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In this issue:

Active Voice: Does Acute Static Stretch Compromise Muscle Force?
Sanjay Gupta to Speak at Annual Meeting in San Francisco; Tuesday, March 13 Deadline for Early-Bird Registration
Policy Corner: FASEB Provides Recommendations for Enhancing Biomedical Research Workforce Diversity
NCAA-ACSM Roundtable on Sickle Cell Trait in Athletics
Three New ACSM Books Debuting at Summit
Sports Medicine & Exercise Science Headlines

Active Voice: Does Acute Static Stretch Compromise Muscle Force?
By Anthony D. Kay, Ph.D.    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Viewpoints presented in SMB commentaries reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.

Anthony D. Kay, Ph.D., is a senior lecturer in the Department of Sport, Exercise & Life Sciences at The University of Northampton in the U.K. His research focus includes examining musculotendinous mechanics, neuromuscular activity and force production. See the Jan. 2012 issue of ACSM's Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise® (MSSE) for a related research review he co-authored, titled "The Effect of Acute Static Stretch on Maximal Muscle Performance: A Systematic Review."

Static stretching is a common physical activity conducted by athletic, recreational and clinical populations, employed primarily for the short-term benefits of increased flexibility and decreased muscle tension. It often induces feelings of exercise readiness and is thought to reduce the risk of muscle strain injury. However, over the past decade, a growing body of research has reported that muscular force can be compromised after acute stretching, which may negatively influence exercise performance. Position statements and exercise prescription guidelines from governing bodies including ACSM have continued to reflect this interpretation. However, before changing exercise recommendations, I believe it is our role as researchers to objectively, critically and systematically evaluate the literature, and to ask: do we really know whether stretching is or is not detrimental to muscular performance, and should we recommend or oppose its use?

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Sanjay Gupta to Speak at Annual Meeting in San Francisco;
Tuesday, March 13 Deadline for Early-Bird Registration
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Those who register by Tuesday, March 13 will enjoy early-bird discounts for the 59th ACSM Annual Meeting and the 3rd World Congress on Exercise is Medicine®. Among the highlights, just announced, is a special session with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's multiple Emmy® award-winning chief medical correspondent who created the Fit Nation Challenge to tackle obesity in America. Gupta will address a special session Wednesday, May 30 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

With 12 topical tracks, including Exercise is Medicine®, ACSM offers something for everyone at the Annual Meeting and World Congress on Exercise is Medicine®.

Join attendees from around the globe to share new clinical techniques, scientific advancements and cutting-edge research in sports medicine, exercise science, physical activity and public health. New highlights this year include Basic Science Focus Day, thematic clinical sessions each day, and the Graduate and Early Career Day Preconference. View the Advance Program Register Today.

28th annual SCAN Symposium

Hyatt Regency Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD
April 20-22, 2012
Celebrating Three Decades of Excellence in Practice Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition


Policy Corner: FASEB Provides Recommendations for Enhancing Biomedical Research Workforce Diversity
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The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology represents more than 100,000 researchers and scientists through ACSM and 25 other member societies. FASEB has provided comments to the NIH Director Working Group on Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce, offering guidance in such areas as:
  • Bias in the peer review process
  • Mentoring for students and early-career faculty
  • The biomedical research workforce pipeline
In its March 8 letter, FASEB "Supports the National Institutes of Health's efforts to address the disparity in success rates between black and white applicants for NIH research grants, as well as the agency's commitment to increasing diversity in the biomedical research workforce overall." MORE

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NCAA-ACSM Roundtable on Sickle Cell Trait in Athletics
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The multi-organizational roundtable addressed sickle cell trait in athletics.

On March 2nd and 3rd, the NCAA and ACSM convened the NCAA-ACSM Roundtable on Sickle Cell Trait in Athletics, co-chaired by Michael F. Bergeron, Ph.D., FACSM, and Kimberly G. Harmon, M.D., at the ACSM National Center in Indianapolis. Representatives from the NCAA, ACSM, NATA, CDC, Hopital Ricou (Guadeloupe), AAP, ASH, University of Oklahoma, University of Arizona, the Korey Stringer Institute, and DeSoto ISD (Texas) participated. They discussed a number of related topics: Epidemiology of Exertional Death in the NCAA Athlete; Overview of NCAA Policy Related to Sickle Cell Trait (SCT); Societal Implications of Screening for SCT; SCT and Athletics: A Hematology Perspective; Epidemiology of Exertional Death in the Armed Services; ACSM Consensus Conference: Mitigating Risk for the Warfighter/Athlete; Exercise and Physiological Responses, and Keeping Athletes Safe from the ATC's Perspective.

