Be Active Your Way

The Be Active Your Way Blog is the official blog of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Follow the blog for updates about the development of the second edition of the Guidelines and insights from health and physical activity professionals about translating the Guidelines into practice.

The 2018 U.S. Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, developed by the National Physical Activity Plan, assesses the levels of physical activity and sedentary behaviors in American children and youth. The United States earned a D- in Overall Physical Activity. To see the other grades and read highlights from the report, read this post by the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance.
The Nutrition Education Obesity Prevention Branch (NEOPB) within the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has updated its Physical Activity Resource Guide (PARG).  The PARG is intended to aid and support County Health Offices, local community organizations, schools and others in physical activity programming.  The guide leads the reader through the complete process of health programming, Assessment, Planning, Implementation and Evaluation.  Three new sections have been added to the guide, Physical Literacy, Older Adults (age 60 and above) and Physical Activity and Physical Activity for Individuals with Physical Limitations and Disabilities.
This September, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) celebrate the fourth annual Go4Life Month! Go4Life® is NIA’s national campaign to help adults 50+ fit exercise and physical activity into their daily life. In September, we observe Go4Life Month as a way to spotlight the importance of regular exercise and physical activity for healthy aging. This year's Go4Life Month theme is Get Ready! Get Moving! Go4Life! All across the country, Go4Life partners, senior services organizations, and other groups will be focusing on each of these recommendations as they help older adults explore ways to be active and to stick with physical activity throughout the year.
Whether we are walking through a public plaza on the way to work, using the local library, picnicking in the park, or attending a meeting at town hall, we routinely interface with public spaces in our everyday lives. The Center for Active Design (CfAD) explores how public spaces can be designed to support community health through a discussion of the new Civic Design Guidelines and the redevelopment of the Detroit Riverfront. This is just the beginning of a movement happening in communities across the United States, where the public spaces we interact with everyday can be designed and leveraged in support of community trust, participation, and stewardship – aspects of social cohesion that can strengthen neighborhood relationships and overcome past divisions.
Playgrounds are a time honored tradition and a beloved part of everyone’s childhood.  Research shows that the benefits of play are enormous on childhood development and physical activity levels, not to mention playgrounds are just fun. Even with accessible playgrounds, it’s not always a given that families will be able to truly play together and share experiences. Many playgrounds merely provide access, but don’t fully embrace universal design or consider the safety features that are located around the playground. Universal design is the way to go when designing outdoor spaces.  It allows for welcoming, inclusive, and fun environments where all individuals can participate and enjoy the outdoors.  Including people with disability on the planning process is the icing on the cake.
Lack of time is one of the most commonly cited barriers to physical activity. The good news is, research shows it is possible for a person to improve their health by incorporating even a small amount of exercise into their daily routine. Health professionals can share these three key facts about physical activity with patients to help encourage them to meet the recommendations in the Physical Activity Guidelines.
A new report out from the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and the Y, Making Strides: 2018 State Report Cards on Support for Walking, Bicycling, and Active Kids and Communities, analyzes state policy in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia to provide a snapshot of each state’s support for walking, biking, and physical activity. The report cards look at 27 indicators of support across four key areas: Complete Streets and Active Transportation, Safe Routes to School and Active Transportation Funding, Active Neighborhoods and Schools, and State Physical Activity Planning and Support. All of the indicators studied in the report cards have a great impact on a person’s ability to be physically active depending on where they live.
Physical literacy has been defined as the ability to move with competence and confidence in a wide variety of physical activities in multiple environments that benefit the healthy development of the whole person. Fran Cleland, Past President of SHAPE America, explains why physical literacy is important, the role of SHAPE America's 5 National Standards, and how Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs can impact the physical activity behaviors of young Americans.
The President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition (PCSFN) recently relaunched the I Can Do It! (ICDI) model to address the needs of more than 56 million children and adults with a disability. ICDI is a customizable, eight-week model that leverages Mentor-Mentee relationships to inspire individuals with a disability to lead a lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and healthy eating behaviors. Health promotion programs using the ICDI model serve Mentees of all abilities, engaging participants in a range of sport, recreation, fitness, and healthy eating activities.
In recognition of National Youth Sports Week, Aspen Institute's Project Play Initiative shares 8 plays – strategies – that health professionals, parents, and organizations can utilize to help kids get active through sports. Moving sports and physical activity participation numbers at a population level is never easy, even with the engagement of organizations with great influence. Health professionals can shape strategies and create policies that align with the interests of children, as reflected in the framework of Project Play.