the Active for Life Program Office
Tactics and Tools
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the Active for Life® National Program Office
Activity: A Springboard for Hope
As children we all knew the wisdom of listening to one’s
parents. But 82-year old parent and World War II veteran
Ted Kerin listened to his children and decided to take
Still grieving over the death of
his wife, Mr. Kerin had, in his words, “let his
mind and body go to pot.” He stayed inside most
days watching television and eating junk food. At the
urging of his children, Mr. Kerin visited the Mt. Washington
Senior Center in Pittsburgh, PA. At the senior center,
Mr. Kerin met other people with whom he shared similar
backgrounds and experiences. And they helped him to come
“My kids talked me into going
to the senior citizens center,” he said. “It’s
very enlightening. I realized I was falling into a slump.
Talking to people there helped a lot.” To
read the rest of the article please visit http://www.activeforlife.info/resources/tellus.html.
Take A Loved One to the Doctor
September 20 is Take A Loved One
to the Doctor Day. The event provides an opportunity for
health care professionals and aging services professionals
to work with caregivers and family members of mature adults,
and encourage them to be sure their loved ones receive
regular health care, including preventive care. For information
go to http://omhrc.gov/healthgap/2005drday.htm
Active Living Research Conference
The Third Annual Active Living Research
Conference will be February 16-18, 2006, in Coronado,
California. Abstracts are due July 21, 2005. For details,
go to http://www.activelivingresearch.org.
Walk 21 Registration Open
Registration for the Walk 21 Conference
2005 in Zurich, Switzerland is now open. The conference
will be held September 22- 23, 2005. Visit http://www.walk21.ch/conference/registration.htm
Tactics and Tools
ICAA Announces Age-Friendly Personal
Fitness Trainer Checklist
One and a half million adults over
55 years old worked with a personal fitness trainer in
2004, according to a study by American Sports Data. Some
reasons -- A personal fitness trainer can help clients
select exercises that improve strength, balance and cardiovascular
capability or assist them with a post-rehabilitation program.
More importantly, a personal trainer can be a motivator
and educator who makes exercise fun and interesting.
To help older adults select a fitness
trainer, the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA)
has released the ICAA Age-Friendly Personal Trainer Checklist,
based on the ICAA Questions to Ask a Personal Trainer
worksheet that is available at http://www.icaa.cc/FacilityLocator/Public/PTquestions.htm.
The ICAA Age-Friendly Personal Trainer Checklist is a
companion to the ICAA Age-Friendly Facility Checklist
also available on the ICAA Web site at www.icaa.cc.
Live Well, Live Long
Physical Activity for Older Adults:
Exercise for Life! is a new five module program designed
to help older adults become more active. Available free
through the American Society on Aging website, the program
was designed fo offer strategies and materials to enhance
the capacity of national, state and local organizations
in serving the health promotion and disease prevention
needs of older adults. Funding was provided through a
grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The program is designed to increase understanding of the
changing health and social service needs of an aging and
more diverse population. Materials are available at http://www.asaging.org/cdc/module6/home.cfm.
For more information, contact Chaya Gordon at 415-974-9604
Realistic Goal Setting Helps
People Stick with Exercise
Small, achievable goals may be more effective in helping
sedentary adults maintain fitness programs than more challenging
goals. Results of a study of sedentary adults who set
varying levels of fitness goals for an eight-week period
were presented recently at the 52nd American College of
Sports Medicine (ACSM) Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tenn.
Seventy-eight people were involved in the study, ranging
in age from 30 to 58. All were inactive when they began
the study. “Based on our study results, smaller
goals, such as increasing daily steps by 2,500 steps at
a time, might in fact be a more effective way to help
people not only reach a desired physical activity goal,
but also stick with it,” said researcher Mark Davis,
MPH For more information, see http://www.acsm.org/publications/newsreleases2005/AM_Realistic.htm.
American Dietetic Association Nutrition Care Manual Free
The Nutrition Care Manual (NCM), a publication of the
American Dietetic Association, offers many features to
help health professionals, including electronic sticky
notes, a customizable formulary database, multiple calculators,
content highlighting, printer friendly client education
materials, and a robust resource section featuring cultural
food practices and food dictionaries. NCM is available
as an annual subscription. For a free demonstration, visit
the ADA Web site at http://www.eatright.org/Public/.
Calorie Burner Calculator
Want to know how many calories your
activity of choice will burn? The American Cancer Society
has a calorie burn calculator on their website that will
calculate the calories burned in a workout or daily activity.
Numbers are estimated for a 150 lb. person, and will vary
depending on weight, body composition, and level of intensity.
The online calculator is available at http://www.cancer.org/docroot/PED/content/PED_6_1x_Exercise_Counts.html.
Beyond 50.05 -- Livable Communities:
Creating Environments for Successful Aging
Will our communities be livable
for American citizens as they age? Beyond 50.05 and the
accompanying interactive quiz can help you decide. Regardless
of whether we live in a city, a suburb, a small town,
or out in the country, the question of livable communities
is important for everyone. And it is particularly relevant
for those people age 50 and older who are planning for
(or have already entered) retirement, or who are facing
challenges to independence and quality of life that often
accompany aging. Unfortunately, this issue is seldom discussed
until it becomes obvious that the community in which someone
lives does not meet their needs. See the report and take
the quiz at http://www.aarp.org/research/housing-mobility/indliving/beyond_50_communities.html.
Pedometers Help Women Step Up Exercise Levels
Women who use pedometers and set
a goal of 10,000 steps per day, walked more than those
whose goal was a brisk, 30-minute walk, according to new
research published in the April issue of Medicine &
Science in Sports & Exercise®, the official journal
of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). The
study outcomes contribute to a widespread effort to promote
fitness with the use of step-counting devices to increase
physical activity. To read the complete article, go to
Announcing the You Can! Celebration
The Administration on Aging (AOA)
encourages You Can! partners to join in celebrating ways
for older adults to be active and healthy this September.
