Americans In Motion - Healthy Interventions (AIM-HI)

The AAFP Americans In Motion - Healthy Interventions (AIM-HI) initiative was conceived to address the serious problems faced by this nation as people become more sedentary, reduce physical activity and grow increasingly obese, and to bring national emphasis to the need for better preventive services. The AAFP initiated AIM-HI to encourage and support individual family physicians seeking to address fitness from a broader perspective.

The family physician is uniquely positioned throughout the United States in urban, suburban and rural areas and can be at the center of the initiative due to the acceptance and respect they enjoy within their own communities. Family physicians care for the entire family and can implement cross-generational, culturally diverse programs that appropriately fit in each community and practice.

Vision

Promote "fitness" as a path to health for all members of the American family.

Mission

Improve the health of all Americans by implementing a multifaceted fitness program addressing physical activity, healthy eating, and emotional well-being in the individual, family and community.

Goals

  • Develop office-based and community-based interventions that will enable family physicians to teach patients and their families to become physically and emotionally fit and practice healthy eating.
  • Encourage family physicians to be fitness role models.
  • Improve family physicians’ ability to positively affect the fitness of their patients.
  • Enhance the awareness of family physicians’ unique ability to promote fitness within their communities.

The AIM-HI Approach

AIM-HI presents fitness—physical activity, healthy eating and emotional well-being—as “the treatment of choice” for prevention and management of many chronic conditions. AIM-HI helps family medicine practices create a fitness focus through implementation of these critical strategies:

  • Raising awareness among clinicians and office staff regarding their own personal fitness.
  • Creating an office environment that is conducive to integrating AIM-HI concepts into everyday office routines.
  • Using the AIM-HI philosophy and tools to help patients improve their fitness.
See Also
  • Become a Ready, Set, FIT! Presenter or Incorporate the Curriculum in Your Classroom

AIM-HI at Schools: Ready, Set, FIT!

Ready, Set, FIT! is a school-based educational program that teaches third and fourth graders about the importance of fitness.

Through a partnership between AIM-HI and Scholastic, Ready, Set, FIT! offers in-class lessons and take-home activities aimed at encouraging kids to be active, eat smart and feel good.

The curriculum includes:

  • Pre-Visit Activity: Ask the Family Doctor -- Teacher and students prepare for a presentation by a family physician.
  • Lesson 1: Your Choices Add Up to Fitness -- A family physician or other healthcare professional talks about the three components of fitness. The guest presentation is followed by a teacher-led lesson on balancing energy intake with energy used during the day.
  • Lesson 2: Get Moving -- This lesson focuses on the importance of physical activity.
  • Lesson 3: Choose Smart! Eat Smart! -- Students learn how choosing a variety of foods gives them energy to think clearly, play longer, and feel good.
  • Lesson 4: Express Yourself! -- This lesson teaches that feeling good comes from being active, enjoying a variety of activities and sharing thoughts and feelings with loved ones.

In the Classroom

Aligned with national education standards, the Ready, Set, FIT! program builds on core language arts, math and health skills. Teachers integrate four fitness-related lessons with corresponding classroom activities.

At Home

To extend the learning experience from the classroom to home, the program offers a student guide with take-home assignments designed to encourage family conversations about fitness choices.

In the Community

Family physicians are valuable community resources and role models for improved fitness. Teachers are strongly encouraged to invite a family physician to help kick off the first lesson. Together, teachers and family physicians can help kids recognize everyday choices they make to be active, eat smart and feel good.

In the Classroom

Aligned with national education standards, the Ready, Set, FIT! program builds on core language arts, math and health skills. Teachers integrate four fitness-related lessons with corresponding classroom activities.

AIM-HI's Role in Ready, Set, FIT!

For the first time in history, the current generation of children may have shorter life expectancies than their parents due to obesity-related illnesses. AIM-HI, has responded to this growing, yet preventable, health crisis with Ready, Set, FIT!

Ready, Set, FIT! educates children about the importance of fitness through a balance of physical activity, healthy eating, and emotional well-being. In addition, the program promotes family physicians as valuable community resources and fitness role models.

AIM supports family physicians as they promote fitness with their patients in an effort to more effectively prevent, manage and treat health problems related to a sedentary lifestyle and poor nutrition.

AIM-HI Research Study

AIM-HI and the AAFP National Research Network recently completed a three-year study that presented fitness as the treatment of choice for prevention and management of many chronic conditions.

This project evaluated a practice improvement program to improve family physicians’ delivery of effective patient-centered behavior change interventions for fitness — physical activity, healthy eating and emotional well-being. Family medicine offices that participated in the study:

  • Adapted their office environment and practice processes to promote fitness
  • Shifted from advice-giving to patient-centered lifestyle counseling
  • Integrated AIM-HI resources into office routines.

In the non-control group of the study, staff themselves were asked to make personal changes to improve their own fitness.

Results

Data from the study shows patient outcomes from baseline to four months demonstrated a:

  • Decrease in BMI
  • Improvement in self-reported eating habits
  • Improvement in fitness (as measured by a step test)
  • Increase in self-reported exercise levels

Core Supporters

Americans In Motion—Healthy Interventions (AIM-HI) is sponsored by the American Academy of Family Physicians and is supported by educational grants from core supporters.