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Health and fitness benefits of trails and greenways


May 31, 2005

photo of San Antonio River Walk
Riders, runners, and walkers enjoy the Washington & Old Dominion Trail in suburban Washington, DC

U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) re-introduced his Healthy Lifestyles and Prevention (HeLP) America Act, S.1064 May 18. The bill seeks to improve the health of Americans and reduce health care costs by reorienting the nation's health care system towards prevention, wellness, and self-care. The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance. NRPA continues to work with Harkin's office to ensure that park and recreation agencies are eligible for the proposed competitive grant programs. The bill is expected to provide substantial opportunities for agencies to develop and expand therapeutic recreation services.

March 25, 2005

Presidential Partners in May to Get America Moving is an initiative to promote celebration and participation in physical activity, fitness, and sports activities, to share information and new ideas, and to work together to direct national attention to the importance of adopting and maintaining physical activity to improve the quality of their lives.

October 28, 2004:

A new report by a national health advocacy group calls state and national policies ineffective tools in the war against obesity. The Trust for America's Health, a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., went a step further Wednesday and recommended that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention become the nation's "command and control center" to manage the problem. The group called for an aggressive, coordinated national strategy. "We need a game plan that has some teeth to it," says executive director Shelley Hearne. A single agency in charge would be able to more effectively coordinate programs between state and federal agencies, the report says. more...

October 7, 2004:

A new website supporting the HealthierFeds campaign: The HealthierFeds initiative places emphasis on educating Federal employees and retirees on healthy living and best-treatment strategies.

October 5, 2004:

Steps to a Healthier US Funding
The Senate Labor-HHS-Education bill provides $43.7 million for the "Steps for a Healthier US" program, an increase of $5 million over the fiscal year 2004 level. The House bill provides a $12 million increase to expand the program in FY 2005 to $56 million. The "Steps to a Healthier US" initiative received $44 million in FY 2004. The president requested $125 million for FY 2005.

The program is administered through the Department of Health and Human Services and funds state and local projects geared toward fighting asthma, diabetes, and obesity. The goal of the initiative is to prevent 75,000 new cases of diabetes, 50,000 asthma-related hospitalizations, and 100,000 new cases of obesity over the course of each fiscal year. To learn more about "Steps to a Healthier US" go to:

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