Holding a local You Can! Celebration can help you spread
the word about the importance of healthier lifestyles...and
it can be fun! During any seven-day period in September,
AoA invites You Can! Partners to create You Can! Celebration
activities. These are activities where participants can
make a pledge and engage in healthier lifestyle activities.
If they see how easy and enjoyable it can be, hopefully
they will continue the nutrition and physical activity
behaviors and help others to improve their health too.
All community partners that sign up and complete the contest
entry form have a chance to receive awards. The contest
will culminate with a ceremony in the Washington, DC metro
area in October where the best entries in leadership categories
will be recognized.
For more information, visit http://www.aoa.gov/youcan/partners_public/celebration/yc_splash.html.
Physical Activity and Alzheimer’s
Two recently publicized studies
show a relationship between physical activity and Alzheimer
Disease risk reduction.
According to researchers at Johns
Hopkins, the variety of leisure and physical activity
one engages in - and not its intensity in terms of calories
expended - may reduce dementia risk in older people. General
physical activity is already known to enhance cardiovascular
health and help maintain independence and quality of life
in older people, but the results of this study - which
establish a statistical association, and not a direct
cause and effect, between variety of exercise and reduced
dementia risk -- suggest that participating in a number
of different activities may be as or more important than
frequency, duration, and intensity of physical activity
with respect to dementia risk, according to the report.
To read the news release on this study, go to
In another study conducted at the University of California,
Irvine, physical activity appears to inhibit Alzheimer’s-like
brain changes in mice, slowing the development of a key
feature of the disease, according to a new study. The
research demonstrated that long-term physical activity
enhanced the learning ability of mice and decreased the
level of plaque-forming beta-amyloid protein fragments—a
hallmark characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease (AD)—in
A number of population-based studies
suggest that lifestyle interventions may help to slow
the onset and progression of AD. Because of these studies,
scientists are seeking to find out if and how physically
or cognitively stimulating activity might delay the onset
and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. In this
study, scientists have now shown in an animal model system
that one simple behavioral intervention—exercise—could
delay, or even prevent, development of AD-like pathology
by decreasing beta-amyloid levels.
Results of this study are published
in the April 27, 2005, issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.
For more information, go to http://www.nia.nih.gov/NewsAndEvents/PressReleases/PR20050426Exercise.htm
Older adults who engage in competive sports tend to stick
with activities throughout adulthood, train at higher
levels, and are more likely to note the health and physical
benefits of sporting participation than those who just
exercise or engage in no activity, notes Ted Tedrick in
Seniors Set Sights on Staying Competitive. To see this
article in its entirety, visit the National Recreation
and Park Web site http://www.nrpa.org/content/index.html?documentId=1404.
Exercise May Lower Risk of Colon
Colon cancer survivors whose activities
equal an hour-long walk each day may be less likely to
have their cancer return and less likely to die than survivors
who get little physical activity, according to a new report
from the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB). It's the
first strong evidence that certain levels of activity
may improve colon cancer survival rates -- and it builds
on earlier studies showing that exercise helps lower the
risk of developing the disease.
"This study, along with others,
is a reflection that in addition to chemotherapy, there
are potential lifestyle changes that we can recommend
for survivorship," said lead researcher Jeffrey A.
Meyerhardt, MD, MPH, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in
For more information, go to http://www.cancer.org/.
Briefing on Healthy Aging: Empowering
Americans to Live Stronger, Longer
The American Public Health Association
and the American Legacy Foundation sponsored a breakfast
briefing May 26 on healthy aging. The event focused on
the findings of APHA's recent survey of older adults that
address the barriers in seniors' lives that prevent them
from taking necessary steps to improving their health.
The survey includes key recommendations, such as improving
Medicare's preventive care benefits and increasing training
opportunities for health care professionals.
Key findings from the APHA survey,
conducted in conjunction with National Public Health Week
2005 (April 4-10), include:
Leading Public Health Newspaper
Debuts New Web Site
The Nation's Health, the nation's
most widely read public health newspaper, recently launched
its new Web site: www.thenationshealth.org. The site features
full issues of the paper, online-only public health news
stories and archived articles, along with online advertising
The newspaper -- an award-winning publication with 31,000
print subscribers and a readership of more than 38,000
-- is published by the American Public Health Association
and reports the latest news on health and public policy
issues as well as federal and judicial actions in public
health. Articles cover a wide array of issues, such as
patients' rights, food safety, infrastructure, vision
health, racial and ethnic health disparities, environmental
issues and traffic safety.
Aging Well: Toward a Way of Life
for All People
The concept of aging well, which
is based on a non-medical approach to promoting health
and well-being, is fundamental to increasing length and
quality of life. Aging well promotes personal behaviors
and life-course environments that limit functional declines,
especially those caused by chronic conditions, to help
older adults maintain their independence and health. Aging
well emphasizes the idea that people can maintain satisfying
and healthy lives as they age by exercising the choices
that optimize healthy, active, and secure lives. Aging
well is a dynamic, interactive process that creates long-term,
positive change by involving individuals in the physical,
social, economic, historical, and cultural contexts of
their environments. For more detail go to: http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2005/jul/05_0018.htm.
Administration on Aging Presents
The Eldercare Locator, a public
service of the U.S. Administration on Aging, connects
older Americans and their caregivers with sources of information
on senior services. The service links those who need assistance
with state and local area agencies on aging and community-based
organizations that serve older adults and their caregivers.
Information resources are available at http://www.eldercare.gov/Eldercare/Public/Home.html
or Eldercare Locator information 1-800-677-1116.