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Active for Life - Increasing Physical Activity Levels in Adults Age 50 and Older!
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January 2009

Previous Newsletters

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

AFL Paper Named Among 10 Most Influential
In December the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) asked for input on the 10 most influential RWJF-funded research articles of 2008. More than 1,400 people cast votes, with the largest percentage of voters from California (14%), followed by Massachusetts (6.4%), and New York (6.3%). Thirty-eight percent were academics. Active for Life: Final Results from the Translation of Two Physical Activity Programs, published in the October 2008 issue of the American Journal of Public Health ( was selected as the seventh most influential paper. For the complete list, please visit (

Best Wishes to Terry Bazzarre
AFL’s senior program officer Terry Bazzarre, Ph.D., MS announced his retirement from RWJF in late December. Bazzarre joined the foundation January 2001. He served on the RWJF Public Health Team, and had also been a member of the Health and Behavior Team, the Quality Team where he developed initiatives to improve diabetes care, and the Childhood Obesity Team. He managed the foundation's signature programs for promoting physical activity among adults age 50+. These programs include Active for Life, the National Blueprint for Promoting Physical Activity, and the Best Practices for Promoting Physical Activity among Adults 50+. In addition, Bazzarre has served on the boards of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE). He is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of the American College of Nutrition and the International Journal of Sports Nutrition, and has served on many committees and expert advisory panels. He has published more than 140 scientific papers and is a fellow with both the ACSM and the American College of Nutrition. His wisdom, counsel, and friendship will be missed by the AFL family, and we wish him great success as he embarks upon the next phase of his life.

American Heart Month Just Around the Corner
February is American Heart Month, an excellent time to encourage patients, clients, colleagues, family, and friends to take care of their hearts through regular physical activity. Some useful resources include:

Choose To Move is a 12-week program for women who want to make a change in their lifestyle. It is offered from the American Heart Association (

• The CDC offers six free heart-health Health-e-Cards. These are part of the 100+ CDC eCards that feature health and safety messages and link to specific information, healthy tips, and safety guidelines. ( .

• AARP offers a free four-minute, online video ( with Martina Navratilova, AARP's health and fitness ambassador, who shares tips on how to get motivated for fitness.

Tips, Tactics and Tools

2006 BRFSS Chronic Disease and the Environment Data Now Available
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Behavioral Surveillance Branch has released the 2006 BRFSS Data on Chronic Disease and the Environment. The online Chronic Disease and the Environment datasets combine BRFSS data with environmental information available from other sources, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States Geological Survey, and state and local monitoring networks, to compare measures of environmental quality and chronic disease. The data are located at

How Walkable Is Your Community?
Walk Score ( is an online tool that ranks 2,508 neighborhoods in the largest 40 U.S. cities to help identify walkable places. Walk Score uses a patent-pending system to measure the walkability of an address. The Walk Score algorithm awards points based on the distance to the closest amenities, such as restaurants, schools, and grocery stores.

National Public Health Week Toolkit
Although the United States spends more on health care than any other country, the health system is failing. Our nation is falling behind in many important measures of what it means to be healthy. The theme for National Public Health Week 2009, Building the Foundation for a Healthy America, will guide efforts to focus on core public health principles such as preventing disease and promoting health. The American Public Health Association serves as the organizer of National Public Health Week. For more information and toolkits, please visit

In the News

Top Fitness Trends for 2009
Special fitness programs for older adults ranked number six on the ACSM’s top ten predicted 2009 fitness trends ( ACE ( also announced top trends for the New Year and noted in a December news release that “boomer fitness” will be among the major focuses of fitness professionals. In the release ACE said, “The 50+ audience continues to redefine our expectations about age, vitality and life and has highlighted the importance of physical activity as we age.”

Activity Increases Blood Flow to the Brain
According to research published Dec. 29 in Neurobiology of Aging (, being physically active increases blood flow in the brain and, as a result, aids cognitive abilities. The study, Effects of Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Cerebral Blood Flow on Cognitive Outcomes in Older Women, compared women who took part in regular aerobic activity with a group of women who were inactive. Researchers found that compared to the inactive group, the active group had lower resting and exercising arterial blood pressure, higher vascular responses in the brain during submaximal exercise and when the levels of carbon dioxide in the blood were elevated, and higher cognitive function scores.

