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NHM Health Focus:
America on the Move

September 2009

      America on the Move   

Physical Activity: Promoting Better Health (CDC)

Campaigns, Challenges and Opportunities
The President's Challenge (PCPFS, DHHS)
Game On! The Ultimate Wellness Challenge (AFHK)

Choose to Move (American Heart Association)
Physical Activity for Everyone: Trails for Health (CDC)
Hearts 'n Parks (NHLBI)
Step Up to Better Health (AARP)

Benefits of Physical Activity
Benefits of Physical Activity (CDC)

Physical Activity and the Health of Young People (NCCDPHP, CDC)
Exercise and Physical Fitness (MedlinePlus, NIH)
Seven Benefits of Regular Activity (Mayo Foundation)
Kids and Exercise, (KidsHealth, Nemours)

For Teens and Tweens
Take Charge of Your Health (NIDDK)
Verb™ (DHHS, CDC)
Why Exercise is Cool ( KidsHealth, Nemours)
What if I Don't Like Sports? ( KidsHealth, Nemours)

Group Games and Activities
Index to Group Activities, Games (Wilderdom)
Group Games Guide (Barry McWilliams)

Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK)
President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS)
National Association for Sport & Physical Education (NASPE)
National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)

American Association for the Child's Right to Play (IPA/USA )

With Americans of all ages gaining about two pounds a year, individuals, health organizations, and government agencies are working together to encourage Americans to lose unwanted pounds and increase overall fitness.

Here are a few examples:

The America on the Move Foundation encourages us all to Celebrate STEPtember.

The American Association of Retired People (AARP) invites everyone to Step Up to Better Health.

The American Heart Association (AHA) challenges us to Choose to Move.

The Ultimate Wellness Challenge, sponsored by a coalition of government, businesses and not-for-profit organizations is working to "inform, motivate, and mobilize support for school wellness."

"The problem of childhood obesity in the United States has grown considerably in recent years. Between 16 and 33 percent of children and adolescents are obese. Obesity is among the easiest medical conditions to recognize but most difficult to treat. Unhealthy weight gain due to poor diet and lack of exercise is responsible for over 300,000 deaths each year. The annual cost to society for obesity is estimated at nearly $100 billion. Overweight children are much more likely to become overweight adults unless they adopt and maintain healthier patterns of eating and exercise." (AACAP)

The President's Council on Physical Fitness provides the following insights and suggestions in its report to the President:

"To increase their levels of physical activity and fitness, young people can benefit from

  • Families who model and support participation in enjoyable physical activity.
  • School programs —including quality, daily physical education; health education; recess; and extracurricular activities—that help students develop the knowledge, attitudes, skills, behaviors, and confidence to adopt and maintain physically active lifestyles, while providing opportunities for enjoyable physical activity.
  • After-school care programs that provide regular opportunities for active, physical play.
  • Youth sports and recreation programs that offer a range of developmentally appropriate activities that are accessible and attractive to all young people.
  • A community structural environment that makes it easy and safe for young people to walk, ride bicycles, and use close-to-home physical activity facilities.
  • Media campaigns that help motivate young people to be physically active." (CDC)

Contests, challenges and iniatives are ways to focus on individual and group committment to better fitness and health. Ultimately, it is up to each individual to choose and follow through. Whether you accept the President's Challenge, Choose to Move with the American Heart Association, or Get Fit on Route 66 with AARP you will win.

Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum has these resources related to fitness and exercise:

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