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updated: 8/26/2012 8:15 AM

Illinois law aims to improve physical education

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Associated Press

A new Illinois law aims to strengthen physical education in the state's schools.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed the legislation Saturday and called on Illinois residents to get healthy and take his "Walk Across Illinois Challenge."

The governor hit the ground himself, leading a group of walkers on a half-mile trek through the Chicago suburb of Oak Park.

The new law creates a taskforce to examine ways to improve physical education and hunt down the state and federal resources to pay for it.

One of the bill sponsors, state Sen. Linda Holmes, cited studies showing PE benefits student physically and mentally. The Democrat from Plainfield added that "there is a connection between a healthy body and a healthy mind."

Quinn's walking challenge encourages people to trek 167 miles over one year.

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