Exercise Programs that Benefit the Elderly
Researchers who studied the impact of participating in exercise classes provided by community organizations designated "best-practice" providers in a national competition conducted by the Center for Healthy Aging found that adults who regularly take part in top-rated, low-cost physical activity programs offered by senior centers or YMCAs can see noticeable improvement in physical functioning and lower their risk of becoming disabled. The study was reported in the February issue of the American Journal of Public Health ( Characteristics of best-practice community sites include having a history of providing service to substantial numbers of people, hiring nationally certified exercise instructors, providing ongoing training to instructors, and providing multiple component programs.

Exercise Prescription Increases Physical Activity
Both physical activity and quality of life improve when midlife and older women are given an exercise prescription from their primary care healthcare professional, according to research published in the Dec. 11 issue of the British Medical Journal ( The study authors note that the findings support the use of exercise prescriptions as part of population strategies to reduce physical inactivity.

Exercise Counseling and Telephone Follow-up
Research published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Gerontology Society ( notes that a single session of counseling on physical activity with quarterly follow-up calls can help older people avoid increased disability related to activities of daily living.


Upcoming Events


Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. January 19, 2009

January is National Thyroid Awareness Month. Sponsored by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month. Sponsored by the Glaucoma Research Foundation.

January is National Blood Donor Month. Sponsored by the American Association of Blood Banks.

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. Sponsored by the National Cervical Cancer Coalition.

National Girls and Women in Sports Day. February 4, 2009.

National Wear Red Day. February 6, 2009. Sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Health Information Center.

National Women's Healthy Heart Day. February 6, 2009. Sponsored by the Sister to Sister Foundation.

National Donor Day. February 14, 2009. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

President's Day. February 16, 2009

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. February 22-28, 2009.

February is American Heart Month. Sponsored by the American Heart Association.

February is National Wise Health Consumers Month. Sponsored by the American Institute for Preventive Medicine.

February is National Cancer Prevention Month. Sponsored by the MD Anderson Cancer Center.

February is AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month. Sponsored by Prevent Blindness America.


Meetings and Conferences

American College of Preventive Medicine Annual Conference. February 11-14, 2009. Los Angeles, CA.

National Conference on Chronic Disease Prevention & Control. February 23-25, 2009. Washington, DC.

National Council on Aging-American Society on Aging Aging in America Conference. March 15-19, 2009. Las Vegas, NV.

American College of Sports Medicine Annual Health & Fitness Summit. March 25-28, 2008. Atlanta, GA.

Society for Behavioral Medicine 30th Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions. April 22-25. Montreal, Québec.

American Geriatrics Society Annual Meeting. April 29-May 3. Chicago, IL.

American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting. May 27-30, 2008. Seattle, WA.

CDC Conference on Obesity Prevention and Control. July 27-29. Washington, DC.

Gerontological Society of America. Nov. 18-22. Atlanta, GA.

Funding Opportunities

Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is providing support for community initiatives that will increase opportunities for physical activity and improve access to affordable healthy foods for children and families. Approximately 60 grants for Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities sites will be awarded. Each will receive up to $360,000 total for four years. All grantees must secure a cash and/or in-kind match equal to at least 50 percent of the RWJF award over the entire grant period. More information on match requirements is provided at Deadline for application is Feb. 3.

Salud America!
Salud America! is a national program of the RWJF that supports research on environmental and policy solutions to the epidemic of obesity among Latino children. The program also aims to develop a network of researchers whose findings will help identify the most promising obesity-prevention strategies specifically tailored for Latino communities. Investigators must propose a project in one of two general areas: 1) research that has strong potential to inform policy; or 2) the evaluation of an existing policy or program, its implementation or its impact. For information, please visit The deadline is Feb. 6.

Health Games Research
This national program of RWJF funds research to enhance the quality and impact of interactive games that are used to improve health. The goal of the program is to advance the innovation, design, and effectiveness of health games and game technologies so that they help people improve their health-related behaviors and, as a result, achieve significantly better health outcomes. The deadline is April 8.

Ladder to Leadership
A collaborative initiative of the RWJF and the Center for Creative Leadership, this funding initiative is designed to enhance the leadership capacity of community-based nonprofit health organizations serving vulnerable populations. Ladder to Leadership focuses on developing critical leadership competencies for early- to mid-career professionals through a 16-month leadership development curriculum. The program will be delivered in nine priority communities on a staggered schedule over the next four years. Up to 30 fellows will be selected to participate in the program in each of nine targeted communities across the U.S.: Central NY; Cleveland, OH; Birmingham, AL; Albuquerque, NM; Eastern NC; Portland, OR.; Mid-South Region (Western TN, Eastern AR, and Northern MS); NJ (specific site/region to be determined); and Starr County, TX. For more information, please visit






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: