The School of Rural Public Health at the Texas A&M Health Science Center                                                        Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
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Active for Life - Increasing Physical Activity Levels in Adults Age 50 and Older!
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June 2007

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From the Active for Life Program Office
Tips, Tactics and Tools
In the News
Upcoming Events

Funding Opportunities

The Active for Life® E-Newsletter Update is produced monthly by the Active for Life® National Program Office at The Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health. To include information, contact Brigid McHugh Sanner at or call 214-244-4186. This program is funded by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation®.

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From the Active for Life® National Program Office

Congratulations to FirstHealth of the Carolinas
Congratulations to Active for Life® grantee FirstHealth of the Carolinas. FirstHealth was awarded funding from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust for the Healthy Living in Mid-Carolinas initiative. Through Healthy Living in the Mid-Carolinas, FirstHealth will provide tobacco cessation and lifestyle change support, through Active Living Every Day, Healthy Eating Every Day and FirstQuit classes. Their goal is to reach 7,000 people with the programs during a seven-year project period.

Update on AFL’s Generations Project
In response to the growing risk of overweight and obesity among low-income children, Generations Working to Prevent Childhood Obesity, an Active for Life synergy pilot project, continues to support four Active for Life grantees working to prevent and/or reduce childhood obesity by changing policies and environments through an intergenerational approach. Generations grantees met recently in San Francisco to share strategies and successes. Additional presentations highlighted the From Farms to Capital Hill: Growing Healthy Kids, Farms and Communities Meeting and the California Childhood Obesity Meeting. The Generations Web site ( offers toolkits, helpful hints, and a list of upcoming meetings.

New Web Site Supports Active Aging
The Learning Network for Active Aging Web site is now online at The Web site is designed to bring research findings to communities and professionals working to assist older adults in their pursuit of healthy, active lives. The Learning Network is part of the Active for Life initiative and receives technical support from the Healthy Aging Research Network at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. The Learning Network is coordinated with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through its Aging Initiative

Tips, Tactics and Tools

Motivating People to Be Active
According to an article, 10 Easy Ways to Make Exercise A Habit, on WebMD,, a study by researcher Diane Klein, PhD, showed that long-term exercisers (who had been working out for an average of 13 years) were not as concerned with powerful muscles as they were with feeling good and being healthy. Study participants ranked the things that motivated them to be active:

  • Fitness
  • Feelings of well-being
  • Pep and energy
  • Enjoyment of the exercise
  • Making exercise a priority
  • Sleeping better
  • Feeling alert
  • Being relaxed
  • Weight management
  • Appearance
Stressing these benefits when developing communications and marketing tools to promote activity can help tailor messages to specific audiences.

HHS Initiative to Improve the Health of Hispanic Elders
Five agencies have teamed up to assist local communities in up to nine metropolitan areas of the U.S. with large Hispanic populations to develop more coordinated strategies for improving the health and well being of Hispanic elders. The HHS initiative Improving Hispanic Elders' Health: Community Partnerships for Evidence-Based Solutions is designed to encourage Hispanic elders and their families to take advantage of new Medicare benefits, including prescription drug coverage, flu shots, diabetes screening and self-management, cardiovascular screening, cancer screening services and smoking cessation programs. For more details visit

How Local Governments Are Preparing for a Wave of Retirees
To help local governments meet the needs of an aging population, and to leverage the experience and talent of older Americans, five national organizations have joined forces to assess the "aging readiness" of America’s communities and identify solutions. This survey-based article focuses on the role that local governments have taken to provide programs and services for older Americans in such areas as health, nutrition, exercise, transportation, public safety/emergency services, housing, taxation and finance, workforce development, citizen engagement/volunteer opportunities, and aging/human services. It also discusses the challenges that local governments face in planning for an older population. The publication is available from the International City/County Management Association,, a local government leadership and management organization.

Excellence in Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging
The EPA is accepting applications for an award which recognizes outstanding community planning and strategies that support active aging. Awards for "Excellence in Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging" will be presented to communities that demonstrate the best and most inclusive overall approach to implementing smart growth and active aging at the neighborhood, tribe, municipality, county, and/or regional levels. Application, award guidelines and entry rules on the Excellence Awards for Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging are at Applications are due Oct. 17. Winners will be announced at the New Partners for Smart Growth: Building Safe, Healthy and Livable Communities Conference in Washington, DC in February 2008.

In the News

Physical Activity Important for People with Diabetes
Adults with either long-standing type 1 or type 2 diabetes had lower skeletal muscle strength than nondiabetic adults, note authors of a study in the June issue of Diabetes Care ( The study points out that among older adults type 2 diabetes is associated with accelerated loss of leg muscle strength and quality.

