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Active for Life - Increasing Physical Activity Levels in Adults Age 50 and Older!
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June 2008

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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

FirstHealth of the Carolinas Fit Community Grant
Congratulations to FirstHealth of the Carolinas, an Active for Life grantee, on receipt of a Fit Community grant to implement Pinehurst Walks. The project is designed to facilitate community walkability in the Village of Pinehurst through greenway enhancements that will encourage walking to and from an elementary school. The Fit Community initiative is a designation and grants program that promotes a more holistic approach to address obesity in North Carolina.

American Fitness IndexTM
Active for Life is one of the many organizations supporting the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) American Fitness Index™, which was launched at the May ACSM Annual Meeting. The American Fitness Index™ program measures the state of health and fitness in 16 of America's most populous metropolitan areas.

Enjoy the Warmer Weather
Spring and summer weather afford outdoor opportunities for activity. For older adults sunglasses are not just a fashion statement; their lenses block harmful UV rays that, in severe cases, can cause permanent damage to the eyes in the form of cataracts, pterygium, and possibly retinal degeneration. Consumers should buy sunglasses from reputable companies to ensure that they block both UVA and UVB rays. Other tips for summer-time safety:

  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose clothing that reflects heat and sunlight, and helps the body maintain normal temperatures.
  • Drink plenty of water and other non-alcoholic fluids. The body needs water to keep cool. Caffeinated beverages should be minimized in favor of water and sports drinks. A good test of hydration is to make sure your urine is always clear in color.
  • Don't get too much sun. Always remember to use sun block (SPF 15 or greater) when outdoors for prolonged periods of time in the summer months, even on hazy or cloudy days.
  • People at the extremes of age are most susceptible to heat injury. Check on your elderly neighbors to make sure that they are staying cool and hydrated.

Tips, Tactics and Tools

CDC’s Healthy Eating Index
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) presents Healthy Eating Index (HEI) scores for adults, aged 60 and older. The data, from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), examines the association between the HEI scores and sex, age, race and ethnicity, education, smoking status, tooth retention, self-reported health, and body mass index (BMI). The report can be downloaded at

Quick Health Facts 2008
AARP’s Quick Health Facts 2008: A Compilation of Selected State Data ( provides a snapshot of each state’s health care landscape by providing comparable state-level and national data for over 30 indicators. Data are presented for each state and the District of Columbia in regard to demographics, Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance coverage. This publication is adapted from the State Profiles series that was published annually from 1990 to 2000 and biennially from 2001 to 2005 by the AARP Public Policy Institute.

Consumer Nutrition Information
Eating Well as You Get Older is the latest topic to be added to the NIHSeniorHealth Web site. The site is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM), both part of the National Institutes of Health. It provides practical consumer information on health and wellness. (

In the News

Physical Activity Reduces Heart Disease Risk
The risk of heart disease in women associated with being overweight or obese is reduced but not eliminated by higher levels of physical activity, according to a report in the April 28 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. (

Tai Chi and Diabetes
A study in the April issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine indicates that Tai Chi exercises can improve the control of type 2 diabetes. Researchers note that a combination of Tai Chi with medication may provide even more improvement in both metabolism and immunity of type 2 diabetes patients. (

Weight Loss Needed to Reduce Heart Disease Risk
Even high quantities of physical activity are unlikely to fully reverse the risk of coronary heart disease in overweight and obese women without concurrent weight loss, note researchers reporting in the April 28 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine. See the article at

Exercise Can Help Reduce Disability
Healthy seniors who are physically active and exercise for more than 60 minutes each week can lessen their chances of disability as they age. These results are from a study reported in the July issue of the American Journal of Public Health. (

Older and Happier
Americans grow happier as they grow older, according to research published in the April issue of the American Sociological Review. The study also reports that baby boomers are not as content as other generations, African Americans are less happy than whites, men are less happy than women, and happiness can rise and fall between eras. (

Upcoming Events


July is UV Safety Month. American Academy of Ophthalmology.

September is Healthy Aging Month. Healthy Aging® Campaign.

America on the Move Campaign. September. America on the Move Foundation.

National Cholesterol Education Month. September. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Meetings and Conferences

n4a Annual Meeting. July 20-23, 2008. Nashville, TN.

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

CDC National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media.
August 12-14, 2008. Atlanta, GA.

American Public Health Association Annual Meeting. October 25-29, 2008. San Diego, CA.

Gerontological Society of America Annual Meeting. November 21-25, 2008. National Harbor, MD.

ICAA Conference. December 4-6, 2008. San Antonio, TX.

National Conference on Chronic Disease Prevention & Control. February 23-25, 2008. Washington, DC.

National Council on Aging-American Society on Aging Aging in America Conference. March 15-19, 2008. Las Vegas, NV.

Funding Opportunities

AoA Funding
The Administration on Aging is accepting applications for projects that further the purposes of Title IV of the Older Americans Act. The deadline for application is June 30.

Local Funding Partnership
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is seeking applicants for its Local Funding Partnerships program. The initiative is designed to forge relationships between RWJF and local grantmakers to fund promising, original projects that can significantly improve the health of vulnerable people in their communities. The deadline for application is July 8.

Active Aging/Healthy Communities
The EPA seeks applications for Excellence in Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging. This award 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 on a variety of fronts, at the neighborhood, tribe, city, county, and/or regional level. The deadline for application is Sept. 12. (





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: