Missouri Makes Jumping Jacks Official State Exercise

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A new law has Missourians jumping for joy—literally. Last week Governor Jay Nixon signed House Bill 1603, making jumping jacks the official exercise of Missouri. Besides being fun and, of course, good exercise, kids wanted to commemorate famous Missourian John J. Pershing. In addition to being a decorated general in World War I, he's also credited with inventing this gym-class staple when he was a cadet at West Point. 

The kids of Missouri are hoping this new law will inspire people in their state to get up and get moving by showing that exercise doesn't have to be difficult or require fancy equipment. As of 2013, Missouri has an adult obesity rate of 30 percent—which is slightly higher than the national average of 27.1 percent—so Gov. Nixon is hoping the kids' passion catches on.

“The kids just couldn’t understand why everyone didn’t see the same thing they saw,” explained fourth-grade teacher Kristy Lorenz of the school's decision to promote jumping jacks legally.

This move makes Missouri the second state to have an official exercise, after Maryland claimed walking. (Dear Maryland: Kudos for making Washington D.C. the most pedestrian-friendly city in the country!) We predict California will soon snag yoga, Idaho will claim the mashed potato (dance), and New York will use their rock-hard abs to take down any state thinking about their Pilates. No pressure, but the other 48 states better hurry up. The last one on board with this new health trend gets stuck with one-finger pushups!

Are you hoping this will become a national trend? Sound off below or tweet us @Shape_Magazine!

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