the Active for Life Program Office
Tactics and Tools
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the Active for Life® National Program Office
The Active for Life (AFL) program was awarded
the Cornerstone Award from the Texas Council on Aging. The
award is presented to a public or private organization outside
of the aging network that has made a significant contribution
to the field of aging on either a local, state, or nationwide
AFL Team Walked Across Texas
The Active for Life National Program Office team
recently participated in the 2007 Texas Cooperative Extension’s
Walk Across Texas event. The eight-member AFL team logged
1,264.85 miles during the eight-week program, which translates
to a trek across the state of Texas (830 miles) and about
50 percent of the way back. Now you can get your program participants
to participate in a similar event that promotes walking for
health and fitness -- the US Department of Health and Human
Services WOMAN Challenge. The program is designed to encourage
women to get 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days.
The kick-off coincides with National Women's Health Week (an
annual event) which is May 13-19. Complete details and free
registration materials are available online at http://www.womenshealth.gov/woman/register.cfm.
Participants will receive a pedometer (while quantities last)
and tracking log to record their progress throughout the eight
weeks. They will also receive weekly motivational e-mails
and health tips to help them reach their goal. Women can choose
to travel one of six different "virtual" courses
The State of Aging and Health
in America 2007
for Disease Control and Prevention, with funding from
Company Foundation, has issued State of Aging and
Health in America 2007, available online at http://www.cdc.gov/aging/saha.htm.
The document is a report card on the nation's progress in
promoting and preserving the health of older adults and
reducing the prevalence of behaviors and conditions that
contribute to premature death, disease and disability. The
report presents the latest data on 15 key health indicators
for older adults related to health status, health behaviors,
preventive care and screening, and injuries. A State-by-State
Report Card provides similar information for each of
the 50 states and the District of Columbia, and enables
states to see where they are on each indicator, as well
as in relation to other states.
Older Americans Month 2007
Older Americans: Making Choices for a Healthier Future is
the theme for Older Americans Month, observed in May. Older
Americans Month 2007 materials are now available on the
on Aging Web site. They include a copy of the logo,
posters, and a sample proclamation, as well as an article
that can be localized.
ICAA Welcome Back to Fitness
The International Council on Active Aging's Welcome
Back to Fitness toolkit is designed to help older adults
get back into a fitness regime, whether at home, at a club,
with a personal trainer, or on their own. The toolkit is
available on the ICAA Web site and features topics such
as how to get started, age-friendly equipment and physical
activities, what to look for in a trainer and questions
to ask your doctor before getting started. An age-friendly
fitness and wellness facilities locator (United States and
Canada) is also available. Go to http://www.icaa.cc/welcomeback.htm
to view the toolkit.
From Research to Practice:
A Knowledge Transfer Planning Guide
Available at http://www.iwh.on.ca/kte/images/IWH_kte_workbook.pdf,
this publication is produced by Canada’s Institute
for Work and Health. The guide is organized around five
basic principles developed to put the theory of knowledge
transfer into practice. The authors recommend practitioners
ask themselves 1) What is the message? 2) Who is the audience?
3) Who is the messenger? 4) What is the transfer method?
and 5) What is the expected outcome? Five worksheets offer
a step-by-step approach to answering those questions.
Course on Exercise for People
Physical activity is a lifestyle approach that is successful
in preventing or controlling type 2 diabetes. Exercise and
Diabetes is a continuing-education course (workbook and
audiocassettes) that provides clinically-based information
on the disease process along with guidelines for designing
an exercise program. ICAA members receive a discount.
More information is available from the International Council
on Active Aging (http://www.icaa.cc/Education/Exerciseanddiabetes.htm).
