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Be Active Your Way Blog


by ODPHP November 4, 2009

"The Beginning" sign post In October 2008, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) launched the first-ever Physical  Activity Guidelines. Since then, HHS has built a network of Guidelines Supporters - in other words a group of over 3,200 entities that are committed to promoting the Guidelines across their stakeholders and constituencies. We call this the Be Active Your Way Supporter Network.

We are now launching the Be Active Your Way Blog as a way to:


  1. Increase information sharing across the Supporter Network about successful strategies used to promote the guidelines within communities across the U.S.
  2. Offer up a forum to discuss physical activity promotion issues.
  3. Encourage collaboration efforts across organizations and disciplines to increase the proportion of individuals who adhere to the Guidelines.


In true collaborative fashion, we’ve organized the blog to primarily include contributions from a core set of Supporter organizations. Each Wednesday, one of our Contributing Bloggers will write about an initiative or experience they’ve had in promoting physical activity. We encourage you to submit your comments and add to the discussion. (See the Comments Policy). After 3 months of posting and receiving your comments, we will assess whether the blog is meeting the needs of our readers, and then revise as needed.


Next week we'll hear from our first Contributing Blogger, Jim Kauffman, National Director for Health and Well-being for the YMCA of the USA.


We look forward to learning with you in this new endeavor! If you would like to participate as a Guest Blogger, feel free to email us at for more details.


Blog Announcements


11/4/2009 4:06:36 PM #

Excellent and very timely on the addition of the blog.

Just this AM we were able to change our local physicians "Green Prescription"  to include an educational piece from the Be Active Your Way: A Fact Sheet for Adults. On the back of the prescription, it now includes the piece on “How much physical activity do I need to do? The WORD is getting out.

I trust the blog will serve as a way for us to cross fertilize and share ideas.

Ken Daley United States |

11/5/2009 1:41:37 PM #

Yes, absolutely the blog is designed for sharing ideas.  Thanks for telling us how you’re helping local physicians get the word out about how much physical activity individuals need.  Keep us posted on what the response is from the patients, and what you learn from implementing this strategy.

Have others included the Guidelines in a ‘prescription’ format? Why or why not?

KLoughrey United States |

11/5/2009 8:46:49 AM #

I think you should post more than once a week

Lowrie Ward United States |

11/5/2009 12:49:59 PM #

Thanks for your feedback!
We are starting with once a week for now, but given demand and the level of effort required, we may add more blogging days to our schedule after our first 3 months.

We will take your suggestion into consideration as we plan ahead.

Kay Loughrey United States |

11/5/2009 11:55:27 AM #

Another great resource for individuals and professionals to promote physical activity! Be sure to check out the site even more. We need more American's to take up and active living lifestyle.

Murray Harber United States |

11/6/2009 10:17:02 AM #

This forum for sharing information is sure to be a valuable resource for all professionals interested in promoting physical acitivy and wellness.

Rosemary Anthony United States |

11/8/2009 12:28:22 PM #

Two miles a day keeps the doctor away.  Running: best all-purpose medicine for body and mind. Thanks for the blog.

Jake Opper United States |

11/13/2009 7:56:13 AM #

I am thrilled to have a site which provides information, tips, and a means for collaboration.  I work for a community mental health center and we are implementing a program called In Shape for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.  This population dies on average 25 years younger than the general population, so for us it is imperative to address this issue and improve the quality of life for our clients both body and mind.  I look foward to utilizing this site as a resource in this process.

Patricia Carty United States |

11/16/2009 11:59:04 AM #

We also are thrilled to hear from you and learn that the site offers information and tips that are useful for the In Shape Program at your community mental health center.  

Have the Guidelines been helpful in developing or enhancing your In Shape Program so far? We’d love to hear about your experience here in the comments!

KLoughrey |

11/13/2009 9:59:39 AM #

I am pleased with the new recommendations.  I work mainly with senior adults and the old recommendations that state you have to exercise for 30 continuous minutes of moderate (or 20 minutes of vigorous) exercise was just too much for most of the people with whom I work.  I find that people need specific directions, not just blanket statements such as “you should exercise more,” so I took the new recommendations and with much assistance from multiple people within the University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture produced an exercise video—Fit In 10—based on the new exercise recommendations of 10 continuous minutes of exercise in four areas of exercise: aerobic activity, muscle-strengthening activity, flexibility/stretching, and balance exercises (from the NIA).  For more information, the direct link is (Link Removed)
Since the "Fit in 10" exercise DVD is based on the new HHS recommednations, I thought others utilizing this site might find it helpful also.  

LaVona Traywick United States |

11/16/2009 11:57:42 AM #

Fit in 10, what a nice way of capturing the advice from the new guidelines that adults need to do at least 10 minutes at a time of aerobic physical activity at a moderate level to count towards their weekly minimum.  This certainly gives inactive older adults and others more options and may help them work up to at least 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity.

Thank you for sharing this video resource.  How else are the rest of you working with older adults using the new guidelines?

KLoughrey United States |

11/17/2009 9:17:44 AM #

I think that it is wonderful when individuals and organizations develop their own materials that are broadly consistent with the conclusions of the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines. Congratulation to the folks at University of Arkansas for adding to this material.

In addition to the material from the University of Arkansas, you may wish to take a closer look at the NIA Exercise and Physical Activity Guide for older adults which is available for free from the NIA and can be ordered or downloaded here (Link Removed)

It is worth noting that the strongest evidence for a relationship between physical activity and health in older adults is for aerobic exercise and resistance exercise. Balance exercise is probably most valuable for persons who have risk factors for falling, and the evidence in support of flexibility and stretching exercise is not as strong as for the other exercise modalities.

Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko United States |

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