Text Size:   A A A

Exercising and Keeping Fit

Exercise and Physical Activity

Dancing and Drumming: The Native American Quest for Healthy Weight

We Can! is a collaboration between the NHLBI, NIDDK, NICHD and NCI, NIH

(PDF, 49 KB)

Physical Activity

Indian Health Service, HHS

Our Stories

Our Cultures are Our Source Of Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, DHHS

Renowned Hollywood actor and Cherokee tribal member, Wes Studi, explains how American Indians and Alaska Natives are twice as likely to have diagnosed diabetes as non-Hispanic whites. Studi underscores the wisdom of cultural knowledge, including gathering and planting local traditional foods and playing traditional games, to promote health and prevent diseases like type 2 diabetes [9:02 minutes]

Research and Education Tools

2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, HHS

Science-based guidance to help Americans aged 6 and older improve their health through appropriate physical activity. Developed with health professionals and policymakers in mind, the Guidelines provide information to help learn about the health benefits of physical activity, understand how to do physical activity in a manner that meets the Guidelines, understand how to reduce the risks of activity-related injury, and assist others in participating regularly in physical activity. (PDF, 8.5 MB) 

Development of a Culturally Appropriate, Home-Based Nutrition and Physical Activity Curriculum for Wisconsin American Indian Families

LaRowe TL, Wubben DP, Cronin KA, Adams AK, Vannatter SM.

Peer reviewed article describing an obesity prevention intervention for American Indian families using a participatory approach involving three Wisconsin tribes. This program promotes healthy eating and physical activity for preschool children and their caregivers while respecting each community's cultural and structural framework.

Healthy Weight for Life: Actions for Health Care Teams and Leaders

Indian Health Service

This 2011 publication provides evidence–based strategies for taking action now to improve your practice and your community. The guide also lists many online resources for healthy weight management programs and activities. (PDF, 919 KB) 

Honoring the Gift of Heart Health: A Heart Health Educator's Manual for American Indians

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, NIH and Indian Health Service, HHS

A comprehensive, culturally appropriate 10-lesson course on heart-health education for the American Indian community. Filled with skill-building activities, reproducible handouts, and idea starters. Two appendices cover activities for training Heart Health Educators to implement the program, and An American Indian Family's Journey to heart health, told with heart healthy recipes for each family member's favorite foods. (PDF, 4.2 MB)

Let's Move in Indian Country: Toolkit and Resource Guide

The White House, Domestic Policy Council, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Education, and in collaboration with the Office of the First Lady's Office and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Corporation for National and Community Service

This toolkit can be used by individuals, schools, pre–schools, before and after school programs, private organizations, tribal nations, community groups, committees, councils, fundraising coordinators, administrators and management, urban Indian centers, tribal leaders, local elected officials or anyone interested in helping American Indian/Alaska Native children combat obesity. (PDF, 5.2 MB) 

Physical Activity Kit (PAK)

Indian Health Services, HHS

The PAK toolkit is designed to increase the time American Indians and Alaskan Natives spend in medium to high physical activity for all ages across the lifespan. PAK can be used in schools, communities, worksites, Head Start programs, elderly centers, and youth programs. Activities have been field tested to be culturally appropriate for Native communities.

Promoting a Healthy Weight in Children and Youth Clinical Strategies: Recommendations and Best Practices

Indian Health Services, HHS

This 2008 report outlines clinical strategies on five childhood obesity prevention and treatment recommendations for health care professionals in Indian Health Service, tribal and urban Indian health clinical settings. The report‘s five recommendations are based on the best available clinical evidence regarding the prevention and treatment of overweight. (PDF, 528.2 KB)


Wise Elders Living Longer

WELL-Balanced (Wise Elders Living Longer) is a health promotion program designed to be carried out by volunteer coaches. It provides community support for Native elders with diabetes, arthritis, and hypertension, as well as helping elders reduce their risk of falling.

Organizations and Programs

President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition

General Health Information on Exercise and Keeping Fit

Aim for a Healthy Weight

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, NIH

Be Active Your Way

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, HHS

In the guide, you can read how you can fit physical activity into your life-your way. It can help you decide the number of days, types of activities, and times that fit your schedule. (PDF 1.1 MB)

Exercise and Physical Fitness in MedlinePlus

National Library of Medicine

Get Active

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, HHS

Physical Activity in MedlinePlus

National Library of Medicine

Staying Active at Any Size

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, NIH

Tips to Help You Get Active

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, NIH

(PDF, 2.5 MB)

What is Physical Activity?

Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, USDA


We Have the Power to Prevent Diabetes: Tips for American Indians & Alaska Natives

National Diabetes Education Program is a joint program of NIH and CDC, DHHS

Weight Control

Energy Balance/Weight Control

Native American Cancer Research Corporation

A fact sheet that helps to explain how and eating health and exercise can reduce the risk of cancer. (PDF, 1.6 MB)

Healthy Weight for Life

Indian Health Service, HHS

This easy-to-read manual provides guidance for taking action to stop the obesity epidemic. You can start by using lifestyle change strategies to achieve your own goals for a healthy weight and help your loved ones. (PDF, 1.6 MB)

Obesity and American Indians/Alaska Natives

Office of Minority Health, HHS

Statistical data.