The mission of ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal® is to provide credible, readable, and applicable information about research in sports medicine and exercise science, and about health and fitness-related practices. The journal strives to help health and fitness practitioners improve their knowledge and experience through reports and recommendations from experts. CEC offerings, opportunities to question the experts, listings of job openings, and more.
I hope you are all getting ready to enjoy this holiday season that spans from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day. It is a time for celebrations, giving gifts, and giving thanks. I would like to begin by thanking my associate editors who volunteer their time to write topnotch columns throughout the year on an array of topics important to the readership. I want to extend a special thank you to those who wrote feature articles for the journal and for the reviewers who maintained the quality control needed for long-term success. Lastly, I would like to thank Lori Tish, our managing editor at ACSM for her excellent work and pleasant disposition in the face of deadlines and for keeping me on track.
At this time of the year, we look back to evaluate what worked and what didn't. Has the obesity epidemic slowed down? No, trends suggest that the prevalence of obesity will increase. Are more people physically active than last year? Although there is a 10-year trend for lower levels of physical inactivity, little change has occurred during the last 2 years in the number of adults who meet the minimum physical activity recommendation. Are schools getting the message about dealing with healthy eating and increased physical activity? In this case, there have been successes in taking food machines out of schools or at least changing the selections to healthy choices, but not much in terms of increasing the amount of physical education offered in schools. There is a major initiative under way to influence the reauthorization of the "No Child Left Behind Act" as it comes up for renewal in 2007 to include health and physical education and hold school systems responsible for meeting goals. This might be our best chance to change the direction of the trends mentioned above.
Speaking of trends, in this issue, we have an important feature by Walter Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, FAACVPR, describing future fitness trends. These trends were based on an international survey of fitness professionals. The article also includes commentary from fitness experts. These trends provide important insights into what lies ahead and will certainly stimulate discussion in the fitness community.
David Nieman, Dr.P.H., FACSM, our associate editor of the "You Asked for It" column, contributes a feature article on how to deal with challenges to the immune system. Dr. Nieman is an internationally recognized expert in this area, and I know you will appreciate the practical advice he offers.
Lastly, Kathy Hutchinson, M.S., has written an excellent article that provides insights into cardiac rehabilitation programs offered in the community setting, specifically at the YMCA. The article will be of great interest to those fitness professionals who would like to work more closely with local hospitals to facilitate the discharge of cardiac patients from hospital-based programs into the community.
Our associate editors have been hard at work delivering their excellent columns on so many different topics: carbohydrates, what can be done to prevent osteoporosis, exercise testing, family play to improve health, guiding the exercise profession, and 10 risk-management steps that every health/fitness facility should take.
Edward T. Howley, Ph.D., FACSM Editor-in-Chief