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Physical Activity

A group of women walking on a trail.

This topic provides information about the role of physical activity in staying healthy with or without diabetes. The outlines below are designed to assist educators in developing lesson plans for individual or group sessions. They also provide resources on physical activity and diabetes. The education materials are culturally relevant and can be used as a supplement to nationally recognized curricula that diabetes programs may be using already.

Education setting: Individual or Group


Lesson Outline: How To Get Started Walking

Resource and Key Points Objectives and Goal Setting

Resource to use: How To Get Started Walking

This two-page patient education handout is designed to complement the conversation between the educator and participant. Download or order color copies from the Education Materials and Resources (Online Catalog) at no cost.

Key Points to Discuss:

  • Why walk?
  • How does walking help?
  • Is walking right for you?
  • How can you get started?
  • What may keep you from walking?
  • Imagine looking forward to your walks.
  • Set goals for walking.

Objectives

By the end of this lesson, the participant will be able to:

  1. Describe how walking can help people with diabetes.
  2. Identify how to get started walking.
  3. State at least one reason to walk.

Goal Setting

Participant will identify how walking will help them, and set a goal to get started.

Lesson Outline: Walking Farther and Faster

Resource and Key Points Objectives and Goal Setting

Resource to use: How To Walk Farther and Faster

This two-page patient education handout is designed to complement the conversation between the educator and participant. Download or order color copies from the Education Materials and Resources (Online Catalog) at no cost.

Key Points to Discuss:

  • Why walk more?
  • How much do you need to walk?
  • How do you keep going?
  • What if you have health concerns?
  • What if you miss a few days?
  • How can you protect your feet?
  • What are some safety tips?
  • Set goals for walking.

Objectives

By the end of this lesson, the participant will be able to:

  1. Explain the benefits of walking farther.
  2. Identify ways to overcome common barriers.
  3. State ways to protect feet while walking.
  4. Identify ways to be safe while walking.

Goal Setting

Participant will identify ways to overcome potential barriers to walking, and set a goal to enhance their walking routine.

Additional Materials

 

Video: 7th Annual Cowlitz Tribal Health Walk
Community members thinking about joining a community walk can draw inspiration from this video that features a Cowlitz Tribal Councilwoman with diabetes. Uncertain how far she can walk, the video ends on a positive note with the Councilwoman completing the entire 3.5-mile walk. (Running time: 4:51)

Pascua Yaqui Seniors Inspire With Their Commitment to Fitness
This story describes the positive benefits of physical activity in people over 55. Said one active senior, "When we exercise, we feel better. My circulation, my heart, my moods, everything feels better." In addition to feeling better themselves, these seniors are community role models and are inspiring others in their community.

Tucson Indian Center Clients Burn Bacon, Prevent Diabetes
Read how one walking program participant explains the benefits of longer walks. She says, "It's like your body goes from easy listening to heavy metal music. It's like it runs out of quick fuel, but doesn't panic because there is stored fat to burn. It's like your body starts burning the delicious bacon!"

Two Women Changed Their Lives by Walking, Walking, Walking!
Inspirational story describes how two women from the Tohono O'odham Nation made regular walking a part of their lives, improved their own personal health, and inspired others to join the walking group.

Video: Native Pedometer Trekking
Diabetes Program staff can watch this video for guidance on creating trekking maps intended to encourage Tribal community members to walk in nature. Using Google maps and pedometer steps, the video describes how Diabetes Program staff can create 3-5 outdoor walks of varying distances and terrain and help customize an outdoor trek that's right for the participant. (Running time: 3:23)

Video: Household Circuit Activity Program
Watch this video on how to create a household domestic activity circuit training using household and or yard chores in a defined period of time – without travelling to a gym or exercise class. The program is a creative way to get sedentary people into the pattern of regular physical activity and instill a sense of accomplishment. (Running time: 2:03)

Additional Materials for Diabetes Educators

IHS Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention Resources

Looking for additional materials?
Read uplifting stories of people and programs making a difference in Indian Country. Also, learn about innovative ideas and activities from SDPI grant programs who are improving the lives of their community members.

Curricula Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

External Organizations
Note: The resources listed below do not imply endorsement from IHS, nor does IHS control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of the information on these sites.