From the Active for
Life® National Program Office
the Active for Life Program Office
Tactics and Tools
The Season’s Best to You
As we near the year’s end we want to take a moment
to wish our friends, partners and colleagues the very best
of health, happiness and wellness to you and yours. Remember
to take time from your hectic schedule to get your physical
activity in – a walk with family or friends, ice skating,
skiing, a family jog, some “alone time” at the
fitness center – whatever your preference, remember
to stay Active for Life!
Aging and Physical Activity Addressed at Headline
Members of the Active for Life team were among the highlighted
presenters at the November 19-23 Gerontological Society
of America Annual Scientific Meeting:
Promoting Physical Activity for Older
Adults in Local Community Settings was addressed by Wojtek
Chodzko-Zajko, Waneen Spirduso, Marcia Ory, Roseann Lyle,
Michael Rogers, Chae Hee Park, and Kay Loughrey.
National Study of the Best Practice Physical
Activity Programs was addressed by Nancy Whitelaw, Susan
Hughes, Rachel Seymour, and Sara Wilcox.
Exercise: Health and Well-Being was moderated
by Marcia Ory with presentations by Minjung Seo, Emmanualle
Tulle, Lin Noyes, and Rita Wong.
Translation of Research to Practice:
Learning To Adapt Programs for Diverse Populations While
Maintaining Program Fidelity presenters included Robin
Mockenhaupt, Stacy Wegley, Ruth Ann Carpenter, Sara Wilcox,
Diane Dowdy, and Nancy Whitelaw.
Dissemination of the Strong for Life
Exercise Program using Faith in Action Volunteer Caregivers
presenters included Sarah Cheney, Bette Ann Harris, Caryn
Etkins, Nancy Latham, and Robin Mockenhaupt.
Patient-Provider Health Communication
Across the Continuum of Care: Translating Clinical Guidelines
into Primary Care Practice was presented by Marcia Ory.
Translating Research Into Practice and
Promoting Health: Testing the SESEP in Senior Centers
was addressed by Amanda Vogel, Piyatida Junlapeeya, Barbara
Resnick, Daria Luisi, and Terry Bazzarre.
Upcoming Meetings of
February 16-20, 2005. Preventive Medicine 2005 sponsored by
the American College of Preventive Medicine and is being held
in Washington, D.C. This meeting will serve as a national
forum for physicians and healthcare professionals with an
interest in preventive medicine. www.preventivemedicine2005.org.
The Healthy Heart Walking CD
A few years ago, the American Heart Association (AHA) launched
The Healthy Heart Walking Tape. It was published as a cassette
in 1995, and is being re-launched as a CD. The music was written
to AHA specifications for a beginning and intermediate walk,
with warm-ups and cool-downs written right into the music.
Rita Moreno narrates The Healthy Heart Walking CD, which sells
for $14 and is now available from traditional and online bookstores.
American Heart Offers Exercise and Your Heart
This booklet is an excellent resource for anyone starting
an exercise program. It provides information on choosing a
physical activity that's right for you, sticking with it and
monitoring your progress. It explains how to take your heart
rate during exercise, stretching and cool down. It also includes
a walking and jogging program. Produced in conjunction with
National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the brochure
can be ordered online at http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=9036.
NIA HANDBOOK: Working with Your Older Patient: A Clinician's
The National Institute on Aging has released a newly revised
clinician's handbook for working with older patients. The
handbook offers tips and strategies for clinicians seeking
to build relationships and bridge communication gaps with
their older patients. The handbook addresses difficult-to-discuss
issues including cognitive problems and memory loss, and provides
practical tips to promote adherence to treatment. The handbook
offers physicians-in-training and other health care professionals
an introduction to needed communication skills in dealing
with older patients and their families, and it provides both
a review and continuing education for more experienced clinicians.
The handbook describes and explains issues pertinent to older
patients and suggests practical techniques and approaches
to facilitate diagnosis, promote adherence to treatment, make
more efficient use of clinicians' time, and increase both
patient and provider satisfaction. To get a copy, go to
What Keeps People from
Going to the Gym?
