Sports Medicine Bulletin
Nov. 18, 2014

Active Voice: Finding a Cure for the Plague of the 21st Century
By Robert Sallis, MD, FACSM
Viewpoints presented in SMB commentaries reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.

Robert E. Sallis, M.D., FACSM, is a past president of ACSM and currently is chair of the Exercise is Medicine® Task Force. He originated the EIM concept and has been its leading advocate from the beginning. Dr. Sallis earned an M.D. from Texas A&M University and completed his residency in family medicine at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Fontana, Calif. He has continued his medical career with Kaiser and now codirects their sports medicine fellowship training program. Dr. Sallis is the founding editor-in-chief of ACSM's Current Sports Medicine Reports journal.

I recently represented Exercise is Medicine® and the Every Body Walk! Collaborative at Walk21, the 15th Annual Conference on Walking and Walkable Communities. The meeting was held on October 21-23 at the Luna Park Conference Facility located alongside the beautiful harbor in Sydney, Australia. Walk21 2014 was a remarkable meeting that brought together a wide variety of stakeholders interested in the development of healthy and sustainable communities where people choose to walk. In addition to those from the fields of medicine and public health, the bulk of the attendees were involved in city planning, transportation, education, urban design and architecture. All of the attendees were passionate about the importance of walking for health and quality of life. In addition, the premier of New South Wales and the lord mayor of Sydney also attended and spoke, underscoring the importance of this meeting at the highest levels of government in Sydney and beyond.


In Memoriam: Former ACSM President Jack H. Wilmore, Ph.D., FACSM

It is with sadness that ACSM notes the passing of Dr. Jack H. Wilmore, ACSM president during 1978-79. Wilmore was the recipient of the ACSM Citation Award in 1984 and the ACSM Honor Award in 2006. He was also editor-in-chief of Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews from 1972-1975. See a timeline of Wilmore's extensive contributions to the field of exercise science here.

During Jack's career, he was awarded more than $2,700,000 in research grants from the National Institutes of Health, NASA and the United States Air Force. He published 317 research articles, 55 chapters in edited books and authored or co-authored 15 books. He also was a consultant to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Rams, Lakers, and Kings, as well as the California Angels and San Francisco 49ers.

Wilmore earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in physical education at the University of California, Santa Barbara and a doctorate in physical education from the University of Oregon. During his career, he was an associate professor at Ithaca College, University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, Davis. He served as head of the physical education department at University of Arizona, head of the kinesiology and health education department at the University of Texas Austin and head of the health and kinesiology department at Texas A&M.

Read reflections on Dr. Wilmore's passing from esteemed ACSM colleagues Dr. Jim Skinner and Dr. Claude Bouchard.More

ACSM Partners with NIH, Others to Examine Innovation and Needs in Active Health, Built Environment

ACSM is continuing to advance scientific knowledge and practice in the critical interplay among physical activity, the built environment and health. Last week ACSM partnered with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to stage a remarkable conference called Human Connections. The program examined opportunities and strategies for making health and active transportation a centerpiece in community design and building construction.

USGBC oversees the highly influential Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Certification Program — that aims to amplify health and well-being in building construction. AIA is the leading professional society for architects and allied disciplines, all of which play a critical role -now and in the future- in ensuring buildings and surrounding areas promote physical activity and are health-centered.

The collaborative conference was held on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. Multidisciplinary thought-leaders served as keynote speakers and panelists, including former ACSM President Angela Smith and ACSM fellow Dave Bassett. Presenters and dialogue-creators also included Bryan Sivak, chief technology officer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Chris Pyke, vice president of research at USGBC; and representatives from organizations as diverse as the Healthy Schools Network, the U.S. General Services Administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the NIH Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the NIH National Cancer Institute, as well as university, professional and other centers of excellence.

