Archive for the ‘Physical Activity’ Category

Help Us Burn 1 Billion Calories by 2020!

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

The American Heart Association is challenging Americans to collectively burn 1 billion calories by 2020. How can you be involved and become more active right now?

Take 30 minutes away from your desk and go for a walk. Today is National Walking Day and is perfect way to burn some extra calories and help us achieve our 1 billion goal.

After today? Continue taking some time out of your day and go for walks or why not sign up for a local Heart Walk along with your friends and family?

AHA Heart Walks are located all over the country at various times throughout the year and act as a perfect place to show your community the importance of healthy exercise.

So put on those new sneakers and get walking!


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State of Women’s Heart Health Webinar

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Did you know that more women die of heart disease than all forms of cancer combined? Heart disease is often silent, hidden and misunderstood- but we can each do our part to learn about our risk factors, make changes, and share the truth with others.

So, kick of American Heart Month by joining us for a national discussion on the State of Women’s Heart Health! You’ll hear from some of our nation’s leading health experts about the latest heart disease and stroke research and prevention efforts.

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WHO: You!

WHAT: A national webinar with Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, cardiologist Dr. Nanette Kass Wenger, and fellow survivor-advocates to learn about the new Million Hearts initiative and some of the latest advances in women’s heart research.

WHEN: Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 at 5:30-6:30 pm EST (4:30-5:30 pm CST)

WHERE: Your computer

HOW: Register today!  You will receive a confirmation email with log-in details.

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The experts will take some of your questions at the end of the call, so come prepared to participate in the discussion!

We are looking forward to having you join us for this exciting American Heart Month event!

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You’re the Cure goes to Austin, TX

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Texas You’re the Cure advocates are not taking a break before the holiday!

On November 21, You’re the Cure advocates and American Heart Association staff traveled to the Texas Capitol to speak to state legislators and staff about top hearth health priorities. After a 30 minute training, eight advocates, including a stroke survivor and youth advocate, took to the Capitol hallways advocating for smokefree workplaces and strengthening physical education standards in schools.

In addition to visiting state legislation offices, You’re the Cure advocates were also able to visit offices of the members that sit on the House Education Committee.

Great work Texas!


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State Legislative Wrap-Up!

Friday, November 4th, 2011

You’re the Cure advocates are making a difference in all 50 states and the District of Columbia by advancing policies promoting heart-healthy and stroke-smart communities.  Our 2010-2011 successes are profiled in the new State Legislative Wrap-Up.

Check out the report to learn about local and state policy advances in tobacco control, nutrition, heart and stroke public funding, stroke systems of care, physical education, acute events and access to quality of care.  Congratulations to all our advocates and thank you for all your hard work!

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DC City Council Adopts Healthy Schools Amendment Act of 2011

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

With the District of Columbia’s childhood obesity rate twice the national average, it was clear that schools needed to step-up their commitment to being part of the solution.  Thanks to the passage of the Healthy Schools Amendment Act of 2011 by the DC City Council, the new school year kicked off with stronger standards and requirements for nutrition and physical education.

The new law helps improve health and wellness throughout all schools in the District by:

  • Establishing nutrition standards for school meals, as well as strengthening rules around vending machines, fundraising efforts, marketing, and prizes in schools;  
  • Providing more information about ingredients and nutritional content of school meals; and 
  • Establishing minimum levels of physical education and activity for students and providing schools with equal access to recreation facilities.

You’re the Cure advocates Gail Mates, Marianne Evans and Nancy Chapman testified before the City Council to urge the adoption of the amendments.  

“We have to get more involved to find ways to promote the issues and pass policies that are affecting our health,” advocate Mates said. “It’s fun, easy, and rewarding, and will positively impact people for years to come. The work we are doing is life saving and life changing!”

AHA advocate Gail Mates was influential in the passage of the DC Healthy Schools Amendment Act

The AHA will continue to support the development of strong legislation to meet Institute of Medicine and Alliance for a Healthier Generation recommendations in the District.

“It is always a pleasure advocating with AHA for prevention strategies that save the heart, especially in DC that has high rates of obesity and cardiovascular disease,” Chapman said.

AHA advocate Nancy Chapman testified before the DC City Council

Congratulations to the District and AHA advocates on this important victory for heart-healthy kids!

AHA advocate Marianne Evans was instrumental in the passage of the DC Healthy Schools Amendment Act

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You’re the Cure in Your State

Monday, August 1st, 2011

With all 50 states and DC having active legislative sessions over the last year, You’re the Cure advocates and staff have been working hard to achieve legislative and regulatory policy victories before many state sessions concluded this summer.  Check out a few of the highlights:

  • Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and South Carolina enacted policy which will strengthen their respective stroke systems of care.
  • Arkansas, Delaware and Cleveland, OH moved to reduce the use of trans-fats.
  • Louisiana, Minnesota, North Dakota and Tennessee passed joint use laws which will expand opportunities for physical activity in communities across those states. 
  • North Dakota was successful in increasing funding for state heart disease and stroke prevention programs.
  • Anchorage, AK passed an increase to the local tobacco tax and dozens of local communities including Bismarck, ND, San Antonio, TX, Jefferson City and Fulton, MO; and Florence and Spartanburg, SC, adopted strong smoke-free ordinances.

