, hula-hooping, recreational swimming or organized sports.

"I have the children feel their heartbeat, then do some physical activity and feel their heartbeat again," Baldwin said.

In attendance was Baldwin's father, whom he credits with being a strong role model for healthy living. He said he wants to be a role model himself.

"I attribute everything that I am to what I learned in my roots in Pennsylvania," Baldwin said.

He shared a "Whoa, Slow, Go" concept modeled off a traffic light. The ideas are supposed to tie into family grocery shopping, during which children should say "whoa" to soda, "slow" to things like pasta, and "go" for vegetables and fruits.

Taylor Arndt, 10, enjoys softball, basketball and snacking on apples. Taylor's physical education teacher mentioned the assembly, and she was excited to learn about other healthy foods.

Ian likes playing soccer and tag with friends. Although he has a bike, Baldwin's weeklong trip from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia struck Ian as a little daunting.

"I think it'd take me longer than him," he said.

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