NPR logo World Record Jumping Jacks? First Lady Leads Effort

Must Reads

World Record Jumping Jacks? First Lady Leads Effort

This afternoon, first lady Michelle Obama and hundreds of school children from Washington, D.C. will kick off an attempt to set a jumping jack world record by participating in a Guinness Book of World Records event.

They'll all do jumping jacks for one minute, hoping to inspire at least 20,000 other people to join them and make an old-fashioned exercise into a noteworthy cause. Mrs. Obama, who launched her initiative to fight childhood obesity, has already swung her hula-hoop around on the White House lawn and danced with middle schoolers. Now she's working with National Geographic Kids, which is using its Let's Jump! program to tempt children outdoors.

It's not just limited to kids - anybody can join in. The timing is flexible - participants can jump for one minute over a 24-hour period between 3 PM ET today and tomorrow. Here are the Guinness Book requirements.

Maybe they're tapping into a trend. Jumping jacks are as old-fashioned as, say, ballroom dancing, the subject of one of TV's most popular programs, Dancing With the Stars (where former talk show hostess Ricki Lake earned top marks last night).

If you prefer something quieter, try standing beside your desk like a Victorian schoolchild for "drills", stepping and stretching to music.

Article continues after sponsorship

But the king of old-fashioned workouts is the late Jack LaLanne, who helped popularize jumping jacks. Here he is with some old-fashioned facial exercises that'll get the "cobwebs out of your brain".

YouTube