The staff of Shape Up America! wishes you, your
family, and your friends a terrific holiday season.
To Your Health,
Dr. Barbara Moore, P.H.D.
Another year is upon us, and while festivities are all
around us, the time is NOW to begin to focus on your
weight management and fitness goals.
The fact is, as it has always been, that we do not
much if not for our health. With this in mind, it is our
deepest desire to help you and your loved ones
achieve a better lifestyle in 2003. Let's get started.
|10,000 Steps Program
How much exercise does it take? Getting started on the
10,000 Steps Program.
In December, 2001, the U. S. Surgeon General, Dr.
David Satcher issued "The Surgeon General's Call to
Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and
Obesity." In this report, Dr. Satcher joined former U.S.
Surgeon General C. Everett Koop by highlighting the
health risks and costs of overweight and obesity and
issued a call to Americans to take action. Dr. Koop
founded Shape Up America! in 1994 because of his
concern about the increasing prevalence of obesity in
America. The mission of Shape Up America! is to
provide you with solid (scientific) information on weight
management. Over the years, the Surgeon General has
warned Americans about such things as the hazards of
cigarette smoking or a high cholesterol level in your
blood. In 1996, the Surgeon General issued an
important report on physical activity and warned us
that regardless of our age, we are just not active
enough. Since then, you may have been scratching
your head, wondering just how much activity would
make the Surgeon General happy. Our purpose is to
clarify how much exercise is necessary to manage your
weight and to introduce the 10,000 steps program.
Exercise and Health
The Surgeon General's recommendation for physical
activity is to add about 30 minutes of moderate
intensity activity each day ON TOP of your customary
daily activities. This recommendation is a health
recommendation - it is designed to improve your health
and it is backed by solid evidence that you WILL
improve your health if you follow this recommendation.
But is it enough activity to prevent weight regain after
a weight loss program? Is it enough activity to prevent
overweight in the first place? No, the studies show it is
not likely to be enough for either purpose.
For Weight Management -- How Much is Enough?
So how much activity is enough for weight
management? There are now some studies suggesting
that walking 10,000 steps a day is the right ball park to
be in. Several months ago, we decided to purchase a
pedometer so that we could figure out how to talk to
you about the physical activity goal of "10,000 steps a
day." The pedometer we purchased is of the very
simple variety. It tracks steps and that's it. We didn't
care about tracking miles walked or calories burned or
any of the other fancy features that some pedometers
offer. We purchased the basic model, which means it
was the least expensive -- costing less than $30. We
learned you can't just stick it in your pocket. You have
to firmly clip it to a belt or waistband around your waist
in order for it to work properly.
After wearing the pedometer for a few weeks, we
learned that in the normal course of events - just living
and working - we took anywhere from 900 to 3000
steps in a day and not much more. In other words, we
came to realize that it was pretty nearly impossible for
us to get in 10,000 steps in a day without intentionally
going out for a walk (or getting on a treadmill).
Here is what we learned about getting started on the
10,000 steps program
To avoid injury, you need to work up slowly. If you
have any concerns about your joints (ankles, knees or
hips) discuss your exercise plans with your physician.
You will need a good pair of sneakers. We actually
prefer a running shoe with plenty of cushion. We
noticed that we are wearing out our sneakers and
replacing them every six months or so.
Start out by wearing the pedometer each day for two
weeks and don't do anything to change your normal
routine. Before you go to bed, take care to log your
steps at the end of the day each day for the entire
two-week period. At the end of the second week, take
a look at how many steps you are taking each day in
the course of living your life. Perhaps on some days it is
as few as 700 steps in a day and on other days, it may
be as high as 2500 steps.
If you feel comfortable doing so, take the highest
number of steps you have walked on any given day and
use that number of steps as your daily step goal. Feel
free to select a smaller number of steps as your goal if
you prefer. To avoid injury, do not select a higher
number. Aim for your goal each day for the next two
weeks. Let's assume your first step goal is 2500 steps.
That means that for the next two weeks, you are going
to try to walk 2500 steps each day. Before bedtime
each night, be sure to log in the number of steps you
At the end of that two-week period, review all the
steps you took each day and decide if you are ready to
add another 500 steps to your goal. Your new step goal
is now 3000 steps a day for the next two-week period.
Continue in that manner, working up as slowly as you
wish, until you finally reach the goal of 10,000 steps a
Check with your physician if you experience any pain or
discomfort that concerns you. We consider pain a
warning signal that something may be wrong. Our goal
is to keep you active for the rest of your life. So don't
go overboard and pull a muscle that will put you out of
commission. Take it slow. Take it easy.
I Hate to Walk, But I Like To
If you really can't stand to walk but you like to jog or
run -- Go ahead and get your steps in with jogging or
running. A pedometer can track your steps whether you
are moving slow or fast. If you use special exercise
equipment or if you like to bicycle, swim or kayak, we
discovered our pedometer does not help us keep track
of our activity. Even on a stair stepper or stair climber
in the gym, it was not accurate. But not to worry, you
can "translate" your 10,000 step goal into an
equivalent time goal for your favorite activity.
To get started with our pedomoeter click here »
|Support Somebody You Love With This Gift!
This beautifully designed gift basket contains
everything that you need to get started or continue
developing healthy fitness habits.
What a great gift for the holidays right around the
The basket includes:
The Asian Diet Cookbook,
Healthy Weight, Healthy Living,
Fitting Fitness In,
On Your Way To Fitness,
10,000 Steps Program, and the
Shape Up America! members get a 10% discount!
