ACSM'S Health & Fitness Journal:
DEPARTMENTS: From the Editor
Howley, Edward T. Ph.D., FACSM, Editor-in-Chief
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I hope that you are enjoying the warmth of summer and taking some time to renew yourself. During the past year, lots of exciting things have been going on that directly affect what we do as fitness professionals. In the fall of 2008, the Department of Health and Human Services released the "2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans." However important these guidelines are, the sad fact is that we have not had much success in influencing the actual physical activity level of children, adults, and older adults. To address this and other health-related behaviors linked to chronic diseases, the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (a national coalition of more than 110 patient, provider, and community organizations; business and labor groups; and health policy experts) developed "A Guide to Successful Programs" that will help us avoid having to reinvent the wheel when we create a new program. The Executive Summary of this guide can be found at (http://promisingpractices.fightchronicdisease.org/uploads/Executive_Summary.pdf). This document lists criteria for programs being listed as "successful" and provides examples for the following settings: workplace, communities, schools, and the health care system. In addition, as this issue of the Journal was being mailed, a special meeting was held in Washington, DC, on July 1-2, to develop the "National Physical Activity Plan" to promote physical activity in the American population. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has taken the lead in this effort. To keep up with major initiatives in health policy related to physical activity, see the following ACSM Web site: www.acsm.org/policynet.
We have three excellent feature articles. As many of you are aware, there is an increasing number of young athletes showing up in health and fitness facilities. The fact that, in contrast to adults, these adolescents are at various stages of growth and maturation makes the training more interesting and challenging. We are fortunate to have Avery D. Faigenbaum, Ed.D., FACSM, address some of the important issues related to this unique population in his feature, "Overtraining in Young Athletes: How Much Is Too Much?" This is a must-read for students, professionals, and the parents of adolescents who participate in such training.
The author of our second feature, Wayne Wescott, Ph.D., CSCS, had an overflow of attendees at his lectures during ACSM's Health & Fitness Summit & Exposition in March 2009 in Atlanta, GA. He has been kind enough to write a feature dealing with one of his lectures "ACSM Strength Training Guidelines: Role in Body Composition and Health Enhancement." Wayne provides a well-written summary of the benefits associated with resistance training and shows how a program that follows the ACSM guidelines can be implemented in a conventional setting. This article is a good read for students and exercise professionals alike.
In our last feature, Linda S. Pescatello, Ph.D., FACSM, CPD; Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, FAACVPR; and Neil F. Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., FACSM, provide a quick look at the newest edition of the ACSM guidelines in their feature, "A Preview of ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, Eighth Edition." The newest edition represents a change in how things are presented and integrated with other ACSM certification texts. This feature will be important for teachers dealing with certification-related courses, professionals who are not yet certified, and those who want to maintain their certification and stay current.
Edward T. Howley, Ph.D., FACSM