While we saw great success during the past year, advocates and staff are now turning their attention to planning for the new sessions.  We are hard at work evaluating which issues will become the top state and local priorities for 2012 and holding meetings with state advocacy committees, coalition partners, and legislative champions to craft plans.  It looks like 2012 will be another active and exciting year, with several popular areas of focus including:

  • Requiring CPR for graduation from high school;
  • Strengthening school nutrition and improving access to healthier foods;
  • Creating stroke registries and setting up primary stroke center accreditation processes within states;
  • Expanding community access to school site recreational facilities by strengthening joint use agreements;
  • Improving Medicaid patients’ access to tobacco cessation and preventative benefit services; and
  • Expanding the number of statewide and local smoke-free ordinances and securing tobacco tax increases.

To learn more about how you can step-up your involvement in our state and local advocacy efforts, contact your advocacy staff partners today

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Go Red goes to Washington

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Myrna Aguilar, a Go Red spokeswoman and single mom from California, knew her family’s history of heart disease put her at risk as well. Coming from a Latin American family that “likes to eat well”, she realized she needed to make changes to her lifestyle. She started by signing up for a bike marathon last fall and committed to regular exercise and a healthier diet. She has maintained her healthy lifestyle and is working to inspire her young son and other family members to do the same.

Recently, Myrna took her push for prevention to another level by participating in the American Heart Association’s You’re the Cure on the Hill lobby day. “I wanted to share my story with lawmakers because I’m concerned for the future of my son and his generation,” she said. Myrna joined fellow advocates in urging lawmakers to address childhood obesity by supporting the FIT Kids Act and Safe Routes to School legislation, as well as to support increased funding for medical research to improve the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Myrna realized her actions made a difference when Representative Laura Richardson (shown with Eric Batch, Jacqueline Hernandez, and Myrna) agreed to co-sponsor the FIT Kids Act after their lobby day meeting. Simply by sharing her story and concerns as a mother, Myrna and other advocates across the country have been able to raise awareness and garner support from our nation’s lawmakers.

Myrna further reflects, “I heard the most amazing stories and left even more inspired by all of the great work You’re the Cure advocates are doing!” To join Myrna in taking action, visit http://www.yourethecure.org/ today!

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AHA advocates urge Congress to support research, fight childhood obesity

Friday, April 15th, 2011

More than 300 American Heart Association advocates met with their representatives in Congress this week and urged them to appropriate $35 billion for the National Institutes of Health for the 2012 fiscal year, co-sponsor the Fitness Integrated with Teaching Kids Act and support the Safe Routes to Schools program.

The FIT Kids Act would encourage quality physical education and activity during the school day, and the Safe Routes to Schools program promotes the development of walking and biking paths for schoolchildren.

Currently, NIH invests only 4 percent of its budget on heart research and a mere 1 percent on stroke research. “These funding levels are simply not enough to advance research and bring us closer to a cure,” said AHA President Ralph L. Sacco, M.D.

In addition to the action on Capitol Hill, over 12,000 emails were sent and nearly 200 phone calls were made by advocates across the country, who participated in the event virtually. Thanks to these active advocates, our message of prevention was delivered to 530 congressional offices!

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, (R-Ga.) and Rep. George Miller, (D-Calif.) received the association’s Congressional Public Service Awards for their leadership in the passage of the Child Nutrition Act- and four outstandig volunteers were awarded with the Association’s Advocate of the Year awards, including Dr. Stephen Cook (NY), Cindy Flynn (PA), Newt Williams (TN), and Abby Michaelsen (CA).

Star Jones of “The Celebrity Apprentice” also participated in the event sharing her journey of recovery from heart disease with fellow advocates and legislators alike.

For more information and event pictures, visit www.heart.org/yourethecureonthehill

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Rep. Kind, Senator Harkin Reintroduce FIT Kids Act, Calling for More P.E. in Schools

Monday, March 14th, 2011

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) and U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today reintroduced the Fitness Integrated with Teaching Kids Act (FIT Kids Act), a bill to combat childhood obesity by strengthening physical education programs in schools throughout the country.