To order your basket go here! »
Bread Stuffing for Turkey
4 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup celery, including leaves, finely chopped
1 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1 ˝ teaspoons freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons dry thyme
1 teaspoon dry rosemary
1 teaspoon dry sage
8 cups stale bread, cut into ˝ inch cubes, toasted
1 cup chicken broth
1. In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion
and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the celery
and sauté another few minutes. Add parsley, thyme,
rosemary, sage, salt and pepper and cook for 5
minutes. Place the mixture in a large mixing bowl, add
the cubed bread and chicken broth, and toss to
2. When cool, stuff the turkey and bake.
For More Recipes Click Here »
|Childhood Obesity - It Takes a Family-PART II
When a child is too fat, the risk of diabetes is a serious
threat to that child's health. For the first time in
history, children as young as eight years old are
suffering from "Diabesity" - obesity-induced type 2
diabetes. Equally upsetting is that overweight children
are subjected to ridicule and teasing from their friends
and schoolmates. What steps can you take to protect
the mental and physical health and well being of your
overweight child? The last issue of our newsletter
explained how to work with your child's pediatrician or
other qualified health care professional to assess your
child correctly. Now you need to know what to do
about it if your child is too fat.
What to Do If Your Child is Overweight?
You may be surprised to learn that it takes an entire
family to help an overweight child. It is true that the
child requires careful monitoring by a qualified pediatric
health professional. But treatment should start with a
careful review of the entire family's eating and exercise
habits, and the eating and exercise environment of the
child. If you decide to seek a weight loss program to
address the problem, here are a few things you need to
know: For the complete list of things to consider,
obtain a copy of the Parent's Guide.
· The treatment of an overweight child should
focus on the entire family. Efforts to treat the child
without addressing the lifestyle of the parent(s) and
other members of the family living under the same roof
are likely to fail.
· If you are the caregiver for the child, it is
important to face the question of whether the entire
family is ready for change.
· You are the role model(s) for the child, and
you may need to improve your own eating and exercise
habits if you truly want to help the overweight child
· Targeting only the child for treatment may
stigmatize the overweight child and can be counter-
productive and harmful.
· Making exercise a priority for the entire family
will usually take a great deal of planning on your part.
Walking is great exercise for all ages.
· If your neighborhood is unsafe, you may need
to organize supervised play groups with other adults
you trust who will share responsibility with you.
· Food is often used for emotional reasons that
have nothing to do with true hunger. Learn how to
identify real hunger and distinguish it from emotional
hunger. You and your child may need the help of a
professional in this area.
· You may need to change the way in which
your family uses food to manipulate each other's
behavior and emotions.
· Avoid using food to reward good behavior -
the best reward is to offer to spend special one on one
time with your child.
· You may need to seek emotional support for
yourself and your family as you make these lifestyle
· Turn off your TV(s), computer(s), video game
(s) and spend more time interacting as a family.
· If your child requires medications, you must
be sure that a qualified physician is carefully monitoring
the health and growth of your child. This is especially
important the entire time your child is taking any
As described in last month's newsletter, the
assessment of an overweight child requires very
accurate measurement of height and weight to
calculate your child's BMI. Your pediatrician will then
use gender- and age-specific BMI Percentile tables to
evaluate your child. For more information on
assessment, and treatment please consult the Shape
Up America! Parent's Guide to the Assessment and
Treatment of the Overweight Child.
The treatment of childhood obesity should not focus on
the overweight child. The treatment approach should
focus on the behavior of the entire family, including the
parents or caregivers, siblings, and any other role
models in the family. The child's living environment
(including home, school and neighborhood) may need to
be carefully evaluated and changed to encourage
healthier eating and exercise habits. Family dynamics
may have to be examined and changed - a process
that can be painful and may require emotional support.
The Shape Up America! website is intended to address
the lifestyle of adults. It is not designed for children or
intended for children. There are many resources on the
Shape Up America! website that can be used to
improve your entire family's eating and exercise habits.
For example, if you use the Shape Up America!
CyberKitchen, the recipes and meal plans are
appropriate for the entire family. Both children and
adults require a great deal of physical activity to
maintain a healthier body weight. If you use the Shape
Up America! Fitness Center to improve your exercise
habits, be sure to choose some activities that you can
enjoy with your child. You may find the Shape Up
America! Support Center useful in making these lifestyle
changes. Our goal is to help you acquire the skills you
need to achieve healthy eating habits and a level of
physical activity that is sufficient to maintain a healthy
weight and body fat content for life.
More on this topic »
|Sponsor Shape Up America!
Shape Up America! is financed solely by private funds
of corporations, commodity boards, and foundations.
Sponsorship of Shape Up America! is open to a wide
range of companies and industries that are concerned
about healthy weight and physical fitness, including
food and beverage manufacturers, food retailers and
restaurants, commodity boards, weight management
companies, manufacturers of diet-related products,
manufacturers of sporting goods and equipment, fitness
organizations, health promotion companies and the
Sponsorship is a tax deductible contribution, and with
an average viewership of ONE million per month you can
have your organization be in the spot light to
thousands of people per day.
From now until December 31, 2002 we have created
some truly unbelievable special offers for sponsoring
Shape Up America! in 2003.
Click on the link to see how you can help us develop
more REAL HELP FOR REAL PEOPLE!
Click To See Sponsorship Options