Three North Dakota schools will receive state-of-the-art fitness centers as part of a nationwide program aimed at reducing childhood obesity.

Governor Doug Burgum said the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils (NFGFC) selected North Dakota for the 2022 DON’T QUIT campaign, which will be anchored around the three fitness centers.

Burgum said elementary and middle schools in the state can submit applications to be one of the three centers. Interested schools should go to natgovfit.org/nominate-your-school/ and click on the North Dakota state seal to download the application.

“Getting kids interested in fitness and good nutrition at an early age will yield benefits well into the future,” Burgum said in a news release. “The DON’T QUIT! Campaign that Jake Steinfeld and the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils are bringing to North Dakota provides a great opportunity for every elementary and middle school in the state to show how they make fitness a priority.”

Fitness celebrity Jake “Body By Jake” Steinfeld is the chairman of the NFGFC.

Physical activity and exercise are shown to help prevent and treat more than 40 chronic diseases, enhance individual health and quality of life, and reduce health care costs, according to NFGFC.  In schools, studies show that physical activity improves academic achievement, increases confidence and self-esteem, reduces discipline problems, cuts absenteeism and fosters better interpersonal relationships.

Each fitness center is financed through public/private partnerships with companies like The Coca-Cola Co., Anthem Foundation, Wheels Up and Nike, and does not rely on taxpayer dollars or state funding. MyFitnessStore.com provides the fitness equipment. The foundation’s goal is to build a nation of the fittest, healthiest kids in the world.

In addition to North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho and Nebraska have also been chosen to receive school fitness centers in 2022.