Physical activity and health were constant themes and priorities throughout the conference, and among all panels and speakers. The ActivEarth initiative – the collaborative that ACSM launched in September in New York in conjunction with the United Nations General Assembly meeting – was underscored. ActivEarth focuses on the interplay among active transportation and its complementary benefits for health, climate and economic development. Also addressed was Designed to Move (the global effort to promote activity among youth and to make cities more supportive of physical activity) and Every Body Walk! (The effort to promote walking and walkability in the U.S. and globally). References were also made to Exercise Is Medicine® and the American Fitness Index®. Physical activity and movement were central themes throughout the conference, including Instant Recess and regular standing ovations. Standing up and walking about was encouraged to avoid persistent sitting.

An outcomes and recommendations report based on the conference will now be developed. ACSM will play a leading role in next steps and future directions. Just some of the many key themes and ideas from the conference are listed below.


NYSHSI News: New Recommendations to Minimize Concussions in HS Football

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) released new recommendations last week for minimizing the risk of concussions and head impact exposure in high school football. National Youth Sports Health & Safety Institute Executive Director, Michael Bergeron, Ph.D, FACSM, served on the 24-member task force that created the report. Many of the recommendations focus on reducing the amount of full contact, including limiting the amount of full contact in practices during the season. The "Recommendations and Guidelines for Minimizing Head Impact Exposure and Concussion Risk in Football" position paper is posted on the NFHS website at

Don't Miss Free Online Content from Current Sports Medicine Reports

Check out the three free featured articles from the November/December 2014 issue of Current Sports Medicine Reports at

The free featured articles from the November/December issue are identified at the above link and include:

The articles are available free-of-charge on the journal's website until January 9, so download your copies today.

Current Sports Medicine Reports is the official clinical review journal of ACSM and is written specifically for ACSM physician members to provide a thorough review of the most current sports medicine literature. ACSM physician members receive an online subscription to this journal as a member benefit. More

What's your Fitness Age?
The New York Times
You already know your chronological age, but do you know your fitness age?

A new study of fitness and lifespan suggests that a person's so-called fitness age – determined primarily by a measure of cardiovascular endurance – is a better predictor of longevity than chronological age. The good news is that unlike your actual age, your fitness age can decrease.

The concept of fitness age has been developed by researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, who have studied fitness and how it relates to wellness for years.

Fitness age is determined primarily by your VO2max, which is a measure of your body's ability to take in and utilize oxygen. VO2max indicates your current cardiovascular endurance.

It also can be used to compare your fitness with that of other people of the same age, providing you, in the process, with a personal fitness age. If your VO2max is below average for your age group, then your fitness age is older than your actual age. But if you compare well, you can actually turn back the clock to a younger fitness age. That means a 50-year-old man conceivably could have a fitness age between 30 and 75, depending on his VO2max. More

The Workout Trends Everyone is Talking About
The results from the ninth annual American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)fitness trend survey are in, and, the top picks are telling. What workouts will everyone will be doing in 2015? There are some usual suspects, but a few surprising changes as well.

The top trend: bodyweight training. It seems pretty basic, and honestly a bit boring; did we really want a 2015 fitness plan filled with squats, lunges, push-ups, and planks? Never fear: Our latest bodyweight workout takes inspiration from the movement patterns of animals. It's innovative, and it lets you strengthen your abs without having to do another crunch.

What's interesting about this year's survey results versus last year's? Bodyweight training took over the number-one spot previously held by high-intensity interval training (HIIT). These intense workouts (now in second place) are still exceptionally popular, but this may be a signal of a larger shift away from extreme training. HIIT is kind of like a "shortcut" workout: effective, short, but not, you know, fun. Still, we don't expect it to disappear from gym schedules anytime soon. Of course, it's important to note that you can use bodyweight exercises in a HIIT format by selecting equipment-free exercises for your next Tabata session, so these trends are not mutually exclusive.

To pinpoint next year's most talked-about workouts, the ACSM team polled health and fitness professionals worldwide; over 3,400 people responded. Participants were provided with 39 trends — some were top performers over the past few years, and some were potential new additions. More