With the new school year getting under way this month, the Fontana Unified School District is encouraging students to focus on being mentally ready -- and also on being physically fit.
That's why Kaiser High School graduate Chris Carter -- a former National Football League linebacker -- participated in a recent video produced by the FUSD in order to give students some valuable tips.
"I know the coronavirus is turning your lives upside down, which makes it really difficult to have a schedule to be consistent, be productive, and more importantly stay active," Carter said in the video.
To address these concerns, Carter said students can set up certain times in between and after their distance learning classes for some brief exercises.
"Not all of us like long workouts," said Carter, who admitted he wasn't a big fan of lengthy practice sessions during his seven years of playing pro football.
He said that exercise can be accomplished even while watching TV.
"During the commercials, do 40 or 50 pushups, or whatever is a lot of pushups to you," he said. "This is something I used to do; it was very effective, and by the end of my show, I always got in a full workout."
He added that it's "wonderful" for students to do a lot of reading.
"But take some time, give your mind a break, and go on a few walks or runs, whichever is your speed," he said. "This is good for your mental health, and it's good for your physical health."
The 31-year-old Carter urged students to also devote some time to self-reflection.
"We have a long road ahead of us, but we can all do this, with some discipline, with some consistency, staying active, and being as healthy as possible -- in every way possible," he said. "So remember you guys -- you are smart, you are special, and you are capable of anything. Now go change the world."
Carter, an All-CIF star at Kaiser, went on to play college football at Fresno State, earning all-conference honors, before being selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL draft. He played for several teams before suffering an injury in 2017 while with the Washington Redskins.
He created the Chris Carter 4 Youth Foundation, which raises funds for food, books, and school supplies for students.
FUSD Superintendent Randal Bassett thanked Carter for his words of inspiration and added that the start of school creates a good opportunity to commit to maintaining good health.
"Exercising, staying up to date with checkups and vaccines, and eating balanced meals are important to stay healthy," Bassett said.