According to an article in the November 15th issue of the
ACE Professional Newsletter (American Council on Exercise),
many Americans have good intentions of going to the gym
on a regular basis, but most don’t even make if through
the front doors.
- 46 percent of visitors to the ACE
Web site indicate they don’t go to the gym because
it’s too crowded.
- 21 percent say they don’t
go because they don’t know what they’re doing.
- 19 percent feel they’ll be
the only one who isn’t “buff” or already
in good shape.
If you are working with mid-life
and older adults, you might address these common concerns.
For those adults who have flexible schedules and want to
use a gym or fitness center, suggest they plan their physical
activity at times when a gym or fitness facility is apt
to be less crowded. Offer resources to help make people
comfortable in a fitness facility. You might also suggest
that they ask if the facility offers orientations or free
sessions on how to use the equipment and if there is a certified
fitness staff that is available to answer questions. etc.
Most importantly, emphasize that the majority of people
who engage in regular physical activity are not “buff”
or elite athletes; most are average people who are active
in order to maintain their health and wellness.
Official government handbook
with important information about new changes to Medicare
Medicare recently mailed an updated Medicare and You handbook
that, for the first time, emphasizes Medicare's new prevention-oriented
focus. The handbook informs beneficiaries of what they should
do to take advantage of these new services dedicated to
early detection and treatment of disease. For more information,
go to http://www.medicare.gov.
Older Americans 2004: Key
Indicators of Well Being
Older Americans 2004: Key Indicators of Well-Being, issued
by the Federal Interagency Forum on Age-Related Statistics
comprises 37 key indicators concerning lives of older Americans
and their families. The indicators are divided into five
subject areas: population, economics, health status, health
risks and behaviors, and health care. The data are arrayed
in charts and tables with an accompanying narrative. To
download a copy, go to http://agingstats.gov/chartbook2004/index.html.
State of Aging and Health
in America Report
The Merck Institute of Aging & Health (MIAH) and The
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) jointly
released the third annual State of Aging and Health in America
Report, which focuses on promoting healthy behaviors among
Americans 65 and older. These behaviors include healthy
diet, controlling weight and, most important, physical activity.
The new report, which also features input from the Gerontological
Society of America, says that despite the proven health
benefits of physical activity, one third of older adults
are not taking part in any leisure-time physical activities.
Additionally, two-thirds of older adults are not eating
the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables a
day. And nearly one-fifth of older adults are obese, which
is defined as at least 30 pounds above recommended weight.
The CDC/MIAH report also ranks health status, health behaviors
and the use of preventive services among older Americans
at both the national and state levels. Under the most recent
state "report card," which
shows whether individual states are meeting federal targets
for various health indicators, no state met all the federal
The Built Environment and
Health: 11 Profiles of Neighborhood Transformation
The Prevention Institute has profiled eleven projects in
predominantly low-income communities where local residents
mobilized public and private resources to make changes in
their physical environments to improve the health and quality
of life for their citizens. Such changes included building
a jogging path around a cemetery, transforming vacant lots
into community gardens, reducing the prevalence of nuisance
liquor stores, and creating attractive murals on walls where
graffiti once reigned. These case studies will help concerned
citizens, urban planners, and public officials examine possibilities
for local environmental changes that would improve the health
of the residents of their communities.
Developing Effective Coalitions:
An 8-Step Guide
Health professionals attend numerous meetings and sometimes
assume that they understand all that is necessary for working
groups to succeed. Often, however, groups fail or, perhaps
worse, flounder. To avoid this type of experience, which
only erodes faith in collaborative efforts, people need
to sharpen the skills that are necessary to build and maintain
coalitions. Developing Effective Coalitions: An 8-Step Guide
contributes to the discussion of group processes by offering
an eight-step guide to building effective coalitions. This
paper is written from the perspective of an organization
considering initiating and leading a coalition but can be
helpful to anyone eager to strengthen a coalition in which
he or she participates. The guide, developed by The Prevention
Institute, is available at http://www.preventioninstitute.org/eightstep.html.
Getting Set with New Year’s
At this time of year you may be helping clients with New
Year’s Resolutions, and setting your own as well.
