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In this issue:

On the Passing of Priscilla Clarkson, Ph.D., FACSM
Take Action: September is Childhood Obesity Month
Policy Corner: Make Positive Change in Health and Wellness through Grassroots Advocacy
Don't Miss Free Online Content and iPad App from ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal®!
Sign Up for Exercise is Medicine® On Campus
Sports Medicine & Exercise Science Headlines
 
 


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On the Passing of Priscilla Clarkson, Ph.D., FACSM

ACSM mourns the loss of Fellow and Past-President Priscilla M. Clarkson, Ph.D., FACSM. Dr. Clarkson, who served as the College's third female president (2000-2001), died Aug. 25 at age 66 following a long battle with cancer. She served the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, as dean of Commonwealth Honors College and Distinguished University Professor in Kinesiology and was a nationally recognized researcher in muscle function.

ACSM’s current president, William W. Dexter, M.D., FACSM, said, "Priscilla Clarkson was an elegant thinker, collaborator and person whose legacy will continue to unfold. She was an exemplary scientist, teacher and mentor. Priscilla gave so much to the College through all the roles she joyfully filled, from committee service to her leadership as President. We will miss her sorely, even as we celebrate her many contributions to the field and to ACSM."

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Take Action: September is Childhood Obesity Month

The fourth annual National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month kicks off September 1, encouraging all Americans to take steps to reduce the effects of the childhood obesity epidemic in the U.S. More than 23 million children and teenagers in the United States are overweight or obese, according to recent data. Childhood obesity is linked to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, breathing problems, joint problems, fatty liver disease and other health concerns. The epidemic also places a financial burden on all of us: Obesity requires $14 billion per year in direct health care costs in the U.S.

Childhood Obesity Awareness Month was created to fight this negative trend in our next generation's health. COAM embodies the principle Think globally; act locally. All are invited to take action in their own communities and organizations to build awareness about the causes and implications of childhood obesity and – most important – to take steps to prevent and combat it. The COAM movement has no official leadership structure. Though recognized by Congress and the White House and promoted by the American College of Sports Medicine and other partners, it is an alliance of diverse advocates who recognize that eating sensibly and being physically active are keys to better health and quality of life. Co-benefits for society include reduced health-care costs, better worker productivity and student achievement, and reduced environmental impact as more people enjoy active transportation.

To get involved in Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, simply determine how you can take steps to further the cause. Check out the brand-new COAM Month website; use the toolkit available at www.coam-month.org; adapt what others have tried; see how you can build awareness and action toward our shared goal. Look for opportunities in your organization and your community. In doing so, you are contributing to better individual health and quality of life for all. This month, you’re encouraged to take action to reverse this trend by spreading the message about the benefits of physical activity and leading a healthy lifestyle. Download our online toolkit – complete with sample PSAs, proclamations and news releases – for quick, easy ideas for bringing Childhood Obesity Awareness Month to your community.

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Policy Corner: Make Positive Change in Health and Wellness through Grassroots Advocacy

At its core, advocacy is the process by which ordinary citizens influence public policy to better align with their needs and priorities. Many policies that relate to the ACSM mission are set by elected leaders, such as federal legislation (e.g., federal physical activity guidelines or funding for research), state laws (e.g., regulation of health professions or appropriations for school wellness programs) and local ordinances (e.g., requirements for bike lanes as part of new road construction). ACSM’s policy agenda reflects evidence-based proposals to improve public health, reduce health care costs and boost individual quality of life. The data are clear, and mountains of personal or anecdotal evidence demonstrate the health benefits of active lifestyles. Nonetheless, with so many issues competing for attention and so many priorities competing for funding, vigorous advocacy is essential to bring these issues to the forefront.

As an expert in your field, you can play an important role in health and wellness policy. The opportunities are endless:
  • Joining the ACSM Key Contact Network.
  • Creating and responding to emailed or online Action Alerts, telling elected officials their constituents support specific provisions in legislation.
  • Writing letters to the editors of newspapers to support local policy initiatives.
  • Meeting with elected officials and their staff to discuss legislation.
  • Using communication channels such as corporate newsletters or email signatures to send information relating to ACSM policy priorities.
  • Speaking up at meetings of school boards, zoning boards, etc.
  • Demonstrating widespread employee support for workplace wellness programs.
To learn more about ACSM’s policy initiatives, please contact Monte Ward, vice president for government relations.