Following this roundtable, the overall plan is to revise the ACSM Current Comment on Sickle Cell Trait and to propose a Position Statement on the subject. Plans also call for a comprehensive collaborative research strategy and projects with stakeholders who participated in the roundtable, in order to determine and more clearly appreciate any distinguishing physiological responses and clinical risks during training for athletes with SCT.

Three New ACSM Books Debuting at Summit
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Attendees at the ACSM Health & Fitness Summit & Exposition will get the first look at three new ACSM books publishing this month.

Fitness professionals can learn about the practical aspects of career success in ACSM's Career and Business Guide for the Fitness Professional by Neal I. Pire, M.A., FACSM. The book focuses on career and professional development and the fitness professional as an entrepreneur. It includes a complete sample business plan with budgets, a business plan presentation, information about demographic research, and a marketing plan. For more on the book, click here.

For those working with cancer patients and survivors, ACSM's Guide to Exercise and Cancer Survivorship presents the science behind the benefits of exercise and the application of that science to designing or adapting exercise programs. The guide, edited by Melinda L. Irwin, Ph.D., MPH, presents evidence-based information to assist health, fitness and medical professionals in using exercise to help cancer survivors with recovery, rehabilitation and reducing the risk of recurrence. The book is a recommended resource for the ACSM/ACS Certified Cancer Exercise TrainerSM exam. For more information, click here.

ACSM's Health/Fitness Facility Standards and Guidelines, Fourth Edition, has been updated and reorganized to help health and fitness establishments provide high-quality service and program offerings in a safe environment. Editors James A. Peterson, Ph.D., FACSM, and Stephen J. Tharrett, M.S., present a "Blueprint for Excellence" that allows readers to search efficiently for specific information. The book also covers the work that has begun through the ACSM/NSF International initiative to develop industry standards to serve as the foundation for a voluntary health and fitness facility certification process. For more details, click here.

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Exercise and 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.

BioRadio: Less wires, More innovation

The BioRadio and customizable software can enhance your research through wireless ECG, EMG, respiration and motion capture. Learn more about the innovation behind this budget-friendly system. MORE

To Fall Asleep, Get Off the Couch
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
TORMENTED by pain from two decades of lower back problems, Don Cook was nearly at his wits' end. Operations, traction, drugs — nothing seemed to work. At the behest of his family, he signed up for an exercise program for older people at Wichita State University, near his hometown, Derby, Kan.

"I had very little faith that exercise would help," said Cook, now 61. "But we needed desperately to do something different."

Under a supervised program at the university's Center for Physical Activity and Aging, Cook at first couldn't walk for 10 minutes without his back pain flaring up. Now, 13 months later, he strides briskly and confidently for 50 minutes at a time, covering about two miles around the center's one-eighth-mile indoor track.

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Improving Your Mental Health By Improving Your Physical Health
Kansas City Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When Shirley Archer was in her late 20s, she seemed to have it all: a high-powered position as a lawyer on Wall Street, a good education and financial security. But with that fast-paced life came intense stress, which led to a year-long struggle with depression and chronic fatigue syndrome.

"I hadn't connected the dots between my health and my lifestyle," she says. "I had burned out and struggled to complete everyday tasks."

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A Heart Helper May Come at a Price for the Brain
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
After a heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery in 2010, Steve Colburn of Portland, Ore., began taking a cholesterol-lowering statin at the maximum dose. Soon, he began experiencing memory problems.

"Thinking and remembering became so laborious that I could not even recall my three-digit telephone extension or computer password at work," said Colburn, 62, a sales representative and product developer. "All day, every day, I felt like my brain was mush."

His doctor suggested a "drug vacation," and when Colburn stopped taking the statin for six weeks, the problems disappeared.

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