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Michelle Obama Takes on Childhood Obesity

America's First Mom Talks With WebMD About How Families -- Including Hers -- Can Eat Healthfully and Be Active

So many American women want to look like you -- strong, fit, and healthy. What can they do?

The key is mixing it up. I combine weight training with cardio, and this year I've added on Pilates. The older I get, the more I find I have to stay flexible or injuries come more often. You don't have to run a marathon; a lot of my cardio workout is just walking on the treadmill on an incline.

What's your favorite go-to move to do anywhere, with no equipment?

Minute planks. [Lie on the floor at the top of a push-up position, but instead of doing the push-ups, just hold that pose for a minute -- longer if you can, less if you're not there yet.] Then do one-handed planks on each side. That'll get you burning real quick and strengthen your core. Or do some squats up against the wall. Or jump squats -- jumping up and down and getting your legs moving burns a lot of fat, expends energy, and builds up muscle mass.

With the busiest schedule in America, how do you find time to be together as a family?

We work out together as a couple almost every day, and eat dinner as a family every night at 6:30 unless the President is traveling. We go to our kids' games. We don't allow TV at all during the week, and no computers unless it's school-related. No desserts during the week either -- they're a treat. We have a set of routines and rituals that help us not just from a health perspective, but to stay strong as a family.

Ultimately, that's what "Let's Move" is all about too: not just making kids healthier, but strengthening families. And the beauty of it is that it's not just another government program. It's a series of important partnerships with the business community, nonprofits, and foundations. No one's ever set the goal of ending childhood obesity in a generation before, but we've got momentum now, and we're going to keep going.

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Reviewed on February 08, 2010

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