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In this issue:

Active Voice: Why Should Pregnant Women Exercise?
ACSM’s 17th Annual Health & Fitness Summit Kicks Off in Vegas
Policy Corner: Guidelines Midcourse Report Reflects ACSM Influence
Early Bird Deadline Approaching for Annual Meeting on 3/20
Athletes in the Arts to Launch in Indy. Be there!
Students: Don't Miss Your Chance to Win $1000 and Free 2013 Annual Meeting Registration
Sports Medicine & Exercise Science Headlines

Active Voice: Why Should Pregnant Women Exercise?
By Lanay Mudd, Ph.D.
Viewpoints presented in SMB commentaries reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.

Dr. Mudd is an assistant professor in the department of kinesiology at Michigan State University. With a background in both kinesiology and epidemiology, her research focuses on maternal and child health benefits of physical activity during pregnancy. In this commentary, Dr. Mudd, an ACSM member, presents her views associated with the research which she and her colleagues published in the February 2013 issue of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise® (MSSE).

“It’s six o’clock, so should I sit on the couch and watch some TV or fit in a quick walk before dinner?” For many pregnant women, the answer is automatic – “I’m tired and I’m pregnant. I deserve to relax. What’s on TV?” Yet, research conducted over the past 18 years indicates that the woman who laces up her sneakers instead, can expect a healthier pregnancy and a healthier baby.

In the past, most viewed pregnancy as a time to rest and gain weight in order to ensure a healthy delivery. The first physical activity guideline, published by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) in 1985, even encouraged women to limit vigorous physical activity and keep their exercise heart rates below140 beats per minute. Unfortunately, while hundreds of studies have since shown benefits of physical activity during pregnancy and the guidelines have been subsequently updated many women and healthcare providers cling to this 140 limit. The most recent U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services guidelines for physical activity during pregnancy state that women who are not already active should get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity aerobic activity, and that those who are habitually more active may continue their normal routines provided they communicate openly with their healthcare provider. International guidelines in Canada, Denmark and Norway are similar.

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ACSM's 17th Annual Health & Fitness Summit Kicks Off in Vegas

Viva Las Vegas! ACSM’s 17th Annual Health & Fitness Summit & Exposition begins today in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Summit will feature sessions by top ACSM experts, high-energy workouts, and opportunities for CEC’s. The latest edition of ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription will also be unveiled at Summit.

If you’re not able be in Vegas, please join the conversation online on ACSM’s Facebook page or on Twitter using #ACSMSummit.

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Policy Corner: Guidelines Midcourse Report Reflects ACSM Influence

Photo credit: USA Today

When the topic is physical activity research, guidelines or policy, the trail usually leads to ACSM and its member-experts. Beginning with its founding in 1954 and continuing with current efforts to mobilize a sedentary society, the college has fostered translation from the lab bench to the clinic and city hall.

That tradition continued March 8, when First Lady Michelle Obama released the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Midcourse Report in closing the Partnership for a Healthier America Summit. The report, titled Strategies to Increase Physical Activity Among Youth, clearly bears the stamp of ACSM:
  • Numerous member-experts served on the report subcommittee, the HHS steering committee and as reviewers.
  • ACSM scientists conducted a high proportion of the cited research, much of it published in MSSE.
  • The strategies themselves and recommended research agenda resonate with ACSM’s proposals and those of our many partnerships and initiatives, including Exercise is Medicine®, the ACSM American Fitness IndexTM, the National Physical Activity Plan, Designed To Move, Every Body Walk! and others.
The PAG Midcourse Report, coordinated by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, is a review-of-reviews of intervention strategies which have been shown to be effective in increasing physical activity among youth ages 3-17. It notes five key settings that provide opportunities to increase activity where youth live, learn and play:
  • School
  • Preschool and childcare
  • Community
  • Family and home
  • Primary care
Like Designed to Move, the Midcourse Report seeks to create lifelong exercise habits in youth and acknowledges the importance of the built environment in facilitating opportunities for physical activity.