Core and Stability Exercises
for Stroke and Multiple Sclerosis
The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability
(NCPAD) offers a new DVD resource, also available on the
webshop, for stroke survivors, persons with multiple sclerosis,
and/or wheelchair users, as well as rehabilitation centers
and fitness centers. The DVD includes Core and Stability
Exercises for Stroke Survivors and People with Multiple
Sclerosis, as well as How to Prevent Rotator Cuff
Injuries for Wheelchair Users, and is a compilation
of exercises produced by NCPAD and the Rehabilitation Institute
of Chicago. See http://www.ncpad.org/videos/fact_sheet.php?sheet=499
The Arthritis Foundation offers an easy-to-use walking plan,
12-Week Walking Plan, which is suitable for all
fitness levels. It is available online at http://www.arthritis.org/arthritistoday/fitness/articles/2007_archives/walking-plan.html?CampaignId=E07D2X1MYZZ020381695.
10,000 Steps Per Day Intervention
A study in the November-December 2006 issue of
the American Journal of Public Health (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&list_uids=17152246&cmd=Retrieve&indexed=google)
found that people who adhered to a 36-week program of 10,000
steps per day realized significant improvements in body
weight, BMI, percentage body fat, fat mass, waist and hip
circumference, and high density lipoproteins (good cholesterol).
For those who completed the intervention but did not adhere
to the 10,000 steps per day goal, little or no change was
observed for these criteria except that they increased their
baseline physical activity levels by about 2,500 steps per
Tai Chi Boosts Immune System
in Older Adults, UCLA Study Shows
Tai Chi Chih, the westernized version of the 2,000-year-old
Chinese martial art characterized by slow movement and meditation,
significantly boosts the immune systems of older adults
against the virus that leads to the painful, blistery rash
known as shingles, according to a UCLA study. The 25-week
study, which involved a group of 112 adults ranging in age
from 59 to 86, showed that practicing Tai Chi Chih alone
boosted immunity to a level comparable to having received
the standard vaccine against the shingles-causing varicella
zoster virus. When Tai Chi Chih was combined with the vaccine,
immunity reached a level normally seen in middle age. The
report appears in the April issue of the Journal of
the American Geriatrics Society (http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.html?ref=0002-8614&site=1).
Group or Individual Exercise
Older people would rather exercise alone than be surrounded
by youthful hard bodies in Spandex, suggests a study that
examined how group fitness appeals to people of different
ages. The results are a cautionary note about providing
the right exercise setting for senior citizens, said University
of British Columbia researcher Mark Beauchamp. Researchers
found that people of all ages generally prefer to exercise
with people their own age -- or they may opt to go it alone.
Older people may be intimidated by "the Spandex-clad
ideal" seen in some exercise environments. The study
is in the April issue of the Annals of Behavioral Medicine
available at http://www.sbm.org/annals.
Connecting Exercise to Heart
Aerobic exercise is widely recognized to reduce the risk
of coronary heart disease, but until now, researchers have
not fully understood the biological mechanisms behind the
effect of exercise on cardiovascular health. Findings of
a new study show how exercise decreases inflammation, which
reduces the risk of atherosclerosis – fatty build-ups
in the arteries – that cause most cases of heart disease.
These findings were presented at the American Psychosomatic
Society’s Annual Meeting, held in March.
Physical Activity and Menopause
Women who engage in physical activities like walking and
yoga may be able to reduce some of the physical and emotional
problems that can come with menopause, according to researchers
reporting in the April issue of the Annals of Behavioral
Safe, pleasant neighborhoods that provide opportunities
for recreation may promote increased physical activity and
reduced loneliness in older adults, according to a study
presented at the Society of Behavioral Medicine Annual Meeting
and Scientific Sessions in March. Contrary to expectations,
total physical activity was highest for suburban participants
and was indirectly associated with fewer neighborhood incivilities
(e.g., boarded up buildings, graffiti, etc.), which in turn
were related to higher perceived safety from crime and higher
activity levels, particularly home-based activity such as
house and yard work. Less loneliness was associated with
the presence of neighborhood features promoting social cohesion
such as neighborhood watch signs, and fewer indicators of
territoriality (e.g., window security bars and high fences).
Physical Activity Doesn’t
Contribute to Risk of Knee Arthritis
Studies have shown that resistance training can slow lower-extremity
strength loss in people with knee osteoarthritis, and that
a planned program of strength, aerobic, and flexibility
exercises improves self-efficacy for exercise and minutes
per week of exercise and reduces lower-extremity stiffness.
