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Be Active Your Way Blog

Speaking Up for Physical Activity

by NPAP May 25, 2011

In all likelihood, if you are reading this blog, you're already well aware of the myriad of benefits associated with being regularly physically active, and you likely meet or exceed federal physical activity guidelines. What you may be less aware of are the ways in which you can become a voice for physical activity promotion in your community, so that your neighbors, colleagues, and friends can also realize the benefits of being more active.

Maybe you've noticed that physical education is no longer required in your children's school, that there are unsafe sidewalks in your town, or no bike racks where you work, while others never give you thought to such issues. As an individual, what can you do? With May being National Physical Activity Month, you can use the National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP) to become a voice for change that echoes for months to come.

The NPAP is a document comprised of recommendations for changes in the environments in which we live, work, play, travel, and learn, such that they better support physical activity. Most of the recommendations made in the NPAP are written with policymakers in mind. Maybe as an employer, school board member, or parent, you are policymaker, with the ability to alter an environment so that it's easier for others to be more active. If so, the buck may start and stop with you. But maybe you're not a policymaker, what then? Then, you can become a voice for change, an informed advocate with the power to influence those in position to make change.

With recommendations from across a number of societal sectors - including Education; Parks, Recreation, Fitness and Sports; Business and Industry; and Transportation, Land Use, and Community Design - the NPAP is your roadmap for becoming an advocate at local, state, and even national levels.

For example, if you want to be a voice for more physical activity opportunities for youth in your community, approach the local school board or P.T.A. with the information from the Education sector, citing specific recommendations from the NPAP that call for community partnerships that will create such opportunities.

As another example, maybe you know that if there were just more bike lanes and sidewalks where you live, more people could safely walk to the store, or bike to work. Here, you can become an advocate for change at local and state levels by meeting with your elected officials or members of your state's Department of Transportation, armed with "real world" recommendations for change that have been proven effective.

There could not be a better way to celebrate National Physical Activity Month than to model healthy physical activity behavior, while also becoming an educated advocate for physical activity. So please use the Federal PA Guidelines to become or stay a model of healthy behavior, and use the NPAP to become a strong advocate for change to improve the lives of others.

How are you advocating for change?

Comments

5/25/2011 4:00:17 PM #

This blog is so true and so important!  Signs of heart disease and other health disparities are becoming evident in young children more and more, and to promote physical activity and a healthy lifestyle in communities is integral to the health of future generations.  With more people realizing that we have an issue in the United States (in youth and adults)  it is good to see that a program is being put into place to bring awareness of the importance of physical activity, and ways to help Americans be healthy.  Research studies have found that when parents are inactive and eat poorly, their children are more likely to follow and do the same thing.... teaching parents to be healthy and to help their children be healthy is essential... As a nursing student I plan to look more into the NPAP and how I can bring it into my resources for children and families.

Katie United States |

5/26/2011 4:16:42 PM #

This is great. People often feel so powerless to effect change, and this gives them a roadmap for doing it.

Jill United States |

5/31/2011 11:41:03 AM #

I am a nursing student at Madonna University and throughout the program, we as incoming nurses have learned about the need to increase physical activity among the youth population in order to decrease the risks of chronic disease later in life.  I am currently acting as a community nurse at a local elementary school and the need for education on physical activity is overwhelming.  These children are in dier need of the education and a physical education teacher in order to properly teacher them how to exercise and the different things the kids can do for exercise, such as playing sports, playing at the play ground, riding bikes, and much more.  We all need to advocate for these kids and get them active for 1 hour a day, especially now that summer is here!

Amber United States |

10/12/2012 9:00:18 AM #

These children are in dier need of the education and a physical education teacher in order to

dissertation examples for education Islamic Republic of Pakistan |

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