The Midcourse Report is focused, clearly written and evidence-based. If broadly adopted and enacted, it offers a roadmap for increasing the proportion of youth who meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

See next week’s Policy Corner for another notable development concerning the Guidelines.

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Early Bird Deadline Approaching for Annual Meeting on 3/20

Register by Wednesday, March 20 to get the early bird discount for ACSM’s 2013 Annual Meeting, the most comprehensive sports medicine and exercise science conference in the world. With 12 topical tracks, including Exercise is Medicine®, attendees of more than 70 disciplines come together from around the globe to share new clinical techniques, scientific advancements and cutting-edge research in sports medicine, exercise science, physical activity and public health.

Whether you're a student or established professional, the ACSM Annual Meeting offers you an international stage to present your research, network with top experts and gain continuing education to help you reach your professional potential.

Want a sneak peek of this year’s meeting? Download the Advance Program today or search the online program planner.

Register today at

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Athletes in the Arts to Launch in Indy. Be there!

Those attending the Annual Meeting in Indianapolis will be treated to several opportunities to enjoy live performances, thanks to the Athletes and the Arts initiative. Athletes and the Arts was founded by ACSM, the Performing Arts Medicine Association and the Loyola University (New Orleans) Center for Arts and Entrepreneurship. The initiative seeks to bring to musicians, dancers and other performers the insights and supportive care that sport athletes enjoy. Shared challenges include repetitive stress injuries, hydration issues, and the need for optimal training and conditioning regimens. Some challenges unique to performing artists include hearing loss and focal dystonia.

Join us Wednesday, May 29 for a news conference/launch event at the Indiana Convention Center, and that evening for a special event at the nearby Indiana History Center. Plans include brief performances by singers, dancers, pianists and drummers, as well as a moderated discussion of the physical and mental demands their art requires.

Athletes and the Arts has plans to enhance the Annual Meeting and World Congress in other ways, as well. Look for signs and announcements, and prepare to be surprised and pleased by this refreshing addition to our meeting in Indianapolis.

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Headlines include recent stories in the media on sports medicine and exercise science topics and do not reflect ACSM statements, views or endorsements. Headlines are meant to inform members on what the public is reading and hearing about the field.

Fitness Experts Separate Folklore from Fact
Reuters Health
Can crunches create six-pack abdominal muscles? Do weight-lifting women risk bulging biceps? Is stretching always a good idea? Experts say disentangling folklore from fact is not easy in fitness, where misconceptions are as pervasive as push-ups and as stubborn as love handles.
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Nike Appoints Former Olympic Champion Sebastian Coe as Advisor
Portland Business Journal
Editor's note: Lord Sebastian Coe was a featured speaker at the meeting highlighted in SMB Sept. 5, in which ACSM participated as a co-author of the Designed to Move report.

Nike Inc. recently announced that Olympic gold medal-winning middle distance runner Sebastian Coe will serve an international ambassader promoting its program tackling global inactivity. Coe won the 1,500-meter competition at the 1980 Moscow Olympics for Great Britain, making him one of the first runners to take home gold wearing Nikes. He went on to become a noted conservative politician who spearheaded the organization of the 2012 London Olympics. After his career, he remained an ambassador for the Nike brand.

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Family Loses 72 Pounds and Slashes Food Budget in Half
USA Today
Jackie, 40, and Kenny Reese, 48, of Windsor, Calif., have lost a significant amount of weight several times in the past, but like many dieters, they gained most of it back. In early December, Jackie described her family, which includes son Landon, 9, and her mother, Ina McElroy, 69, as a three-generation household of people who "all struggle with our weight. I would like to break this cycle so that my son does not follow in our footsteps." So the Reeses volunteered to participate in this year's Family Fitness Challenge, an initiative to help families across the country get more active — and lose weight. The ongoing project is being produced in partnership with USA WEEKEND Magazine and the TV series The Doctors.
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