Sports Medicine Bulletin
Jun. 10, 2014

Active Voice: Surgeon General Fuels ACSM Member Call to Action!
By Dr. Carol Ewing Garber
Viewpoints presented in SMB commentaries reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.

ACSM President Carol Ewing Garber, Ph.D., FACSM, RCEP, is the Director of the Graduate Program in Applied Physiology and the Applied Physiology Laboratory at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she is proud to follow in the footsteps of ACSM Founder, Dr. Josephine Rathbone.

Today's commentary is Part 1 of a two-part series. Check next week's SMB for Part 2.

Along with a number of fellow members, I came away energized and inspired when U.S. Acting Surgeon General RADM (Rear Admiral) Boris Lushniak made a special visit to the 60th ACSM Annual Meeting in Orlando May 30. ACSM members and RADM Lushniak engaged in lively discussions about the crisis of physical inactivity and its substantial impact on the nation’s health, economy and the well-being of its citizens. RADM Lushniak made an immediate connection with us when he boldly declared that “Physical inactivity is the major public health issue in this country.”

During dialogue sessions before and after Lushniak’s presentation, ACSM members mentioned that physical inactivity is a serious health problem because of its high prevalence combined with its associated disease-specific mortality and morbidity. Past President Dr. Steven Blair pointed to data presented at the meeting estimating that physical inactivity contributes to 5 billion deaths per year across the globe. RADM Lushniak said we have “regressed as humans from doing what we are meant to be doing—moving.” He went on to suggest that a more effective public health strategy may be to make things easier for people by providing simple messages about physical activity. “Walking is something that most people can do,” he said. “And they don’t need expensive shoes or have to pay for a gym to do it.”


ACSM and Hip Hop Public Health Forge New Partnership to Advance Health Literacy and Behaviors Among At-Risk Communities

If you caught their performance at the Annual Meeting in Orlando a few weeks ago, you already know Hip Hop Public Health is working to end health illiteracy through entertainment-based interventions using a number of research-based, innovative approaches to help stem the tide of poor nutrition and physical inactivity within at-risk communities. At Annual Meeting, hip hop legend Doug E. Fresh and Hip Hop Public Health (HHPH) Founder and President Dr. Olajide “Hip Hop MD” Williams joined forces with ACSM to create a new partnership to promote healthier communities in the U.S.

The two organizations will work together to drive four strategies. Strategy one will develop HHPH ambassadors through ACSM's 12 regional chapters and extensive multi-organizational networks. The second strategy will design a plan of action to make Hip Hop public health a priority and platform for national health and fitness initiatives and organizations. Strategy three is to apply a social movement strategy that will infuse HHPH principles and elements into the health promotion efforts of other organizations. Finally, strategy four will launch HHPH as a global health initiative.

In addition to the partnership, HHPH also announced the availability of its free new Hip Hop Public Health app. This HHPH Ambassador mobile application provides ambassadors with tools and resources to promote HHPH within their communities including accessing educational materials such as PowerPoint programming, multimedia (e.g. videos, music, cartoons, etc.), "elevator pitch," facts on why this program is important and FAQ's. Ambassadors can even record their experiences within the app and share them through social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The app has been making a big splash since its release— Dr. Oz proclaimed, "This is spectacular!" after using the app for the first time.

For more information on Hip Hop Public Health or the app, please visit, follow on Twitter @hhphorg or

Policy Corner: Senate Confirms New HHS Secretary, Sylvia Matthews Burwell

Last Thursday, the Senate confirmed Sylvia Matthews Burwell as the new Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) by a bipartisan vote of 78-17. She was sworn in yesterday, June 9. You can learn more about Burwell's background and previous career highlights in this profile piece published in last Thursday's New York Times.More

Every Body Walk! Walking Challenge Winner: Congratulations Team Angela Smith

ACSM members showed leadership, merged fitness with health care and learned about prescribing exercise to every patient during the launch of the Every Body Walk!: 30 Minutes to Better Health Walking Challenge in Orlando. This program's ultimate goal is for clinicians to inspire a large group of citizens to collectively walk a billion miles, and ACSM leadership kicked the program off at the Annual Meeting.

Tractivity, the conference's activity monitoring solution, gave out 500 devices at no cost to encourage a little friendly competition with ACSM peers. The Every Body Walk! Walking Challenge participants were divided up into teams led by eight team captains including Drs. Bill Dexter, Eugene Hong, Mark Hutchinson, Carrie Jaworski, Liz Joy, Bill Roberts, Bob Sallis and Angela Smith. The team who logged the most steps by the Clinicians' Reception Thursday evening received special recognition. Congratulations to Team Angela Smith for logging more than a million steps during the Every Body Walk! Walking Challenge! Thank you to Tractivity for the sponsorship of devices and technology support for the Every Body Walk! Walking Challenge.More

June 20 Deadline to Submit Session Proposals for 2015 Annual Meeting/World Congresses

Don't miss the session proposal deadline for the 62nd ACSM Annual Meeting, 6th Annual World Congress on Exercise is Medicine and World Congress on the Basic Science of Exercise Fatigue, which will be held May 26-30, 2015, in San Diego, California. Proposals may be submitted online and are due by 11:50 p.m. PST on Thursday, June 20. More

Study: Exercise Reduces Mobility Problems Among Older Adults
People in their 70s and 80s who took part in a moderate-intensity exercise program over several years were more likely to retain their ability to get around independently, according to a new study.

The results add to a growing body of evidence that regular physical activity may help to keep older adults moving as they age, said the study’s lead author.

"The key issue is that we did not have until now definitive evidence where physical activity could prevent a major outcome such as (loss of) mobility in adults," Dr. Marco Pahor, director of the Institute on Aging at the University of Florida, Gainesville, said.

A person's ability to walk without assistance is often used as a measure of independence and quality of life, Pahor and his coauthors write in JAMA – the Journal of the American Medical Association.

People who lose their mobility have higher rates of disability and illnesses and are more likely to die, they note. More

LeBron James Doesn't Actually Cramp More than Many Athletes
USA Today
To avoid cramping in the future, LeBron James just has to do something simple before games, according to Lewis Maharam, the Past President of the American College of Sports Medicine’s NY Chapter: Get ready to take a tequila shot.

The important ingredient: Grab a packet of salt like the kind one gets at a fast food chain.

"Put it in your hand and lick it like you're drinking tequila," he said.

James, whose cramping in the fourth quarter of Thursday night's Heat-Spurs game kept him out of the final minutes, has a long history of cramping — most notably during the NBA playoffs. In 2012, he also had to be carried off the floor during Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

But perhaps no meme will be more memorable for this Finals series than the image last night of a cramping James heading to the locker room as his team fell to the Spurs on a court with temperatures nearing 90 degrees.

"He doesn't cramp up more than anyone else," said Maharam, the past medical director of the New York City marathon. "Anyone else who is exerting themselves at the top of the game ... if you ever go out to a marathon or a half marathon I'd say about 70 percent are cramping up and that's because they're exerting over a good amount of time. LeBron gives his all. And when you're giving it your all you lose electrolytes and you sweat. And when you lose electrolytes and you sweat, you cramp." More