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.
Summertime brings people outside to enjoy the sunshine and blue skies. Unfortunately, just because people are outdoors more does not mean that they are being active. Many people get in their car, drive to a pool or beach, set out their towel and lie or sit for hours - only to get back in their car, drive home and relax. This leads to a day full of inactivity!
For some people, it is second nature to be active all year round. Others may need a push. How can you help your community participate in healthier activities? Here are some ideas...
Participate in fit activities in your community
Some people just need a nudge to be more active. Ask your friends, neighbors, or co-workers to join you for a jog or walk. Be an active role model for your peers. Leading by example can be the best remedy for inactivity.
Invite your family and friends to the local park for a day of fun in the sun playing games and activities that get the heart racing. Think tag, capture the flag, volleyball, or even water balloon tosses. Parks departments also have great resources for getting involved in intramural sports, health fairs, charity walks or runs, and pet-friendly activities.
Join and help promote local fitness groups. Many communities already have fitness-themed groups or clubs, which entail biking, fun runners, ultimate Frisbee, yoga in the park, etc. If they don't have a group that suits your interests, create one!
Getting kids active and fit
Children are key to the success of our communities. Educating and teaching kids at an early age about the importance of health and fitness is a great investment in their continued health. The National Foundation for Governors' Fitness Councils is doing just this by installing brand new fitness centers in elementary and middle schools across the country.
This year, the following schools have already been selected for the fitness center award:
The National Foundation expects to gain five more fitness centers by the end of the year.
Another recent example of a community health-and-fitness activity brought NBA/WNBA FIT to YMCA in San Francisco during ACSM's Annual Meeting. NBA/WNBA FIT Lead Clinician Frank Lopez got children up and moving via fun basketball fitness stations. The children then learned from Felicia Stoler, D.C.N., M.S., R.D., FACSM about proper nutrition.
What fitness activities does your community offer? What can you do to improve access to healthy activities for everyone?
Tags: physical activity, recreation, outside, kids, summer
Active Advice | Building Healthy Communities | Playing Outside
You can feel it all around you - in the office, at the store, in a restaurant, and at home; it's May, and it's time to get active! Warmer weather is upon us, and we feel rejuvenated with an abundance of energy. What better time than May for Exercise is Medicine (EIM) Month and National Physical Fitness and Sports Month? Let's use this gift of increased energy and warmer weather to be more physically active.
EIM Month was launched in 2008 to celebrate May as a time for health care providers, fitness professionals, the public, and supporting organizations and constituents to recognize, emphasize and celebrate the valuable health benefits of exercise on a national scale.
Over the past few years, almost all 50 states, many cities, organizations and even some military bases have celebrated health and fitness in May by hosting a variety of organized events requiring physical activity to get people moving. This year we hope to involve every state!
Exercise is Medicine Month Spotlight
Art Anderssen's Wet 'n' Dry Fitness 'n' Fun, located in Punta Gorda, Florida, kicked off their EIM Month activities early this year. Their Dragon Boat team, the Drippin' Dragons, supported Exercise is Medicine Month while the EIM Network logo was emblazoned on the front of their team shirts during the 2nd Annual Dragon Boat Festival held on April 14. Punta Gorda issued its EIM Month proclamation on May 2nd,following Charlotte County's proclamation on April 24th.
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Be Active in May
A lot of great information was shared at the Health & Fitness Summit & Exposition this year. Here's a glimpse of what participants learned from the many topics presented. You might want to consider trying some of these when planning physical activities this month and beyond.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Building a Fit Nation
Capping May as the month of both Physical Fitness and Sports Month and Exercise is Medicine Month, Dr. Sanjay Gupta will speak May 30 at the 59th ACSM Annual Meeting and 3rd World Congress on Exercise is Medicine. Dr. Gupta, CNN's multiple Emmy award-winning chief medical correspondent, will speak on "Using the Power of the Media to Help Build a Fit Nation."
How are you celebrating Exercise is Medicine Month? Share your story with us!
Tags: Exercise is Medicine Month, National health observance, physical activity
Active Advice | Exercise is Medicine | Playing Outside
Like a lively puppy that is thriving, joyously active and everywhere at once, Let's Move! has energized America with no sign of slowing down. In just a year, First Lady Michelle Obama's initiative has prompted families, individuals and organizations to take health into their own hands. Collectively, we're eating better and finding ways to be more physically active. It adds up to healthier lifestyles for a whole spectrum of people and reflects encouraging momentum in the fight against childhood obesity.
As more and more of us connect the dots - through Let's Move!, the National Physical Activity Plan, Exercise is Medicine (EIM) and countless other initiatives - we're helping the movement mature. Recounting success stories and lessons learned lets us share best practices. EIM on Campus connects colleges and universities with one another, but also with their local communities. Groups like the National Society of Physical Activity Practitioners in Public Health allow professionals to learn from one another and share resources.
We're learning not only from one another, but from new research about exercise, nutrition, physiology and motivation. This is essential to make sure our programs and policies will be effective. From molecular-level, basic science to studies of group interaction and epidemiology, new knowledge is providing a solid base of evidence to underpin our efforts.
Similarly, approaches to healthier lifestyles range from the granular to the global. We know that every bite we consume, every calorie expended, brings with it a health impact. Individual actions become habits, with immense effects on individuals over time. Family members influence one another, and whole communties can gain a collective consciousness or identity around healthy lifestyles (think Portland, Oregon, where bicycling is a shared passion).
A spectrum of solutions
Some of us emphasize physical activity and exercise, but we know that's just one factor in the health equation. Nutrition plays a huge role, as do tobacco and alcohol use, air quality and more. We've learned that all these elements must work together, and that healthy behaviors must become part of our everyday lives to be effective. And their adoption requires the kind of one-on-one modeling that happens in families, classrooms and circles of friends - but also the collective action that is reflected in organizational and community policies.
The vision reflects the range of benefits, from individual health and quality of life to societal gains in worker productivity and reduced health care costs. We're getting there, thanks to a growing foundation of research, immeasurable individual effort, and the unstoppable enthusiasm of initiatives like Let's Move.
How do your efforts complement the work of Let's Move!, the National Physical Activity Plan and other initiatives?
How can we activate more people to "think globally; act locally" to foster healthier lifestyles?
Tags: Let's Move, physical activity, childhood obesity, Physical Activity Plan
Building Healthy Communities | Exercise is Medicine | National Plan | Preventing Obesity
This page last updated on: 11/04/2009
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