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

May Observances

May is highlighted by a number of observances related to the health and wellness of older adults. The Active for Life (AFL) National Program Office (NPO) suggests attention on the following:

  • Older Americans Month - May is Older Americans Month, and this year’s theme is Working Together for Strong, Healthy, and Supportive Communities. Take time this May to honor our older adults and the professionals, family members, and citizens who care for them. Collaboration can help strengthen the services provided to older adults, recognize and meet the changing nature of their needs, and provide more opportunities to make informed choices about their lives. Resources are available at
  • Exercise is Medicine Month - The American College of Sports Medicine has designated May as Exercise is Medicine™ Month. A number of national efforts are planned, including a Congressional briefing and a media campaign. Exercise is Medicine™ toolkits, along with resources and ideas, are available at
  • National Physical Fitness and Sports Month - Join the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS) to challenge Americans to get moving for health and to get active and fit in May. Information is available at
  • National Women’s Health Week - The Society for Women's Health Research encourages women to take charge of their health throughout the year. But for those women who have fallen behind with regular exams and screenings, National Women’s Health Week, May 11-17, 2008 is the perfect time to take charge, take action, and get healthy. Information is available at

Tips, Tactics and Tools

National President's Challenge
The PCPFS is launching the National President's Challenge, a six-week physical activity challenge, to get America moving. Each of us plays an important role in getting the word out and encouraging Americans of all ages to get up and move more. To help spread the message, the President's Council invites you to visit to view and download campaign materials and resources.

Key Indicators Report
Average life expectancy continues to increase, and older Americans enjoy better health and financial security than any previous generation. However, rates of gain are inconsistent between genders and across age brackets, income levels, and racial and ethnic groups. Some critical disparities also exist between older Americans and older people in other industrialized countries. These and other trends are reported in Older Americans 2008: Key Indicators of Well-Being (, a comprehensive look at aging in the U.S. from the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics.

Men’s Health Campaign
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Advertising Council have launched a national public service campaign designed to raise awareness among middle-aged men about the importance of preventive medical testing. The campaign encourages men over 40 to learn which preventive screening tests they need to get and when they need to get them. This campaign complements AHRQ’s efforts toward improving the safety and quality of health care and promoting patient involvement in their own health care. More information is available at

Climate Change and Older Adults
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a web page on Climate Change and Older Adults that provides an overview of world climate change and how it may affect portions of the population. The extent and nature of climate change impacts on human health vary by region, by relative vulnerability of population groups, by the extent and duration of exposure to climate change itself and by society's ability to adapt to or cope with the change. The document can be accessed at

In the News

Brain Boost
Aerobic exercise could give older adults a boost in brainpower, according to a recent review of studies. Not surprisingly, eight of the 11 included studies found that participation in aerobic exercise programs increased participants’ VO2 max, an indicator of respiratory endurance. Improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness coincided with improvements in cognitive function, especially motor function, cognitive speed and auditory and visual attention, when participants were compared to a group of non-exercising adults or adults in a yoga- or strength-based program. The study appeared in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 2 (

More Benefits of Physical Activity
New research suggests that, in aging men, physical activity can reduce the risk of developing benign prostatic hyperplasia, lower urinary tract symptoms, and decrease erectile dysfunction. The study appears in Urology Today (

Promotion of Activity Guidelines
In March, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) led a Capitol Hill news conference with Members of Congress to announce the introduction of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Act, a Congressional bill to make the regular development and promotion of U.S. physical activity guidelines a reality. ACSM is working with Congress to make sure these national physical activity guidelines will be regularly updated – at least every five years – and promoted to the public, the scientific and medical communities, health and fitness professionals, the media, and others.

Upcoming Events


Meetings and Conferences

American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting. May 28-31, 2008. Indianapolis, IN.

n4a Annual Meeting. July 20-23. 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. Atlanta, GA.

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

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

Funding Opportunities

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.

Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program
The Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program, supported by The Atlantic Philanthropies and administered by Columbia University, will provide professionals in health and aging with the experience and skills necessary to make a positive contribution to the development and implementation of health policies that affect older Americans. The program offers two tracks for individual placement: (1) a residential track that includes a nine- to12-month placement in Washington, DC, or at a state agency (such as a legislative assistant in Congress, a professional staff member in an executive agency, or in a policy organization), and (2) a non-residential track that includes a health policy project and brief placement(s) throughout the year at relevant sites. The deadline for applications is May 27. (

Healthy Communities Grant Program
EPA Region 1 (the States of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and/or Vermont) is accepting proposals for the Healthy Communities Grant Program. Projects must benefit communities at risk (environmental justice areas of potential concern, places with high risk from toxic air pollution, urban areas) and sensitive populations (e.g. children, older adults, others at increased risk). One page proposals are due May 12. (

Livable Community Award
AARP and the National Association of Home Builders offer the second annual Livable Communities Award to builders, remodelers and developers for projects that incorporate design elements that accommodate the needs of all residents with all levels of physical ability from children through grandparents; improved energy efficiency and enhanced site design; and better communication with key stakeholders. The deadline for application is June 6. (

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: