Be Active Your Way

The Be Active Your Way (BAYW) Blog is now archived. The BAYW Blog offered insights from health and physical activity professionals about translating the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans into practice.

To get updates from ODPHP about physical activity news and events, follow the health.gov Blog.

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.