A study, reported in the February issue of Arthritis
Care & Research (http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/114104081/ABSTRACT?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0),
used a combination of questions and knee X-rays to gather
information on levels of physical activity and knee symptoms
such as pain, aching or stiffness. After nine years, participants
were reexamined. There was no relationship between recreational
walking, jogging or other self-reported activity and the
development of knee osteoarthritis. Although overweight
people had an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis,
physical activity did not contribute to this risk.
Exercise Protects Against
Six or more hours per week of strenuous recreational activity
may reduce the risks of invasive breast cancer by 23 percent,
according to researchers from the University of Wisconsin
Paul P. Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center. Their report
in the February issue of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers
& Prevention (http://cebp.aacrjournals.org)
shows that exercise has a protective effect against invasive
breast cancer throughout a woman's lifetime.
Bicep curls don’t just
tone your arms
A new study has found that a brief session of muscle-building
exercise before receiving a flu shot can enhance a person’s
immune response. These findings help confirm an earlier
study, which showed for the first time that the acute stress
of exercise can increase antibody production in humans.
The new study appeared in the February issue of Brain,
Behavior, and Immunity (http://www.academicpress.com/bbi).
Older Americans Month.
May 2007. Materials are available from the Administration
on Aging at http://www.aoa.gov/PRESS/oam/May_2007/Materials_Downloads.html.
National Bike Month.
May 2007. Materials are available from the League of American
Women’s Health Week.
May 13–19. Materials are available from the National
Women’s Health Information Center. http://www.womenshealth.gov/woman/register.cfm.
National Employee Health
& Fitness Day. May 16. Materials are available
from the National Association for Health & Fitness.
National Men’s Health
Week. June 11–17. Materials are available
from the Men’s Health Network at http://www.menshealthweek.org.
Meetings and Conferences
American College of Sports
Medicine 54th Annual Meeting. May 30-June 2. New Orleans,
LA. For information, go to http://www.acsm.org.
National Health Literacy
Institutes. June 10-13. Freeport, ME. http://www.HealthLiteracyInstitute.net.
Diversity and Aging in
the 21st Century. June 19- 21. Los Angeles, CA.
on Physical Activity and Obesity Screening in Children.
June 24-27. Toronto, Canada. http://www.obesityconference.ca.
National Wellness Conference:
Creating and Sustaining Wellness Cultures. July 14-19.
Stevens Point, WI. http://www.nationalwellness.org.
Generations United International
Conference. July 24-27. Washington, DC. http://www.gu.org.
National Association of
Area Agencies on Aging (N4A) 32nd Annual Conference and
Tradeshow. July 29 - August 1. San Francisco,
2007 Minority Women's Health
Summit. August 23-26. Washington, DC. http://www.4woman.gov/mwhs.
The Cooper Institute Conference:
Diversity in Physical Activity and Health. October
18-20. Dallas, TX. http://www.cooperinst.org/events/scientific/index.cfm.
American Public Health
Association Annual Meeting. November 3-7. Washington,
of America Annual Meeting. November 16-20. San
Francisco, CA. http://www.geron.org/.
National Prevention and
Health Promotion Summit. November 27-29. Washington,
DC. For information, go to http://www.cdc.gov/cochp/conference/index.htm.
ICAA Conference: Active
Aging 2007. Nov. 29-Dec. 1. Orlando, FL. For
information go to http://www.icaa.cc:80/convention.htm.
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 http://www.isapa2008.org.
Advancing Public Health Practice
and Policy Solutions
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will fund projects that
will discover, implement, evaluate, or disseminate practical
and replicable solutions related to the following topics:
public health laws, regulations or policies; public health
advocacy or communications; and engaging hard-to-reach and/or
high-risk populations. For information, go to http://www.rwjf.org/applications/solicited/cfp.jsp?ID=19849&c=EMC-FA141.
Deadline for application is June 6.
Community Participation in
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 email@example.com.
College Station, Texas 77843-1266