Is Fitness and Exercise Important? This guy sure think so!

If you truly believe in something, what’s the best way to spread that message across an entire nation? One way is to take a slow trek across the United States, making pivotal stops to speak with communities and attracting media attention along the way. That’s exactly what Tommy Schneider of Chicago is setting out to do this summer in hopes of raising awareness for the importance of a healthy diet, fitness and exercise for today’s youth.

Tommy Schneider of TRUE Fit28 year old Schneider is the creator of a program at his local academy called T.R.U.E Fit; short for The Resourceful Use of Exercise. He spends the majority of his weekdays educating students as to the significance of maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle, with or without an affluent income at home.

The fitness coach’s primary goal is to convince today’s tech-savvy youth, who spend a great portion of their average day in a sedentary state, typing away at a computer, playing video games or fiddling with other technology devices. While they may or may not be consuming a healthy diet – more likely not – the lack of fitness oriented movement is a great concern for Schneider.

As part of his T.R.U.E. Fit program, Schneider hosts a clinic at Prieto Math and Science Academy, located in Chicago’s Northwest Side. Students receive training in warm-ups, strength training and conditioning, and are taught how to read food labels and evaluate things like sugar content.

In July, once the school year is out, Schneider plans to ride his bike all the way across the country, from Los Angeles, CA to the White House in Washington, D.C. He’ll make a multitude of stops in major cities along the way to speak to students about health, fitness and exercise, and how important it is to stay active throughout all years of life.

Youth Fitness and Exercise Awareness Tour

This isn’t the first time Schneider has undertaken such an endeavor. In 2015, he spent his summer on a similar bike trip, traveling from his hometown of Chicago, IL to Boston, MA. He made stops in half a dozen cities along the 1,200 mile trip, reaching more than 400 children along the way.

Tommy got the idea for the youth-focused fitness program in 2012 when he first started working with kids grade K-8 at a before/after-school program called Right At School.

“One of the things that stuck out to me was the inclination for kids not to engage in physical activity,” he told the Chicago Tribune prior to his first summer bike trek. “They’re more interested in sitting in groups with friends on the phone or on their personal devices,” he said.

“A lot of them do want to move around,” said Schneider. “But there are a lot of social restrictions in play that keep them from engaging in activity,” particularly the prevalence of computers, video games and personal devices.

Paying for a cross-country bike trip won’t be so easy for an academic fitness coach, though. He’s looking to raise as much as $15,000 with an account on GoFundMe to help fund what he’s labeled the “2nd Annual TRUE Fit Bicycle Tour“.

“This year we’re going to be even more ambitious with the hopes of covering more miles, spending more time, stopping at more cities, to reach more kids,” wrote Schneider, who’s raised more than $2,700 in the last month to help fund his mission for fitness and exercise awareness.

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