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Entries in US Department of Health and Human Services (19)


Why is the CEO Pledge important?

Even though we have already pointed out in this space that the 100th person recently signed CEO Pledge, it is worth mentioning again.

IHRSA's monthly entry on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services blog talks about the signing and the importance of this push to recognize the necessity of physical activity as a big reason for increased empoyee health and performance.

Read on to see the entire blog entry.

And see to learn how you can bring the CEO Pledge to your community.


Think and become healthy

More than 70 years ago Napoleon Hill published "Think and Grow Rich," considered my many as a classic self-help and business book.

Thomas Richards, IHRSA Senior Public Policy manager, in his monthly column in the Department of Health and Human Services blog, shows that using Hill's six steps to turn desire into riches can easily be used for much more than business.

Richards has explained in the blog that when deciding to live a healthy lifestyle one must change their behavior. This month's column shows that following Hill's advice can certainly help in that goal.

Click here to read Richards's column.



Specialty programs at clubs are improving lives

Radka Dopitova WilsonAs the healthcare system expands and more people are getting in shape following an illness or affliction, so, too, do the offerings.

Tom Richards, IHRSA Senior Legislative Counsel, wonders, in his monthly column on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services blog, what special disease- and condition-specific programs are out there.

One that has seen much success, and discussion in IHRSA circles, is Radka Dopitova Wilson's Back to Life Program for cancer patients and survivors at the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C.

Click here to see what Tom has to say and for more on Back to Life.



Make healthy choices easy, and ones that make you happy

Tom Richards said even if there was a rock climbing wall in his office, making it an easy healthy choice, it wouldn't be a happy one.Those in government who know being healthy is important, well for the health of the nation, know it can be an uphill battle. To that end it came up with an appropriate slogan, Make the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice.

Senior Public Policy Manager Tom Richards said in his monthly column on the Department of Health and Human Services blog that the slogan is great. He did say he would want to add the word "happy" because just because a choice is healthy and easy it doesn't mean people will do it.

Read the entire column here.


Employee wellness programs gaining popularity

The term employee wellness program has certainly sprouted up everywhere the past few years. But, there are many different levels, from biometric screenings to discounted or free gym memberships.

According to a recent survey by Kaiser/HRET, three ouf of every 10 firms surveyed offer gym memberships or provide an onsite fitness facility. Almost two-thirds of large employers had this offer for its employees.

The key to the success is participation. The more employees who participate, usually, the more successful the program. And that means better health.

For more, check out IHRSA Senior Public Policy Manager Tom Richard's monthly column on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services blog. View it here.


IHRSA has a solution for the problem of inactivity

The problem is known. There are many ways to combat it. The problem is getting those in need to sign on the dotted line, so to speak.
The large population in the United States that is inactive or live a sedentary lifestyle is the problem. Exercise - be it at gym or outside acvitivies - are the ways to combat. But how to get them to start getting in better shape and seeing the benefits is the problem.
Check out IHRSA's column on th U.S. Department of Health & Human Services blog to see our suggestions on possibly a way to fix the problem.

Getting sedentary to exercise is a tough step

Small group exercise ranks #5 on IHRSA’s Top Health Club Trends for 2012.If you read last month's post by IHRSA on the Departmernt of Health & Human Services blog, Be Active Your Way, you saw that in order to steer individuals to a healthy lifestyle then giving them choices was imperative. 

This month the next step is explored: convincing them to take one of the options.

The blog suggests that using social media and other social groups is a great way to go. If friends and peers are getting up and working out, taking a walk or eating right, maybe someone else will do the same.

Check out the article here.


Sedentary body is a sick body

There is endless talk about the vast US population battling obesity. But there is another health issue that is slowly becoming an problem: inactivity.

The International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is committed to engaging communities with a new message: a sedentary body is a sick body. Physical activity is not just something you do to "get better," it's something you do to avoid getting worse, even without any other underlying condition. Indeed, physical inactivity alone is a harmful disease, not just another risk factor.  

Read the recent blog post by IHRSA on the Department of Health & Human Services website.


America’s New Dietary Guidelines

By Mia Coen

As many of you know, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S Department of Health and Human Services have officially released Dietary Guidelines for America 2010. Although the print version and revised Food Pyramid won’t be available until April, many people have checked out the press releases and PDF versions to get a glimpse of what the government advises we do when it comes to our health.

Most of it has to do with what we, well, do! We do a lot to ourselves on a daily basis. On the most basic level, we have somewhat “normal” habits. We consume food, exert energy, communicate, deal with stress and cognitive challenges, etc. But America has developed some really bad habits. The result is that one-third of Americans are overweight or obese, a result of calorie imbalance, sedentary lifestyles, and ultimately a lack of self-control. And the consequences are dire.

Reading the new guidelines really opened my eyes to a number of fitness- and diet-related issues that America is currently grappling with. Maybe you’ve heard a few?

  • 81.1 million Americans—37 percent of the population—have cardiovascular disease. Major risk factors include high levels of blood cholesterol and other lipids, type 2 diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), metabolic syndrome, overweight and obesity, physical inactivity, and tobacco use.
  •  74.5 million Americans—34 percent of U.S. adults—have hypertension.
  • About 78 million Americans—35 percent of the U.S. adult population ages 20 years or older—have pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes (also called impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose) means that blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be called diabetes.
  • Less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day, with slightly more meeting the recommended weekly goal of at least 150 minutes.

The take-home message, for me, was pretty clear: Mindless eating, lack of self-control, and sedentary lifestyle will lead to chronic disease, and eventually, premature death. The fact that one-third of Americans are headed this way, is very concerning.

The publication suggests that the root of all evil begins with calorie imbalance: “The current high rates of overweight and obesity among virtually all subgroups of the population in the United States demonstrate that many Americans are in calorie imbalance—that is, they consume more calories than they expend. To curb the obesity epidemic and improve their health, Americans need to make significant efforts to decrease the total number of calories they consume from foods and beverages and increase calorie expenditure through physical activity.”

Calorie imbalance. It’s such an innocent term, isn’t it? The chapters go on to break down the term and identify the factors that lead to calorie imbalance, but the most important thing we can do—as parents, friends, family, and citizens—is to be aware of our habits, how we treat ourselves, and seek the solutions that are available.

The message to health clubs and fitness professionals? Keep doing what you’re doing and do more of it!! You are part of the solution. Your country needs you! 

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