the Active for Life Program Office
Tactics and Tools
Active for Life® E-Newsletter Update is produced
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Office at The Texas A&M University System Health
Science Center School of Rural Public Health. To include
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the Active for Life® National Program Office
February is American
Each year, more than a million
persons in the United States have a heart attack and about
515,000 of them die as a result. The Active for Life®
NPO reminds our colleagues that February is American
Heart Month which is a good opportunity to remind
clients and patients that physical activity is an excellent
way to take care of their hearts. The American Heart Association
offers some great resources such as Choose To MoveSM,
a free 12-week physical activity program for women. The
program shows women how to Choose To Move by being
physically active, eating healthfully, loving their body,
selecting nutritious foods and taking time for themselves.
The focus is on helping women build more physical activity
into their existing routine. Go to http://www.s2mw.com/choosetomove/
Active for Life® Director
Receives University Award
Marcia Ory, Ph.D., director of the Active for Life®
NPO received the School of Rural Public Health Award for
Excellence in Research. The honor was presented at the first
Texas A&M University Health Science Center convocation,
January 24, 2006.
Research Participants Needed
The Oregon Center for Applied Science has developed a new
Web program designed to help inactive adults 55 + increase
their level of physical activity. The program helps users
plan a tailored exercise routine specific to personal health
conditions and physical limitations. Qualified participants
55 and older are needed to help evaluate the new Web program
and can receive up to $75 for filling out 3 online surveys.
Participants must reside in the U.S., have regular access
to a computer and have an active e-mail account. Recruitment
for this study closes on March 31, 2006. For more details
about the study and/or to sign up, please go to http://study.ActiveAfter55.com.
Joint Conference of the National Council on the
Aging and the American Society on Aging. March 16-19, 2006.
Anaheim, CA. The conference will feature more than
800 sessions covering a diverse range of topics in aging.
For information, go to http://www.agingconference.org/agingconference/jc06/index.cfm.
National Public Health Week.
April 3-9, 2006. Sponsored
by the American Public Health Association. http://www.apha.org/news/press/2006/010306_NPHW.htm.
TV-Turnoff Week. April 24-30,
2006. For information and resources see http://www.tvturnoff.org/.
International Congress on
Physical Activity and Public Health. April 17-20, 2006.
Atlanta, GA. The CDC Prevention's Physical Activity
and Health Branch, in partnership with the Association of
State and Territorial Chronic Disease Program Directors,
are sponsoring this congress. To learn more see http://www.ncpad.org/events/index.php?id=189.
Older American’s Month.
May 2006. The Administration on Aging sponsors
this annual celebration. See the AoA Web site for updates
National Bike Month. May
2006. The League of American Bicyclists is promoting
Bike-to-Work Week from May 15-19 and Bike-to-Work Day on
Friday, May 19. For more information see http://www.bikemonth.com.
CDC's Division of Diabetes
Translation Annual Diabetes Conference. May 16-19, 2006.
Denver, CO. Sponsored by CDC's Division of Diabetes
Translation and CDC's Division of Nutrition and Physical
Activity, this conference will address diabetes and obesity.
For more information see http://www.psava.com/doc2006/main.html.
National Employee Health
& Fitness Day. May 17, 2006. Presented by the
National Association for Health & Fitness. For more
information see http://www.physicalfitness.org.
N4A Annual Conference. Aug.
6-10, 2006. Chicago, IL. For information go to
NASU National Home and Community
Based Services Waiver Conference (in conjunction with the
Minnesota Aging and Disabilities Odyssey). Oct. 1-4, 2006.
Minneapolis, MN. For information, go to http://www.nasua.org/waiverconference/.
Tactics and Tools
Home Documentary to Air February 21 on PBS
The Almost Home film goes inside the revolutionary
transformation of a nursing home. And a companion Web site
gives the bigger picture. The site includes Understanding
Aging, which addresses general topics, while Changing Long-Term
Care offers information about culture change. There are
interviews, essays, tools, discussion guides, links and
video clips throughout, including a curriculum designed
to support the film. A true-life drama, Almost Home engages
viewers while eliciting important issues such as: coping
with disability and dementia; adapting to how aging changes
relationships; negotiating care-giving responsibilities;
preparing for the end of life; the economics of nursing
home care; the difficulty of surviving on nursing assistant
wages; and the challenge of changing nursing homes. See
AARP’s The State of
50+ America 2006
Compared with a decade
ago, the state of 50+ America seems to have improved, but
AARP's third annual "report card" on the quality
of life of mid-life and older Americans finds that the picture
has become less favorable and the outlook bleaker during
the most recent year. The 2006 report examines the status
of age 50+ Americans' economic, health, and social well-being,
and includes a special section on housing and how people
are responding to the current housing landscape. For information
go to http://www.aarp.org/research/economy/trends/fifty_plus_2006.html.
AoA Announces Theme for Older
The Administration on Aging has announced that the theme
for the May 2006 observation of Older Americans Month will
be Independence + Dignity + Choice = Healthy Aging. Resources
for Older American’s Month are available at http://www.aoa.gov/press/oam/May_2006/Materials_Downloads.html.