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Don't Miss Free Online Content and iPad App from ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal®!

Check out the two free featured articles from the September/October 2013 issue of ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal® at www.acsm-healthfitness.org. Also, if you own an iPad, make sure to download the free app for ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal® in the Apple Store! The September/October issue is now available for download on the app.

The free featured articles for the September/October issue include, "How Young Is Too Young to Start Training?" by Gregory D. Myer, PhD, CSCS*D, FACSM; Rhodri S. Lloyd, PhD, CSCS*D; Jensen L. Brent, CSCS; and Avery D. Faigenbaum, EdD, CSCS, FACSM, and the Nutritionist’s View column, "How to Increase Muscle Mass: What Does Science Tell Us?," by Stella Lucia Volpe, PhD, RD, LDN, FACSM . The articles are available free-of-charge on the journal’s web site until October 25, so download your copies today.

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Sign Up for Exercise is Medicine® On Campus

Bring Exercise is Medicine® to Your Campus! This program provides universities with an opportunity to promote physical activity and its health benefits on their respective campuses, gives participating schools the chance to become among the first educational institutions to make a commitment to supporting EIM, and creates an opportunity for EIM campuses to collaborate with the surrounding community.

EIMC's three guiding principles:

1) Exercise and physical activity are important to health and the prevention and treatment of many chronic diseases.
2) More should be done in university and college settings to encourage students to establish lifelong exercise and physical activity habits that have the power to significantly improve the quality of students’ lives.
3) Support ACSM’s efforts to bring a greater focus on exercise and physical activity in university and college settings.

Sign up your campus today!

Also, why not make sure your institution is distributing the ACSM Fit Society Page®, the quarterly e-newsletter for consumers? Each colorful, themed issue is full of evidence-based information, and your organization can add its logo for distribution to students, faculty, patients and other audiences. E-mail publicinfo@acsm.org to sign up for the newsletter.

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SPORTS MEDICINE & EXERCISE 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.


Changes Women Can Make to Improve Their Health
St. Joseph News-Press
Sharing her personal story of weight loss is one way physician's assistant Michelle Pruessner provides support to patients looking to change their health.

"I try to be an encouragement, just sharing my story. I've dug out old pictures of myself to show them,” says Pruessner, who was overweight from childhood through her college years. "It's important that they understand that I understand."

Whatever you plan to do to improve your health, starting small is key, says Pruessner, who practices at the Atchison Internal Medicine and Family Practice Clinic. Research shows that by starting with small, achievable goals, people seeking to be healthier will be more successful than those who begin their journey with high, often unattainable goals.

In a recent American College of Sports Medicine study, sedentary adults given the smaller goal of increasing their daily steps by 2,500 were more than twice as likely to stay the course than those given the goal of walking 10,000 steps a day.

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How Exercise Can Help Us Sleep Better
The New York Times
As a clinical psychologist and sleep researcher at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, Kelly Glazer Baron frequently heard complaints from aggrieved patients about exercise. They would work out, they told her, sometimes to the point of exhaustion, but they would not sleep better that night.

Dr. Baron was surprised and perplexed. A fan of exercise for treating sleep problems, but also a scientist, she decided to examine more closely the day-to-day relationship between sweat and sleep.

What she and her colleagues found, according to a study published last week in The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, is that the influence of daily exercise on sleep habits is more convoluted than many of us might expect and that, in the short term, sleep may have more of an impact on exercise than exercise has on sleep.

To reach that conclusion, Dr. Baron and her colleagues turned to data from a study of exercise and sleep originally published in 2010. For that experiment, researchers had gathered a small group of women (and one man) who had received diagnoses of insomnia. The volunteers were mostly in their 60s, and all were sedentary.

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Sports Medicine Bulletin
Sports Medicine Bulletin is a membership benefit of the American College of Sports Medicine. There is no commercial involvement in the development of content or in the editorial decision-making process for this weekly e-newsletter. The appearance of advertising in Sports Medicine Bulletin does not constitute ACSM endorsement of any product, service or company or of any claims made in such advertising. ACSM does not control where the advertisements appear or any coincidental alignment with content topic.

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