The following tips from the National Wellness Institute
can help focus your efforts.
1. List the benefits of the behavior change.
2. Set clear and realistic long- and short-term goals that
are achievable for you.
3. Identify strategies and seek out resources to help you
4. Plan to encounter and overcome obstacles.
5. Alter your environment to help support your change.
6. Elicit the help of friends and family to support you
in your effort.
7. Track your progress.
8. Reward yourself for your accomplishments.
Find you are not achieving the success you had hoped for?
Review your strategies and try a different approach. Changing
a long-time behavior may take several approaches and several
attempts before you achieve your goal. And remember to have
fun in the process.
The Best Time to Exercise
What is the best time to exercise? It may be more difficult
to exercise after a meal depending on how much you eat,
how soon after, and how hard you exercise. The answer is
that the best time to exercise is whatever works for you.
Source: Cedric Bryant, 101 Frequently Asked Questions About
Health & Fitness and Nutrition and Weight Control, Sagamore
In the News
The Surface Transportation Policy Project (STPP)’s
Mean Streets 2004 Study Issued
Walking remains the most dangerous mode of transportation,
and some areas of the country are becoming markedly more
dangerous according to a recent study. The study, released
by STPP in conjunction with AARP, Advocates for Highway
and Auto Safety, American Planning Association, American
Public Health Association (APHA), and the American Society
of Landscape Architects assesses the data and recommends
specific actions that governments can take to increase pedestrian
safety. Mean Streets 2004 recommends upgrading sidewalks,
signals, streets and other pedestrian infrastructures already
in place to improve the pedestrian environment, putting
more emphasis on pedestrian safety in the decision-making
process for future transportation plans, slowing down traffic
through traffic-calming and enforcement, and promoting walking
as a transportation alternative. The report also recommends
that states allocate a higher share of federal transportation
dollars to pedestrian safety. Mean Streets 2004 notes some
simple improvements such as crosswalks and speed limit enforcement
that can make a difference. For more information see
Minnesota Ranks the Healthiest State
Minnesota tops the list of the healthiest states according
to United Health Foundation’s (UHF) 2004 state health
rankings, followed by New Hampshire and Vermont. They are
followed by Hawaii (4), Utah (5), and Massachusetts (6).
The bottom three states on this year’s list are Louisiana
at 50, Mississippi at 49 and Tennessee at 48. Overall, the
health of Americans has improved by 17.5 percent since 1990.
All 50 states have shown positive health changes according
to the UHF nationwide survey report. Better personal health
choices, safer communities, and public health programs have
contributed to this increase. But even in the healthiest
states, minority groups suffer disproportionately more health
problems leading to premature death. Source: America’s
Health: State Health Rankings 2004, United Health Foundation,
Aging Network Launches Education Effort on Medicare Rx
The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a)
and the National Association of State Units on Aging (NASUA)
have launched a series of outreach and education events
as part of the Aging Network Medicare Rx Outreach Campaign
involving state and area agencies on aging across the nation.
During November and December, these agencies will host events
where Medicare beneficiaries can learn more about the Medicare-approved
discount drug cards available and receive on-site enrollment
assistance. For more information, call 1-800 MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)
or visit the Medicare Web site at http://www.medicare.gov.
HRSA’s Third Annual Survey of Women’s Health
Women’s Health USA 2004 is now available to the public.
The report highlights the impact of physical activity, diet
and nutrition, overweight and obesity on women’s health;
it also examines racial and ethnic disparities for 56 health
measures. Among the report’s main findings is that
only 21 percent of non-Hispanic black and Hispanic women
over age 18 engaged in regular leisure-time physical activity
in 2002, compared to 31 percent of non-Hispanic white women.
Racial and ethnic differences are also evident in rates
of overweight and obesity with 65 percent of non-Hispanic
black women and 52 percent of Hispanic women considered
overweight, compared to 44 percent of non-Hispanic white
women. For more information go to http://newsroom.hrsa.gov/NewsBriefs/2004/whusa.htm.
Active for Life® E-Newsletter Update is produced
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Science Center School of Rural Public Health. To include
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