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Posts tagged: healthy living

National Physical Activity Plan: Looking Ahead

Post by NPAP

Since its launch nearly four years ago, the National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP) has acted as a roadmap to policy makers and advocates to create a more physically active nation. The NPAP is a document comprised of 240+ evidence-based recommendations for change in the policies and systems that guide the environments in which we live, work, learn, play, and commute.

There was early recognition that the success of the NPAP would hinge upon both successful implementation and evaluation of the evidenced-based recommendations highlighted throughout the plan. Additionally, in order to reflect the current state of the science, it was recognized that the NPAP should undergo periodic revisions and updates.

The field of physical activity and public health continues to evolve. In recent years, numerous policies and legislation supporting physical activity have been proposed and/or implemented at the national, state, and local levels. In conjunction with on-going research in areas including physical activity behavior, measurement, and policy, the time to review the NPAP’s content and structure is rapidly approaching.

Ultimately, the NPAP will reach success when the vast majority of Americans regularly meet or surpass the Physical Activity Guidelines. So how do we get there? What strategies and tactics do you think need to be added to the current version of the plan? What strategies should be identified as high priority during the revision? And most importantly, how can we incorporate these changes and make the plan more user-friendly and successful?

If you have ideas for ways in which the content of the National Physical Activity Plan could be improved, please send those ideas to us.

Designing Goals and Environments that Support Healthy Resolutions

Guest Post from Active Living Research

How have your New Year’s resolutions been going? Like many people, I enjoyed the holiday season with plenty of good food and drink and then felt the urge to redeem myself with healthier habits once January 1 rolled around. But how often have you started a new year by walking a mile everyday or replacing your lunchtime soda with water, only to find yourself reverting back to old habits within a few weeks? In fact, most New Year’s resolutions ultimately fail. Then you inevitably blame yourself for lacking the willpower to stay disciplined. But the problem isn’t necessarily that you’re lazy or lack self-control. The real issue is our environments make it far too easy, cheap, and convenient to eat too much junk food and be sedentary.

Let’s face it. We are creatures of habit, temptations are very hard to resist, and many of us live in communities where it is difficult to walk, bike, or play due to a variety of barriers, such as a lack of sidewalks, a car-dependent environment, or having parks that feel unsafe or are located too far away.

However there is reason to be optimistic about developing sustainable healthy behaviors. The trick is in creating goals and environments with the right elements for success.

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