Leading a healthier life looks simple on paper. Daily physical activity, a nutritious diet, preventative tactics and healthy choices. These are all things that we’ve been told for years, but with our busy lives, they seem more and more difficult. The U.S. government has even tried to outline ways to get healthy.
In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower founded the President’s Council on Youth Fitness after a study indicated that American youth scored lower than European children on a battery of physical fitness tests. President John F. Kennedy changed the agency’s title to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness in 1960 to reflect its expanded mandate to serve Americans of all ages. President Lyndon B. Johnson created the Presidential Physical Fitness Award in 1966, and the Presidential Sports Award program was implemented in 1972.
On July 18, 2003, President Bush visited the Lakewest Family YMCA in Dallas, Texas to highlight his HealthierUS initiative designed to help Americans, especially children, live longer, better, and healthier lives. The President's HealthierUS initiative helps Americans take steps to improve personal health and fitness. The program outlines four keys for a healthier America:
Be physically active every day. Many chronic diseases can be prevented with modest exercise, in some cases as simple as walking for half an hour. For example, if just 10% of adults began walking regularly, America could save $5.6 billion in costs related to heart disease.
Eat a nutritious diet. Americans should make simple adjustments to their diet and avoid excessive portions. Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption is a central part of a healthier diet, and good overall nutrition lowers the risk of getting heart disease, stroke, cancer, and osteoporosis.
Get preventive screenings. Americans may be surprised to learn how a simple test like a cholesterol screen or a blood pressure check can reveal current health status and identify a need to adjust diet or behavior.
Make healthy choices. Avoid tobacco and drugs as well as the abuse and underage use of alcohol and make smart and safe choices in your everyday life.
Steps to a HealthierUS
Obesity, diabetes, and asthma are some of the most prevalent and costly chronic health problems facing the nation. Increased exercise and better nutrition are simple measures that can prevent or delay many chronic diseases. The Steps to a HealthierUS program will fund innovative community-based programs that seek to adopt proven measures to reduce the burden of obesity, diabetes, and asthma-related complications, with a particular focus on youth.
President Bush’s HealthierUS initiative has these benefits:
Regular physical activity can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels and can reduce the risk of illnesses such as Type II diabetes or heart disease.
Exercise is a good way to build strong, healthy bones and can help slow the bone loss associated with getting older.
Sense of well-being
Being in good shape can give you more energy, reduce anxiety and depression, improve self-esteem, and help you better manage stress.
Staying active can be a great way to have fun, make new friends, and spend quality time with family.
You look better when you're in shape. Staying active helps you tone muscles and maintain a healthy weight - and can even improve your posture.