"Exercise for me is...it's like food, it's like breathing and water, I need it every day. It makes me feel good, it revitalizes me, it energizes my soul," reveals world soccer champ Brandi Chastain to Healthy Hollywood.
Hard to believe it's been 14 years since Brandi's iconic sports bra-bearing moment! Now, 45, she's a mother to a 7-year-old son Jaden and 23-year-old stepson Cameron with husband Jerry Smith. She's still active on the soccer scene and wants to get kids everywhere playing.
As part of Youth Soccer Month, Brandi teamed up with Merck Consumer Care's Active Family Project to launch Play for a Change, which encourages kids and families to play soccer and more importantly get active.
"It's really important that families do exercise together because it creates a bond, number one. It's also important for adults to exercise. I think it gives [kids] good role models for when they grow up and how they'll raise their kids. So, what I do is we organize neighborhood potlucks at the park and everybody brings a dish an then we play wiffle ball or soccer or football, whatever it is," explains Brandi.
Brandi, who still plays in a women's soccer league, kicked off the Play for a Change program in Manhattan, where she surprised a group of young kids practicing soccer. This get-active initiative will also donate soccer kits to underserved communities.
"There is an intrinsic reward that I get every time I step out onto the soccer field. I feel twelve and I get excited and I want to chase the ball and I give a hi five and I want to slap someone on the back and tell them good job, you know there's so many things I learned on the soccer field that just literally make me smile and make me feel great and I want to share that with these kids and hopefully todays that's what happened," revealed Brandi about getting on the field with these aspiring soccer players.
To find out more about Play for a Change, check out www.facebook.com/activefamilyproject.
-- Terri MacLeod
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