Be Active Your Way Blog
The summer months are upon us! As the days get longer and the weather heats up, take advantage of the extra hours of sunshine to get outdoors and be physically active with your friends, coworkers, and family. When heading outside for activity and fun in the sun this month, always remember to grab your sunscreen and a reusable water bottle to protect your skin from the summer sun and to keep your body hydrated.
This month, celebrate National Running Day on June 5 and National Get Outdoors Day on June 8!
How are you or your organization enjoying the great outdoors this month? E-mail us at email@example.com if you would like to contribute a blog post!
Originally posted on the Let's Move! blog, in honor of the 3rd year anniversary of the Let's Move! campaign
Since early 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative has been an important driver of childhood obesity prevention efforts across the nation. Through Let's Move!, leaders in business, health care, community, and government have joined educators, childcare providers, faith leaders, chefs and many others to have a meaningful, positive impact on the health of our nation's youth. This month, Let's Move! highlighted their accomplishments from the past three years on their blog.
Here's a snapshot of some Let's Move! milestones and collaborations from the past 12 months:
To learn more about Let's Move!, visit www.letsmove.gov.
Physical Activity Guidelines Midcourse Report
As we look forward to another year of robust partnerships and efforts to improve the health of America's children, the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, in partnership with the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, is happy to announce the upcoming release of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Midcourse Report: Strategies to Increase Physical Activity Among Youth. This report, to be released on March 8, 2013 at the Partnership for a Healthier America Summit, highlights evidence-based intervention strategies for increasing physical activity throughout various sectors of society.
Learn more by visiting http://www.health.gov/paguidelines.
Tags: physical activity, childhood obesity, Let's Move, recreation, schools
Building Healthy Communities | Environmental Interventions | Playing Outside | Policy | Preventing Obesity | Schools
The obesity epidemic is a well-known crisis. Polling indicates that overwhelming majorities of the public are aware of the crisis, particularly as it relates to children. Obesity may be a resilient and notoriously complex issue to address, but it's no longer developing in the shadows of the public health landscape.
In contrast, the American inactivity crisis seems to swell beneath the public's consciousness. Of course, physical activity is often cited as a treatment or secondary preventive option for a range of chronic diseases, including obesity, but rarely is inactivity presented in popular media as a serious, widespread condition unto itself. Too often, the message received by the public seems to be that physical activity is something you do to "get better" from another condition.
The International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is committed to engaging communities with a new message: a sedentary body is a sick body. Physical activity is not just something you do to "get better," it's something you do to avoid getting worse, even without any other underlying condition. Indeed, physical inactivity alone is a harmful disease, not just another risk factor.
We are certainly not the only organization intent on raising the volume of calls to fully address the inactivity crisis, but we aim to be one of the loudest.
We hope that our new message resonates with a broader cross-section of community members than existing anti-obesity campaigns, which may be overlooked by individuals of healthy weight. We want the public to understand that physical activity is important for everybody, regardless of BMI. Healthy weight does not necessarily equate to "healthy."
As a trade association for health clubs, we engage with thousands of communities through our member clubs. All across America, IHRSA clubs are serving their communities as true wellness providers, providing safe, fun and effective opportunities for physical activity. In many ways, these clubs are amplifying the dangers of inactivity at a very local level while teaching communities about the joys of an active lifestyle.
IHRSA has been a long-standing ally in the fight against obesity and our support for that effort remains steadfast and true. But we are looking forward to engaging communties with an urgent call for more physical activity for the sake of it. Just as the obesity and inactivity crises developed in tandem, so too may they be eradicated.
How do you think our message would resonate with your community?
Tags: inactivity, physical activity, sedentary, policy, preventing obesity
They say two things are guaranteed in life: death and taxes. I would like to add a third... aging.
We age from the moment we are born until the moment we draw our last breath. We all experience this natural life process; some of us just experience it for a shorter time than others. Today, our longer life spans are creating challenges and opportunities as we enter unknown territory.
Among these challenges is the aging population's continual fixation on staying young and on top of its game. This desire to discover the fountain of youth has spawned numerous million-dollar industries. Whether its Viagra, nutraceuticals, or tummy tucks, these markets are being driven by aging Boomers who want solutions and want them now. Just look at celebrity Boomers Randy Jackson of American Idol and Al Roker of NBC's Today Show; both had gastric bypass surgery. After a lot of nip and a little tuck, they are thin again. But these celebrities took a major risk when undergoing their operations, as three out of every 200 people die after weight loss surgery.
The Hunt is On
Plastic surgery has gone mainstream. So, too, have the cosmetic companies that claim to offer solutions for wrinkles, age spots and cellulite. Of course, let's not forget the so-called medical breakthrough of a few years ago: the World's First Anti-Aging Pill. The pill's dramatic press release stated that the "promising discovery has been proven to quickly reverse the aging process by repleneshing the body's own production of youth hormone to normal 25-year old levels." Hard to believe, I know, but let's try to image what such a product could mean.
If we can lose weight by having surgery and build muscle by taking a pill, why spend time sweating off those pounds and building that noteworthy physique? If we can take "elixirs of life" that promise to recapture the vitality of youth, why get out of bed to walk or run on a dark, cold morning in winter? These are good questions to ask, but the fact is that all the surgeries, pills and elixirs have a downside, whether their claims are ture or false. About 40% of Americans age 50 and older believe anti-aging products are basically "hogwash," while another 36% are "curious, but skeptical." Although more than 20% of people in this age group say these products can "work sometimes," just 3% say they like them a lot.
To Age or Not to Age
As we hear stories about increasing numbers of Boomers and older adults having their stomachs stapled or taking expensive remedies, we must recognize that most of these new industries focus on physical beauty rather than on internal health. Think about it. We can have a great exterior, but still develop heart disease, hypertension, osteoporosis, diabetes and depression. But by making healthier lifestyle choices, eating properly, and exercising, we can prevent, control or retard much of the damage. Even today, physicians can prescribe pills to treat diabetes, depression and hypertension. However, we can address these health issues as well and if not better - and for much less money - through exercise, proper nutrition, and lifestyle modifications.
The reality is, we don't live in a perfect world. And the pursuit of the perfect exterior, whether young or old, while neglecting the perfect interior, could have a major impact on the health of aging Boomers. Our goal must be to help these individuals achieve their ideal self, both inside and out. By broadening the focus to include the internal, we can help our members - and our businesses - enjoy better health.
Expanding the Message
To accomplish this lofty task, take a step back and think of the market as your child. What advice would you give to your child, who you love dearly, and who you want to see grow up healthy and living a long life. Would you put them in front of a mirror and critique them, testing their body fat to see how they compare with the rest of the population? Not most parents. You are more likely to talk to them about what it means to be healthy, from the inside out, offering the support they need to grow and accomplish a healthy lifestyle.
Now think of members in your community. Do you help people you care about to be better from the inside out? Do you give them the support they need to be succesful?
What we in the field of physical activity and exercise offer the world is the ability to lead a high quality life, and there is no better time to start a physical activity program than during National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.
So, how will you help your community members shift their focus from perfection to prevention?
Tags: physical activity, older adults, active aging, prevention
Older adults | Preventing Obesity
This page last updated on: 11/04/2009
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