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Bush Runs 3 Mile Race To Promote National Fitness - 2002-06-22

President Bush is continuing his push to make Americans healthier. The president ran in a three-mile race Saturday to help promote his program to get people to exercise more and eat better.

President Bush joined several hundred White House staffers in a three-mile run at a nearby army base. In a white T-shirt and running shorts, Mr. Bush did not win the race but he posted a time of under seven minutes a mile.

It is part of efforts to promote the president's new physical fitness program to get Americans to live longer, healthier lives. "When it comes to your health, even little steps can make a big difference. If just ten percent of adults began walking regularly, Americans could save $5.6 billion in costs related to heart disease. And research suggests that we can reduce cancer deaths by one-third simply by changing our diets and getting more exercise," he said.

The government said nearly half of all American adults say they get no exercise. Obese people spend one-third more on health care and 77 percent more on medicine than the general population.

In his weekly radio address, Mr. Bush encouraged Americans to get even a little bit of exercise every day. "Walking 30 minutes a day can improve your health. Playing a game in the backyard will help parents and children get fit and spend some quality time with each other. And regularly hiking through a park can add years to your life," he said.

The president is encouraging Americans to eat more fruits and vegetable and cut-back on fatty food. He wants people to get preventative screenings for diabetes, cancer, and heart disease and avoid tobacco, drugs, and excessive alcohol.