Regular Exercise May Delay
Older adults who exercised
at least three times a week were much less likely to develop
dementia than those who were less active, according to a
study reported in the January 17, 2006 issue of The
Annals of Internal Medicine. The study did not demonstrate
directly that exercise reduces the risk of dementia, but
it joins a growing body of observational research pointing
to an association between exercise and cognitive decline,
say scientists at the National Institute on Aging. To view
a news release about the study, see http://www.alzheimers.org/nianews/nianews78.html.
Physical Activity and Hormone
Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Physical activity appears to counter the effects of long-term
HRT on mental acuity among postmenopausal women, according
to findings published in the journal Neurobiology of
Aging. The journal also reported that increasing physical
fitness and moderating/changing food intake can contribute
to the maintenance of functional integrity and mental health
later in life. Both studies were published in a special
issue of the journal, Volume 26, Issue 1, Supplement 1.
December 2005. For information see http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/525480/description#description.
Exercise Helps Keep Aging
Minds in Shape
In a paper appearing September 21, 2005 in The Journal
of Neuroscience, scientists at the Salk Institute for
Biological Studies show that mice that voluntarily started
exercising in old age were better able to learn new tasks
and added more of the brain's message-relaying neurons than
their sedentary counterparts. "Our findings show it
is never too late in life to start to exercise," says
author Henriette van Praag, PhD, "and that doing so
will likely delay the onset of aging-associated memory loss."
For more information see http://www.salk.edu/news/releases/details.php?id=146.
Exercise May Speed Healing
The body’s ability to heal even small skin wounds
normally slows down with age. But a new study in older adults
finds that regular exercise may speed up the wound-healing
process by as much as 25 percent. “This is the first
time we’ve been able to document this kind of enhancement
associated with exercise,” said Charles Emery, a professor
of psychology and the lead author of the Ohio State University
study. The faster that a wound heals the less chance it
will become infected. The results appeared in a recent issue
of the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.
For more information see http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/517075/?sc=mwhn.
Exercise Reduces Risk for
Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease
A new study by Group Health Cooperative in Seattle finds
that older adults who exercised three or more times a week
had a 30-40 percent lower risk for developing dementia compared
with those who exercised fewer than three times per week.
Exercises included: walking, hiking, aerobics, calisthenics,
swimming, water aerobics, weight training and stretching.
Researchers followed 1,750 adults age 65 or older with normal
mental function for six years. Authors note this is the
most definitive study yet of the relationship between exercise
and risk for dementia. Previous research on this relationship
has yielded mixed results. The study is published in the
January 17, 2006 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.
Exercise Attitudes of Low-Income
Past surveys have shown that exercise participation is higher
among more highly-educated white people. Curious about the
perceptions of people in ethnic and economically disadvantaged
populations, a research team found that the amount of exercise
among socioeconomic groups is not as different as expected.
The researchers concluded that "when physicians encourage
moderate exercise, when patients believe that they can overcome
barriers to exercise, and when the environment supports
moderate exercise through the availability of community
exercise classes, inequities in health behaviors can be
reduced." The research is reported in the January 2006
issue of the Journal of Aging & Physical Activity.
Dog Owners Walk More
Dog owners log more exercise time than their urban neighbors
without pet dogs, according to a study in the February issue
of American Journal of Preventive Medicine. "There's
this extra dog obligation that helps get people up and out
for their exercise," said author Shane Brown, a physical
education instructor and researcher at the University of
Victoria in British Columbia. Brown and co-author Ryan Rhodes
surveyed 177 men and 174 women between the ages of 20 and
80 in Greater Victoria and found that the 70 dog owners
walked an average of 300 minutes a week compared to 168
minutes a week for the others. However, other than walking,
dog owners exercised less than non-owners, suggesting that
when dog lovers go on walks, they do it partly because they
choose to be active with their pets. For more information
Participation in Research
The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research/NIH/DHHS
is sponsoring support for research on health promotion,
disease prevention, and health disparities that is jointly
conducted by communities and researchers. For more information,
go to http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-05-026.html
or e-mail at email@example.com.
Civic Ventures Accepting
Nominations for Purpose Prize
Civic Ventures, a non-profit organization working to help
America achieve the greatest return on experience, announces
The Purpose Prize - five $100,000 investments in Americans
over 60 whose creativity, talent and experience is transforming
the way our nation addresses critical social problems. Sixty
semi-finalists will also receive national recognition for
their work. To nominate someone or apply yourself, visit
The application deadline is February 28, 2006. The first
awards will be made in June 2006.
Orange Thumb Grant Program
Fiskars Garden & Outdoor Living is accepting applications
for its 2006 Project Orange Thumb grants program. Project
Orange Thumb recipients will receive grants of up to $1,500
in Fiskars Garden Tools and up to $800 in gardening-related
materials such as plants, seeds, mulch, etc. Recipients
will also receive Project Orange Thumb t-shirts for garden
members/volunteers. Gardens and/or gardening projects geared
toward community involvement, neighborhood beautification,
sustainable agriculture, and/or horticultural education
are eligible. Community garden groups, as well as schools,
youth groups, community centers, camps, clubs, treatment
facilities, etc. are encouraged to apply. Only group applications
will be considered; single individuals are not eligible.
The program is open to any community garden in the 50 states
and the District of Columbia. The deadline for applications
is February 17, 2006. Visit the Fiskars Web site for more
information at: http://www.fiskars.com/US/Garden/Project+Orange+Thumb/About.
College Station, Texas 77843-1266