The FIT Kids Act, H.R. 1057, renews the emphasis on physical education in schools. The Act would work to ensure kids are active during the school day and are given opportunities that promote overall health and wellness. The legislation would engage parents and the public by requiring all school districts and states to report on students’ physical activity, including the amount of time spent in required physical education in relation to the recommended national standard. The Act would further ensure appropriate professional development for health and physical education teachers, fund research to examine the link between children’s health and their academic achievement, and recommend effective ways to combat childhood obesity and improve healthy living and physical activity.

“This bill gets to the simple truth: in order to develop a healthy mind, you need a health body,” said U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), co-chair of the Congressional Fitness Caucus. “Providing increased physical education in public schools will give every child an opportunity – regardless of their background – to learn healthy habits and get moving. We will see the benefits in their math and reading test scores, get to the root of the obesity epidemic, and get kids on a healthy path early in life. I hope that Congress can consider the importance of physical education in our schools when they take a closer look at education reform later this year.”

“To ensure that our kids will lead healthy and active lives, we need to help them develop good habits early on,” said Senator Tom Harkin, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. “This bill would combat rising rates of childhood obesity, which have become a pressing public health crisis that we must address. Kids who get more exercise throughout the day are more fit, more focused in the classroom, and get better sleep – also a welcome benefit for their parents! This bill empowers schools, teachers and parents to help improve our kids’ health.”

“With childhood obesity rates that have tripled over the last few decades, we must make every effort to help children reduce their risk for heart disease, stroke and other life-threatening illnesses,” said Nancy Brown, CEO of American Heart Association. “More than 80 percent of adults support daily physical education yet such programs have been on the decline in many school districts. The FIT Kids Act would help educate parents about the quality and quantity of physical education in their child’s school.”

“America’s children receive too little opportunity to be physically active, and that is a major contributor to the nation’s obesity epidemic, said Penny Lee, Executive Director of the Campaign to End Obesity Action Fund. “Lack of physical activity for children has a negative effect on our military preparedness, their ability to learn and their overall wellness. Now is the time to drill down on solutions which is what this legislation provides. It allows for more information to parents, educators and communities so they recognize the gaps in activity and have the opportunity to address them ­– a major step in the right direction.”

“The National Association for Sport and Physical Education commends Senator Harkin and Congressman Kind on introducing the FIT Kids Act which will strongly support our common goal of increasing the quality and quantity of physical education opportunities in the U.S.,” says NASPE President, Lynn Couturier of State University of New York at Cortland. “Physical education, an essential component of a quality, well-rounded education, not only teaches students how to achieve and maintain lifelong healthy habits but contributes to their academic success.”

“We are proud to support Senator Harkin and Congressman Kind on their reintroduction of the Fit Kids Act,” said NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell. “This legislation furthers our shared goal of eliminating childhood obesity and encouraging children to lead healthy lifestyles.”

The FIT Kids Act has been endorsed by the following organizations: The American Diabetes Association, The American Heart Association, National Association for Sport and Physical Education, Grocery Manufacturers Association, National Football League, Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, YMCA.

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New “Make the Move” Report Guides Implementation Efforts of the National Physical Activity Plan

Friday, March 4th, 2011

The National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP) has established national implementation priorities in a new digital report, Make the Move, which provides an outline of short-term and long-term goals to implement policies, programs and initiatives to get more Americans moving. The report was developed by the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA), the national coalition charged with implementing the nation’s first ever National Physical Activity Plan.

The American Heart Association is a founding member of NCPPA helping to lead implementation efforts alongside the numerous national organizations involved in the initiative. The association is co-leading the Business and Industry sector of the National Physical Activity Plan to help increase physical activity and promote best practices in the workplace. The association’s Start! campaign is an example of how employers and individuals are promoting physical activity throughout communities and in workplaces. Start! provides individuals and companies with the tools and resources to be physically active and heart healthy. Resources offered by Start! include a local walking path finder, activity and meal tracker, tools to connect people in their areas, and grocery list builders to name a few. www.heart.org/start.
The Start! campaign demonstrates the American Heart Association’s commitment to help people become physically active and healthy, working with the goal of the Plan. The Make the Move Implementation Report highlights other examples of local activities that support the Plan. In Ohio, a manufacturing company with limited access to technology took part in a Virtual Walk across the U.S. and 56 percent of employees participated, increasing overall wellness. Each employee was assigned a pushpin on a map that marked each company location across the country and using the pedometers they were given, employees tracked the miles they walked to see who could get to each location the fastest.



NCPPA President Laurie Whitsel states: “This is a great opportunity to begin collecting all of the exciting stories about the different ways organizations, communities, and passionate advocates are making the National Physical Activity Plan a reality and hearing how people across the U.S. are making physical activity a regular part of their day.”

Unite forces with American Heart Association and the NPAP to Make the Move in your business or at home today!

Learn more at http://www.ncppa.org/ or to get involved visit www.facebook.com/PhysicalActivityPlan

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