NORTH PALM BEACH, FL — Fitness professionals are challenging filmmaker Michael Moore to get healthy. Jim Labadie and Ryan Lee recently created an e-mail campaign to raise awareness about the benefits of exercise and its role in preventive care. So far, fitness professionals are mobilizing for the cause.
“Our main idea was to keep [the campaign] positive,” says Labadie, who is a fitness entrepreneur, publicity expert and speaker. “We didn't want to bash him, but this is what fitness professionals can do. We can promote health and exercise.”
Labadie and Lee, a fitness professional and author of the upcoming book, “The Millionaire Workout,” originally got the idea from a blog about Moore's latest movie, “Sicko,” in which Moore takes on the health care system in the United States.
After discussing many options on how to challenge Moore about his fitness, the pair came up with the idea for an e-mail campaign to help improve the fitness status of Moore and, in turn, others throughout the country. They quickly created a Web site, www.michaelmoorehealthchallenge.com, and sent out an e-mail to about 130,000 fitness professionals and the public.
The Web site urges readers to send either an e-mail or a letter expressing their desire for Moore to accept the challenge to get healthier through diet and exercise.
“As the issuers of this challenge, we do not know anything about Mr. Moore's personal health history,” the e-mail reads. “We do not know if there are any underlying causes for his current physical condition other than lack of exercise and poor eating habits. Again, it is not our intention to condemn or condone Michael Moore's stance on any subject other than his own current physical condition. The challenge is sincerely meant to have a strong positive impact on the health of the nation.”
So far, the response has been good, Labadie says. Recently, The Chestnut Hill Local, a paper that covers the northwest Philadelphia community, ran a story after Pamela MacElree and Jason Brown, founders of CrossFit Philly, a fitness-training program and studio in Mt. Airy, PA, sent them a letter. Labadie sees this as proof of how quickly the campaign can grow and how fast word can spread.
Labadie and Lee wouldn't mind talking to Moore directly, either.
“We'd love to hear from him,” Labadie says. “We have connections in the fitness industry all over the world. There are more than enough people to help him out. If Michael Moore does look fitter in a movie and if he continues to lose weight, well, that's a positive message.”
According to published reports, Moore tried to lose weight two years ago by spending $3,800 a week at the Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa in Aventura, FL. In interviews promoting the release of “Sicko,” Moore said he had lost 30 pounds since making the film.