Physical Condition Improves Driving Performance
Older people who performed a physical conditioning program developed by researchers at Yale School of Medicine were able to maintain or enhance their driving performance, potentially leading to a safer and more independent quality of life. According to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine (, flexibility, coordination and speed of movement have been linked with older drivers’ on road performance.

Multiple Risk Intervention
Physicians trying to help patients change more than one behavioral risk factor may have more success approaching several topics at once rather than addressing them separately over time, according to a report in the June 11 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine ( Participants of the study were encouraged to stop smoking, reduce their sodium intake, and increase physical activity by at least 10,000 pedometer steps per week. The first group received one in-clinic counseling session on all three behaviors every six months, plus motivational telephone calls for 18 months; the second group followed a similar protocol, but addressed a different behavior every six months; and the third group received usual care, consisting of a one-time referral to existing group classes. “Long-term multiple behavior change is difficult in primary care,” the authors conclude. “This study provides strong evidence that addressing multiple behaviors sequentially is not superior to, and may be inferior to, a simultaneous approach.”

Retirement and Physical Activity
Work demands are often cited as a barrier to physical activity. But researchers found in a Dutch study that the overall level of physical activity declined among retired adults, compared to working adults. Researchers suggest that work-related time pressures might be perceived rather than real, retirement might create new barriers for physical activity, and developing new habits that include leisure time activity might be difficult for some older adults. Researchers suggest that retirees need to carefully plan their retirement and incorporate regular physical activity into their daily routines. The study is in the June 15 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology (

Upcoming Events


September 30: World Heart Day. The theme for this year’s World Heart Day is Healthy Families, Healthy Communities. Sponsored by the World Heart Federation; for more information, visit their Web site at

September: America On the Move's Campaign.

September: Healthy Aging® Month.

September: National Cholesterol Education Month. Send e-mail inquiries to:

Meetings and Conferences

National Wellness Conference: Creating and Sustaining Wellness Cultures. July 14-19. Stevens Point, WI.

Generations United International Conference. July 24-27. Washington, DC.

National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (N4A) 32nd Annual Conference and Tradeshow. July 29 - August 1. San Francisco, CA.

2007 Minority Women's Health Summit. August 23-26. Washington, DC.

The Cooper Institute Conference: Diversity in Physical Activity and Health. October 18-20. Dallas, TX.

American Public Health Association Annual Meeting. November 3-7. Washington, DC.

Gerontological Society of America Annual Meeting. November 16-20. San Francisco, CA.

National Prevention and Health Promotion Summit. November 27-29. Washington, DC. For information, go to

ICAA Conference: Active Aging 2007. Nov. 29-Dec. 1. Orlando, FL. For information go to

World Congress on Physical Activity and Aging. Tsukuba, Japan. July 26-29, 2008. The University of Tsukuba, in collaboration with the Japan Ministry of Health and Nutrition; the Foundation of Fitness Promotion and Exercise Guidance, the Japan Health Promotion and Fitness Foundation, the Center of Excellence in Health and Sport Sciences, and the Tsukuba Advanced Research Alliance will host this important scientific event. Information will be posted at

Funding Opportunities

Excellence in Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging
A new awards program recognizes communities for their outstanding comprehensive approaches to implementing principles of smart growth, as well as strategies that support active aging. This award will be presented to communities with the best and most inclusive overall approach to implementing smart growth and active aging at the neighborhood, tribe, city, county, and/or regional level. Eligible candidates are invited to submit applications, which are due October 17. The initiative is a collaborative effort with the President's Council for Fitness and Sports, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Council on Aging's Centers for Healthy Aging, the National Blueprint Initiative, and Active for Life. More information about the award is located at:

Innovation in Prevention Awards
A component of the HealthierUS initiative, the Innovation in Prevention Awards will identify and celebrate outstanding organizations that have implemented innovative and creative chronic disease prevention and health promotion programs. These awards will provide an opportunity to increase public awareness of creative approaches to develop and expand innovative health programs and duplication of successful strategies. Awardees will be the guest of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at the Innovation in Prevention Awardee Luncheon during the 2007 National Prevention and Health Promotion Summit November 27-29 at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Deadline for submission is June 29. More information is available at

Community 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 or e-mail

Funding Childhood Obesity Initiatives
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will commit at least $500 million over the next five years to fight childhood obesity in the U.S. The Foundation will focus on improving access to affordable healthy foods and opportunities for safe physical activity in schools and communities. It will place special emphasis on reaching children at greatest risk for obesity and related health problems: African-American, Latino, Native American, Asian American and Pacific Islander children living in low-income communities. Information is available at





Meet Our PartnersNPO Contact Info
SRPH Building
1266 TAMU
College Station, Texas 77843-1266

Phone: 979-458-4202
Fax: 979-458-4264

Active for Life National Program Office | SRPH Building | 1266 TAMU | College Station, TX 77843-1266
Phone: 979-458-4202 | Fax: 979-458-4264 | Email: