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New Study: Active Lifestyles Boost Longevity

exercise and lifestyle At the recent 60th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports
 Medicine (ACSM) and 4th World Congress on Exercise is Medicine®, dozens of health experts attested to the myriad benefits of biking to work and taking advantages of daily fitness opportunities and corporate wellness.

The Indianapolis-based Health by Design coalition serves as an example of how policy decisions
 supporting active lifestyles can invigorate a community. “We’re so proud of the efforts under way to 
make Indianapolis more walkable and bike-able,” said Kim Irwin, who leads Health by Design.

“We’ve
 adopted a ‘Complete Streets’ policy and we’re working on numerous ‘Safe Routes to School’ initiatives for local bikers and student walkers. Expanded regional mass transit a reality. All of this makes it easier for
 people to get physical activity as part of their daily routine,” Irwin said.

Avid cyclist and research chair Robert Oppliger, Ph.D., FACSM, noted the
 success of the League of American Bicyclists in developing a nationwide initiative to promote activity through their program, “Bike-Friendly Communities, Businesses and Universities.” Almost 250
 communities, including Indianapolis, have become pedal friendly through this program.

Oppliger said that significant benefits in participating neighborhoods =include enhanced property values, increased commerce and more vibrant communities. “The link between physical activity and individual health is well documented,” said Janet Walberg 
Rankin, Ph.D., whose term as ACSM president just ended.

She said, “What
 we’re focusing on now – from both research and policy perspectives – is physical activity as a public 
health strategy. We’re seeing in communities as different as New York City and Indianapolis,,, documentation of strategies that bring multiple co-benefits.”

How do you jumpstart healthy lifestyle activities such as more walking and biking?

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