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active approach

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The AARP has a message for older Americans: It's time to lose that paunch.

The Washington-based elder-advocacy organization is unveiling a campaign, tagged, "Active for life," to promote physical fitness. The work, by GMMB and Fleishman-Hillard, both Washington, includes TV, print and radio.

Ads show seniors swimming or jogging, emphasizing the recreational aspects of keeping fit. "I stay active because I choose to age on my own terms," begins one ad, attributing the quote to Freda Edwards, 67.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, four out of 10 Americans ages 45-64 are sedentary.

"Approximately 80 million people will turn 50 over the next decade," said Bill Novelli, AARP's CEO. "We will … promote increased physical activity as one of the most important things Americans 50-plus can do to improve their health."

The campaign will be pilot tested in Richmond, Va., and Madison, Wis., with major advertising, media, advocacy and community-based initia tives over the next year.

The effort is supported by a $4.3 million grant to AARP from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is matched by $2.5 million from AARP.