Be Active Your Way Blog
Janet Walberg Rankin, Ph.D., FACSM, is President of the American College of Sports Medicine. She is a Professor in the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise at Virginia Tech and Associate Dean of the Graduate School. She received her academic training at Duke University (B.S. in Zoology 1977) and University of California at Davis (Ph.D. in Nutrition 1982). She has taught courses in Exercise Physiology, Preventive and Therapeutic Value of Exercise, Sports Nutrition, and Exercise Metabolism.
Dr. Rankin’s research is related to sports nutrition or interventions for obesity. The overarching goal of current research in her laboratory is to clarify the optimal nutritional strategy to reduce inflammation and related health complications. Specific interventions evaluated include variations of dietary macronutrient mix, energy balance, specific foods, and dietary supplements.
The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 45,000 international, national, and regional members and certified professionals are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.
Robert E. Sallis, M.D., FACSM – Exercise is Medicine Advisory Board Chairman Robert E. Sallis, M.D., FACSM, serves as the chairman for the Exercise is Medicine initiative and previously served as president (2007-08) of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Dr. Sallis received his Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy and his medical degree from Texas A&M University. He completed his residency in family medicine at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Fontana, CA, where he served as chief resident. He has served as the head team physician at Pomona College since 1988, and holds a Certificate of Added Qualifications in sports medicine. Dr. Sallis lectures and publishes extensively in the area of sports medicine and serves as chairman of the Science Advisory Committee to Governor Schwarzenegger’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. He received the 2008 Community Leadership Award from the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, and the 2009 Leonardo da Vinci award for international leadership in sports medicine from the Italian Federation of Sports Medicine. Dr. Sallis currently serves as editor-in-chief of ACSM’s clinical journal, Current Sports Medicine Reports.
Obesity rates in the United States have soared among all age groups, particularly among our youth. In fact, more than 23 million children and teenagers (ages 2-19) are obese or overweight, a statistic that health and medical experts consider an epidemic.
As alarming as this is, there are numerous opportunities to start changing this trend. The Childhood Obesity Awareness Month (COAM) website offers a toolkit with statistics, sample news releases, social media messages, and sample letters to editors. Led by the American College of Sports Medicine, the COAM movement is diverse, inclusive, and anchored by grassroots efforts.
Click image below to watch our video on Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.
What can you do?
What can schools do?
What can communities do?
Now that you have the tools, how are you going to help fight childhood obesity in your community?
Tags: childhood obesity, national health observance, COAM, physical activity
Events | Playing Outside | Childhood Obesity
Physical activity is important for all ages. Our Recommended Guidelines suggest 150 minutes of physical activity per week for adults, and 60 minutes per day for children. Inactivity resulting from increased screen time in this digital age is on the rise, so it is more important than ever to stay active.
Children are active by nature, but busy schedules and sedentary hobbies often make it difficult to engage in recommended activity. Families can help re-light the fire to play by participating in fun physical activities together. Here are a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing.
10 Activites for Families
What is your favorite family activity?
Childhood Obesity Awareness Month is just around the corner in September. Visit www.coam-month.org to find out what you can do to change the childhood obesity trend.
Stay Active on Campus
No college student wants to experience the "freshman 15" or the "four-year 40" - both terms for the weight gain that is all too common in the college years. In high school, many students are very physically active through sports and other activities, and they have access to more nutritious meals at home and at school. Learning how to make health and wellness a priority is an important lesson that should be taught during college. Every student should leave college with a lifelong plan for fitness.
Exercise is Medicine on Campus is bridging the gap between health care, fitness and the campus population (students, faculty, and employees) to integrate physical activity into their daily regimen and improve the quality of life on campus. The goal is for all college students to learn proper physical activity habits that they can continue throughout life. Sonoma State University used EIMC's guiding principles to create a video informing the students about campus opportunities to stay active.
Stay Active at the Office
Many adults spend most of their day sitting. A typical office worker will sit while commuting and working, during lunch and breaks, and in the evening upon returning home. In a world with an abundance of sitting opportunities, it is no wonder inactivity is on the rise.
It may be easier to become inactive on the job, but that does not mean there isn't ample opportunity to get moving in the office. So what can you do?
All of these activities are simple, inexpensive changes that create a healthier work environment. None is easier than increasing how often you walk. People who walk are three times more likely to reach the physical activity guidelines, even if only done 10 minutes at a time. You can easily measure your daily walking by wearing an inexpensive pedometer (often $5 or less). Aim for 8,000 to 10,000 steps per day.
For more information on the benefits of walking, check out Every Body Walk!. I challenge you to walk at least 30 minutes per day. How are you getting your activity in?
Tags: physical activity, creative programming, campus, office, families
Creative programming | Exercise is Medicine | Physical Activity and Employers
On any given day you can open your Internet browser to search for a new study ranking the fittest cities, best places to live, healthiest cities in the world, and so on. These studies demonstrate it is possible to build a healthy community despite political, environmental or economic challenges. This is consistent with the ActivEarth philosophy, which highlights the environmental benefits of human physical activity and encourages people to live their lives in more sustainable ways.
One particularly useful ranking is our American Fitness Index (AFI). The AFI provides an evidence- and science-based measurement of the state of health and fitness at the community level. Organizations, communities, and individuals throughout the country use the AFI data and analysis to assess factors that contribute to health and fitness, and measure their progress toward achieving them.
In addition to the data report, AFI now offers a Technical Assistance Program to help selected cities identify opportunities to improve the health of their residents and expand community assets to better support active, healthy lifestyles. It is a tool to help government, community leaders, health promotion groups and individuals create a healthier environment.
So what can you do to build a healthier community?
You don't have to be part of the AFI Technical Assistance Program to help nudge your town toward better health. One effective strategy - amplified when more residents participate - is to support bsuinesses that make your community healthier. For example:
Encourage community leaders to create a built environment that's conducive to healthy lifestyles:
Singling out a notable program
One notable program, recently recognized by the Let's Move! Communities on the on the Move video challenge is "100 Citizens: Role Models for the Future." 100 Citizens is a program of the City of San Fernando Partnership for Healthy Families; its proponents believe that ending childhood obesity begins with the family. Families receive advice and guidance about beginning exercise programs. The strategy is to drive public health awareness and implementation at public parks through participation in programs delivered by students and professionals trained in kinesiology.
Whatever route you choose, good luck with your efforts to make your community a little healthier. Let us know what you're doing.
Tags: physical activity, american fitness index, Let's Move, healthy community
Building Healthy Communities | Tools
This page last updated on: 11/04/2009
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Office of Disease Prevention & Health Promotion, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.