Be Active Your Way Blog
May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month! This month, organizations, schools, worksites, and communities across the nation are celebrating the benefits of being physically active, and the strides we've all made to help Americans move more. During May, take some extra time to enjoy the fun and excitement of being physically active with your friends, coworkers, and family.
How are you or your organization recognizing National Physical Fitness and Sports Month? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to contribute a blog post!
At the fine age of 80, after his wife's death, Fauja Singh moved from India to the UK to live with his son. Being in a strange country and speaking a foreign language, Singh found himself isolated until he rediscovered an old passion - running. Twenty one years later, he is the marathon world record holder for adults 90 years of age and older, clocking in at 5 hours and 40 minutes.
Singh's rapid rise in the marathon world started 17 years ago, when at age 80 he completed the 26.2-mile race in six hours and fifty minutes. What made this achievement so special was the fact that he knocked 58 minutes off the previous world best in the 90+ age bracket. Since that time he has competed in more marathons and holds many world records. Singh's achievements have not gone unnoticed. In 2004, Adidas signed him to appear in a major advertising campaign that also featured soccer great David Beckham. The campaign's tagline, "Impossible is Nothing," reflects not only Singh's achievements, but also those of older athletes from around the world.
In the U.S. alone there are over 250,000 older athletes. These athletes desire to compete, no matter what their age, and have created national and state-level Senior Games and Senior Olympics.
What can you do to tap into the rising numbers of older athletes who want to compete outdoors without getting injured? Whether it's the training for the Senior Games or for a weekend competition (librarian by day, world record holder by night), helping the 50+ adults achieve their dreams is a valuable business.
The following are eight tips to share with your staff and clients as initial approaches to building "Life Champions":
By helping your customer to enjoy their competitive spirit outdoors, you are helping to create an environment that says, "It's never too late to pursue your dreams...and we will help you."
What are you doing to inspire older adults to enjoy the competitive side of physical activity and sports in the great outdoors?
Tags: physical activity, older adults, senior athletes, life champions
Active Advice | Older adults
Cross-promoted from the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition Blog
By: Chris Paul, Point Guard for the Los Angeles Clippers and member of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN)
From my early morning workouts to the final buzzer on game day, my body stays fueled by the nutritious foods I eat throughout the day. Making healthy choices is essential for me to function at the highest level, whether I'm on the road for a game or at home with my family. March is National Nutrition Month and is a great reminder for us all to incorporate healthy eating into our daily lives. Whether you are an NBA player, a student on the go, or a busy parent rushing between work and home, you can eat healthy and still enjoy the foods you love.
Sometimes I feel like I am constantly on the go, and it can be a challenge to make healthy decisions when I'm traveling from city to city or shooting hoops with my three year-old son. Life can be hectic but I have found that it's easier to make good food choices when you plan ahead and keep healthy options on hand. I keep healthy snacks in my bag, and bottled water with me at all times.
Eating healthy gives me the strength and energy I need to get through each game, and helps me reach my full potential. As a student athlete in college, I had little time to prepare food so I would snack on fruit, especially apples. This gave me a quick and much-needed energy boost before and after practice. Growing up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina I learned to love southern food. When I lived in New Orleans, I found recipes (like red beans and brown rice) that offer a nutritious meal with rich flavor. Since moving to Los Angeles I've found that fresh fruit and vegetables are much easier to come by, and I try to incorporate them into every meal.
These days, I am team health captain for my family and teammates and encourage them to eat more balanced, healthy meals. My mother has told me that she feels better, and I know she will stick to her routine not only for herself, but for her grandchildren as well. This month, I challenge you to find your own balance that includes healthy foods and physical activity. While you're at it, sign up to earn your Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA+)! Also, invite your family and friends to join you; it's always more fun to have a team of people for support along the way. Here are some healthy tips to get you started:
Get more tips to stay motivated throughout National Nutrition Month. Check out my "Nutrition Tips" video and follow PCFSN on Twitter (@FitnessGov). Also, be sure to read through our new list of "10 Healthy Eating Tips" to jumpstart your nutrition goals.
Tags: National Nutrition Month, Chris Paul, athlete, PCFSN
Cross-posted from the President's Council of Fitness, Sports and Nutrition blog.
By: Karin Allor Pfeiffer, PhD, FACSM, Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and faculty in the Center for Physical Activity and Health at Michigan State University, Member of the PCFSN Science Board, and Subcommittee Member of the Physical Activity Guidelines Midcourse Report
In 2008, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the first-ever Physical Activity Guidelines (PAG), which describes the amount and types of physical activity Americans need for overall health and well-being.
To mark the fifth anniversary of the PAG, the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN) convened a subcommittee of experts to conduct a midterm review of effective interventions that promote physical activity opportunities for youth ages 3-17.
After reviewing the relevant science, the subcommittee developed a report - Physical Activity Guidelines Midcourse Report: Strategies to Increase Physical Activity Among Youth - that focused on five key settings that provide opportunities for youth to be active for 60 minutes or more a day where they live, learn, and play.
School: Make quality physical activity a part of the school day in a variety of ways. Overall, findings supported school-based interventions as having the most evidence to increase physical activity among youth. With the average school day lasting 6-7 hours, it is not surprising that enhanced PE classes, classroom activity breaks, recess, and before and after school activities have played a large role in advancing childhood health. Active transporation, which includes walking or biking to and from school, also provides a great opportunity for kids to get their daily physical activity.
Preschool and Childcare: Start healthy habits for life with active play in preschool. Preschool and childcare centers showed excellent results in starting healthy habits for youth. Increasing time children spend outside and providing portable play equipment on playgrounds were especially effective. The findings also demonstrated that training staff in the delivery of structured physical activity sessions is a productive way to get youth active at an early age.
Community: Build the physical environments of cities, towns and neighborhoods to encourage physical activity. Community settings were found to be promising in impacting physical activity at the population level. Changes to the built environment, such as altering the mix of residential and retail space to be more walker-friendly can encourage more physical activity and shape the sociocultural environment of a community.
Family and Home: Be physically active with your kids and help them develop active lifestyles at a young age. Research shows that children develop physical activity behaviors, attitudes and values in the home, but there is not yet enough evidence to make firm recommendations in this area.
Primary Care: Physical activity is critical for overall health. Talk to your patients about the importance of being active every day. Health care providers remain critical to monitoring children's health, but more research should be conducted to determine specific recommendations on enhancing physical activity.
Parents and caregivers, childcare providers, teachers, healthcare professionaks and policymakers have an opportunity to work together to ensure that children are able to achieve 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day. By providing support at home, integrating physical activity into the school day and building smarter communities, we can enable youth to adopt healthier, more active lifestyles.
To download the Physical Activity Guidelines Midcourse Report: Strategies to Increase Physical Activity Among Youth and infographic, visit www.health.gov/paguidelines.
Tags: physical activity, midcourse report, PAG, PCFSN, 60 minutes
Blog Announcements | Building Healthy Communities | Childhood Obesity
This page last updated on: 11/04/2009
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