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Activate America(R) Brings Together YMCAs Nationwide to Promote Small Steps Toward a Healthier Lifestyle During 'America on the Move Week With the YMCA,' September 22-29, 2007
Date:9/17/2007

about one mile) and eating only 100 fewer calories -- which research shows can prevent the average annual weight gain of one to two pounds per year.

"People are often so overwhelmed by the negative news and focus on extreme diets and exercise plans that they are tuning out instead of taking action," said James O. Hill, Ph.D., America On the Move Foundation co-founder. "Partnering with the YMCA provides a huge opportunity for us to personally engage with millions of people and show them how small steps can reap big rewards."

In 2006, more than 800,000 people participated in America On the Move Week with the YMCA activities, logging 9.3 million steps. This year, YMCAs have set a national goal of 1 million participants and a collective total of 10 billion steps during the week.

This year, the YMCA is also incorporating neighborhood/community "walkability" assessments as part of its America On the Move Week with the YMCA activities. Community members are encouraged to take walks and complete questionnaires to determine how "friendly" the community is for pedestrians and cyclists by rating criteria including room to walk, ease in crossing streets, behavior of drivers and general safety and pleasantness.

"One of the most effective ways to increase physical activity is to incorporate it into everyday routines. Walking is an easy and accessible activity that people can do every day," said Nicoll. "Unfortunately, not all communities are built to promote physical activity. By getting more members of the community moving and helping assess their community's friendliness toward pedestrians of all abilities, the YMCA seeks to identify and break down barriers to active living."

To get involved in America On the Move Week with the YMCA, people can contact their local YMCAs for information about local events or visit http://www.ymca.net for a list of participating YMCAs.

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SOURCE YMCA of the USA
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