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Home   Join/Renew   Certification   Member Services   Education   Research   Foundation Aug. 2, 2011

In this issue:

Active Voice: Adding the ECG to Pre-Participation Exams for Competitive Athletes
Policy Corner: Youth Sports Caucus Releases Legislative Agenda
Advance Program Online for Conference on Physical Activity, Cognitive Function, and Academic Achievement
New ACSM Fit Society® Page Discusses Behavior Change and Exercise Adherence
Foundation Update: Leaving a Legacy with Endowments
Sports Medicine & Exercise Science Headlines

Active Voice: Adding the ECG to Pre-Participation Exams for Competitive Athletes
By Victor Froelicher, M.D., FACC, FACSM    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.

Dr. Froelicher graduated from the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. He completed his internal medicine training at the Wilford Hall U.S. Air Force Medical Center and cardiology fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His research activities have included clinical exercise physiology, computerized electrocardiography and epidemiology. For the past 20 years, he has been part of the Stanford Sports Medicine program as a cardiology consultant.

Unexpected deaths in those considered to be models of good health are sad and very visible because of the popularity of sports. Unfortunately, the public perception is that these deaths are much more common than they actually are. Controversy surrounds the best way to recognize and prevent these deaths, and the tendency has been to add more medical technology to the pre-participation exam (PPE). The following is an assessment of the situation regarding the addition of the electrocardiogram (ECG) to the PPE.

Policy Corner: Youth Sports Caucus Releases Legislative Agenda
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With support from ACSM, the Congressional Caucus on Youth Sports last week called for passage of legislation dealing with an array of topics from student health and concussion to PE and active lifestyles. Congressman Mike McIntyre, caucus founder and co-chair, introduced the package as the Youth Sports Legislative Agenda to Address Fitness, Action, Nutrition and Safety (F.A.N.S.) In addition to McIntyre, those speaking on behalf of the proposals included Hockey Hall of Fame member Pat LaFontaine and former Washington Redskins linebacker Ken Harvey, as well as Anne Craighill of Positive Coaching Alliance and Abby Markoe of Baltimore SquashWise. Markoe and children from the SquashWise program were then invited to hear McIntyre speak at a House session.

ACSM, which works closely with the youth sports caucus, issued the following statement:

“The American College of Sports Medicine salutes the Congressional Caucus on Youth Sports and urges full consideration of the comprehensive legislative agenda the caucus announced today (July 27). We appreciate the leadership of Rep. Mike McIntyre and the other members of the caucus from both parties in crafting an agenda that will provide more Americans the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of participation in sports and other physical activity by addressing issues related to fitness, access, nutrition and safety. As a comprehensive program, this positive agenda embodies principles that will help Americans be fit and healthy and to enjoy physical activity throughout their lives. Americans of all ages will gain enjoyment and better quality of life; society benefits through healthy, active citizens and reduced health care costs. In essence, physical fitness is fiscal responsibility.”

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Advance Program Online for Conference on Physical Activity, Cognitive Function, and Academic Achievement
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The advance program is now online for the ACSM Conference on Physical Activity, Cognitive Function, and Academic Achievement, to be held Nov. 17 – 18 in Washington, D.C. Conference attendees will:
  • Learn how to implement policy changes and programming to impact today and tomorrow's students.
  • Hear from dynamic keynote speakers.
  • Explore symposia and scientific abstracts.
  • Network with national experts and policymakers.
  • Participate in a town hall discussion.
  • Earn 13.75 ACSM CECs.
Download advance program. Don’t forget to register by Aug. 31 for the best value.

New ACSM Fit Society® Page Discusses Behavior Change and Exercise Adherence
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Check out the summer issue of the ACSM Fit Society® Page supported by Liberty Mutual – and share the publication with your patients, clients, colleagues, family and friends.

The summer issue discusses behavior change and ways to effectively adhere to an exercise program and includes the following stories:
  • Finding the Motivation for Exercise and Fitness Within
  • Starting an Exercise Program and Sticking With It
  • Making Physical Activity a Family Affair
  • Making Exercise Fun Again
  • Ten Ways to Start an Exercise Program
  • Athlete’s Kitchen: When Food Has Too Much Power Over You
  • Q&A
ACSM also offers a customizable version of this e-newsletter for colleges and other organizations interested in distributing it to their respective communities. If your organization would like to receive customizable versions of this e-newsletter, please contact Ashley Crockett-Lohr, communications and public information manager, at alohr@acsm.org.

Current and past issues of ACSM Fit Society® Page are available online.

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Foundation Update: Leaving a Legacy with Endowments
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“It takes a noble person to plant a seed and grow a tree that will one day provide shade to those whom one may never meet.”

Charitable endowments are a perfect way to leave your legacy and support the important mission of the American College of Sports Medicine today – and forever. An endowment is an irrevocable gift that will be invested in perpetuity with an annual amount spent from your endowment to support important purposes chosen by you.

Endowments may be established to assist essential needs, such as scholarships for nursing or medical students, building maintenance funds or ongoing support for specific ACSM programs that interest you. A priority need is for unrestricted endowments that will pay for strategic expenses many years from now that cannot be predicted today.


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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.

Sudden Death During Exercise: How We Fall Short Protecting Young Athletes
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Perhaps I shouldn’t have read the new book “Preventing Sudden Death in Sport and Physical Activity” on vacation, when I tend to get more exercise than usual. As a middle-aged runner, my fleeting fears of unexpected demise usually begin and end with heart attacks and heatstroke.

But wow, are there a lot of ways to die working out. The book has three chapters on sudden cardiac death — one for young athletes, one for older athletes and one on commotio cordis, death from an otherwise innocuous blow to the sternum. There are chapters on exertional heatstroke, brain injuries, asthma, cervical spine injury and even lightning.

All morbid humor aside, this text — aimed mostly at athletic trainers, first responders and other officials — highlights the deficiencies in our systems for keeping athletes safe during practices and competition, and offers extensive instruction on how to improve conditions.

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Longer Tendons Make Faster Runners, Suggests UAB Research
UAB News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
What makes a faster runner? There are many factors that may play a role, says University of Alabama at Birmingham exercise physiologist Gary Hunter, Ph.D., and tendon length may be an important one. In findings just published in Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise, a journal of the American College of Sports Medicine, Hunter shows that a longer Achilles tendon leads to greater energy efficiency in running, which in turn might enable better running performance.

“Longer Achilles tendons appear to generate more power because they stretch more,” said Hunter, a professor in the UAB Schools of Education and Health Professions. “It’s like a rubber band; the longer the stretch, the more force that can be generated to provide forward velocity while running.”

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