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Home   Join/Renew   Certification   Member Services   Education   Research   Foundation June. 28, 2011

In this issue:

Active Voice: The Importance of Understanding Physical Activity Patterns in Older Adults
Just Released – New ACSM Position Stand on Quality, Quantity of Exercise
2011 ACSM Annual Meeting, World Congress Breaks Records
Policy Corner: Advocates Take to the Hill
An Inside Look: July 2011 Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
Healthy People 2020 Issues Request for Proposals
Sports Medicine & Exercise Science Headlines

Active Voice: The Importance of Understanding Physical Activity Patterns in Older Adults
By Mark Davis, M.Phil.    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Viewpoints presented in SMB commentaries reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.

Mark Davis, M.Phil., is a lecturer in exercise, nutrition and health at the Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences at the University of Bristol (UK). His research focuses on physical activity patterns of older adults. In the April 2011 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise® (MSSE), Davis and co-authors published a related research paper entitled “Objectively measured physical activity in a diverse sample of older urban UK adults.”

Living in an aging society, our principle concern is that as adults live longer, more will be frail and require long-term care. This presents major challenges to aging individuals, their families and providers of health and social care. Physical activity plays an important role in preventing and slowing the onset of frailty. Yet, we know that very few adults are sufficiently active to preserve health, independence and physical function. While some health conditions require extra care, declines in physical activity also mean declines in health, well-being and physical function.

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Just Released — New ACSM Position Stand on Quality, Quantity of Exercise
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A new ACSM Position Stand titled “Quantity and Quality of Exercise for Developing and Maintaining Cardiorespiratory, Musculoskeletal, and Neuromotor Fitness in Apparently Healthy Adults: Guidance for Prescribing Exercise,” was released last week in the July issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. The new guidelines reflect current scientific evidence on physical activity and include recommendations on aerobic exercise, strength training and flexibility.

In addition to outlining basic recommendations on exercise and their scientific reasoning, the Position Stand also clarifies a few new points.
  • Pedometers, step-counting devices often used to measure physical activity, are not an accurate measure of exercise quality and should not be used as the sole measure of physical activity.
  • Though exercise protects against heart disease, it is still possible for active adults to develop heart problems. All adults must be able to recognize the warning signs of heart disease, and all health care providers should ask patients about these symptoms.
  • Sedentary behavior – sitting for long periods of time – is distinct from physical activity and has been shown to be a health risk in itself. Meeting the guidelines for physical activity does not make up for a sedentary lifestyle.
View the full Position Stand online at www.acsm-msse.org.

2011 ACSM Annual Meeting, World Congress Break Records
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The 58th ACSM Annual Meeting was momentous in many ways. From the record-breaking attendance (more than 6,000 attendees from all parts of the world) to the most relevant scientific and clinical research presented to new partnerships forged and initiatives launched, this Annual Meeting was certainly one all members can all take pride in.

A few highlights of the meeting include:
  • Exercise is Medicine® announcing their global network of 27 national task forces and six Regional Centers. Representatives from each Regional Center – North America, Latin America, Australia, Europe, Africa and Asia – attended the meeting and shared ideas.
  • The special address by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, sharing how communities and individuals can commit to physical activity, health and wellness.
  • Engaging Denver residents through the EIM Community Walk and Opening Ceremony, which also attracted leaders including Wyoming Senator John Barrasso, M.D., “The Biggest Loser” finalist Tara Costa, Shellie Pfohl of the President’s Council, and Pam Peeke, M.D., among others.
  • A one-of-a-kind traveling art exhibit presented by Art of the Olympians. More than 25 pieces of art were displayed at the meeting for all attendees to enjoy.
  • Introduction of the highly popular Annual Meeting mobile website, which was highlighted through QR codes in the Annual Meeting Daily News and accessed more than 30,000 times.
  • Expanded hours in the jam-packed exhibit hall, which included close to 150 exhibitors and a massive silent auction.
  • Well-attended committee meetings, interest groups, socials, receptions, banquets and more.
Please save the date for ACSM’s 59th Annual Meeting and 3rd World Congress on Exercise is Medicine, May 29 – June 2, 2012, in San Francisco, CA.

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Policy Corner: Advocates Take to the Hill
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Washington’s hot, humid weather nurtured more than garden plants and ice cream sales last week. Representatives of ACSM and numerous other organizations in the Inclusive Fitness Coalition (IFC) conferred on strategies for increasing sport and exercise opportunities for students with disabilities, then spread out to talk with Members of Congress and staff. The group found encouraging support for the cause, but acknowledged the realities that permeate the federal policy work like the palpable haze of a hot D.C. afternoon.

Particularly encouraging was a conversation with Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, following up on his participation in the recent ACSM Annual Meeting and World Congress on Exercise is Medicine. Sen. Barrasso, a noted orthopedic surgeon who is deeply involved in discussions of health care policy, long has promoted healthy lifestyles as preventive medicine. He and his senior health policy advisor, Erin Dempsey, engaged with ACSM policy staff and consultants on matters ranging from Exercise is Medicine and the ACSM American Fitness Index to strategies for emphasizing physical activity in medical school curricula and electronic health records.

An Inside Look: July 2011 Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
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The July issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (MSSE) is available online now. ACSM members can access the journal for free – simply log in at the ACSM website and click “My ACSM.”

MSSE Editor-in-Chief Andrew J. Young, Ph.D., FACSM offers his insights into the July issue: More



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Healthy People 2020 Issues Request for Proposals
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Do you have an innovative plan to use Healthy People 2020 to improve the health of your community? Awards between $5,000 and $10,000 USD will be given to as many as 170 projects addressing one or more Healthy People 2020 topic areas. A special emphasis will be given to projects addressing environmental justice, health equity, or healthy behaviors across all life stages. Funding may only be used to support activities above and beyond general operations.

Projects must be conducted by community-based not-for-profits with budgets less than $750,000 and completed between December 1, 2011 and May 31, 2012. The deadline for proposals is Friday, August 5, 2011. Learn more or apply online at www.healthypeople.gov.

Exercise and Science Headlines

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.

To Stretch or Not to Stretch
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Is it time, once again, to stretch? For decades, many of us stretched before a workout, usually by reaching toward our toes or leaning against a wall to elongate our hamstrings, then holding that pose without moving until it felt uncomfortable, a technique known as static stretching. Most people, including scientists and entire generations of elementary-school P.E. teachers, believed that static stretching lengthened muscles and increased flexibility, making people better able to perform athletically.

But about 10 years ago, researchers began putting the practice to the test. They found that when athletes did static stretches, performance often suffered. Many couldn’t jump as high, sprint as fast or swing a tennis racquet or golf club as powerfully as they could before they stretched. Static stretching appeared to cause the nervous system to react and tighten, not loosen, the stretched muscle, the research showed.

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Where Stress Hides in Your Body
MSNBC    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The best explanation of stress we've ever heard comes from Stanford neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky, Ph.D., the author of Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers.

"If you are a normal mammal," he says, "stress is the 3 minutes of screaming terror on the savanna after which either it's over with or you're over with."

If you're a human mammal, however, stress comes from something more insidious than a toothy predator: anxiety triggered by the passive-aggressive boss, the 30-year mortgage, and the job of caring for children as well as the ill parent who believes General MacArthur wants him to lead a division into Pyongyang Province.

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