'Million Calorie Burn' Leads Off Play Tennis Month, PHIT America Month

SILVER SPRING, Md. (April 25, 2018) – They came, they played tennis, and they burned lots of calories.  That’s one way to summarize what took place last Friday (April 20) at the Million Calorie Burn, the official kick-off event of PHIT America Month, which starts on May 1.  May will also be Play Tennis Month.

The Million Calorie Burn -- held at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla., and co-sponsored by PHIT America, U.S. Tennis Association, U.S. Professional Tennis Association, and the Tennis Industry Association – featured a number of concurrent one-hour Cardio Tennis sessions during a three-hour time frame.  Nearly 200 participants traveled to the USTA National Campus to participate in this one-of-a-kind event, which was held simultaneously on nearly 20 different tennis courts. 

Cardio Tennis, which is managed by the TIA, is a group fitness session with an instructor on a tennis court.  The participants’ heart rates were monitored as were the number of calories which they burned during the workouts.  During the three-hour Cardio Tennis event, trained Cardio Tennis instructors put the participants through their paces on each court, overseen by Cardio Tennis Global Education Director Michele Krause.

“This was a fantastic event,” said Krause. “The participants were incredibly enthusiastic and our Cardio Tennis instructors did an amazing job.  At one point on Friday, 18 courts were being used simultaneously for Cardio Tennis, which is a record.”

The purpose of the event—which was free to attend—was to track the total number of calories burned in one day by those who played any form of tennis at the USTA National Campus on Friday, April 20.  The goal was to burn at least 1 million calories that day.  The calorie-counting effort was conducted by sports research firm Sports Marketing Surveys USA.  According to Keith Storey of Sports Marketing Surveys USA, a total of 433,400 calories were burned by all Cardio Tennis and tennis participants at the USTA National Campus that day. 

“While the goal of the event was to count calories, the bigger goal was to put the attention on the importance of physical fitness for Americans of all ages,” said PHIT America Founder Jim Baugh.  "By falling short of our goal of burning 1,000,000 calories, it is a true sign of the significance of the deficit of physical activity in America.  We need to pick up the pace!"

“Cardio Tennis is an excellent program to get people moving, active and enjoying all the great health and wellness benefits tennis has to offer,” adds Jolyn de Boer, Executive Director, TIA.  “The Million Calorie Burn was an important awareness campaign for this industry and a nice lead-in to Play Tennis Month in May, where we want to encourage tennis providers to offer events that help attract new players and get current players on the court more often.”

PHIT America used the event to raise funds in support of PHIT America’s GO! Grants program, which provides financial assistance to elementary school P.E. programs, specifically schools that want to introduce the USTA’s Net Generation program.  Participants were asked to use their cell phones to text 50155 with the message ‘tennis.’

“In a nutshell, funds raised will be used help spur more participation in tennis,” said Baugh.  “It was tennis players rallying to support the growth of their sport, and those who participated in the Million Calorie Burn had a great time.”

"One of the objectives of the USTA National Campus is to be a hub of innovation,” said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, USTA National Campus.  “Hosting unique events like the Million Calorie Burn not only promotes getting people moving, but also showcases the great health and fitness benefits of tennis.”

“The Million Calorie Burn on April 20 in Lake Nona was the launching pad for Play Tennis Month in May when USPTA professionals will conduct 1,500 events nationwide, with the goal of burning 10 million calories,” said John Embree, CEO, USPTA.  “Besides the fitness benefit that participants will get from participating, we hope to raise funds for PHIT America to get kids off the couch and on the court.”

The Million Calorie Burn was covered by the Florida News Network, the statewide radio news network in Florida; WOFL-TV (Fox affiliate; Orlando, Florida); and The Tennis Channel.

The general public who participated in the Million Calorie Burn had a great time.

“I loved the workout,” said Steve Shepherd of Edmond, Oklahoma.  “It was so much fun that I did another session.”

“Cardio Tennis is a great way to stay fit,” said Ann Schneider of St. Cloud, Florida.  “I had a great workout.  I also play ultimate frisbee and this is a perfect way to get in shape for ultimate.”

PHIT America has established May as PHIT America Month in an effort to get more Americans more physically active.  Right now, 82.4 million Americans are physically inactive.  The current national ‘Inactivity Pandemic’ is toxic.  The statistics on physical inactivity in America are sad, but reversible:

  1. Less than 25 percent of children in America are physically active three times a week.
  2. More than 25 percent of all Americans are considered totally inactive.
  3. Unbelievably, 48 percent of high schools across the country have no P.E. classes.
  4. Of military age Americans, 75 percent are unfit for military service.
  5. Childhood fitness levels in the United States rank 47th out of 50 countries.

Founded in January 2013, PHIT America is a non-profit campaign focused on overcoming the severe ramifications of the ‘Inactivity Pandemic’ through four strategic approaches – education, supporting school-based activity programs, a national event and advocating – which will get Americans, especially our youth, more active, fit and healthy.   Companies or individuals interested in helping PHIT America fight the ‘Inactivity Pandemic’ should contact PHIT America at Alliance@PHITAmerica.org.